The Monkees’ ‘Christmas Party’ Album: Listen

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The Monkees released Christmas Party, their first holiday album, featuring new vocals by Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, on Oct. 12. The late Davy Jones’ voice, taken from vintage recordings, also appears on two songs.

On Christmas Party, the Monkees put their vocal stamp on a wide array of classic Christmas tracks, from the R&B holiday standard “Merry Christmas, Baby” to Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” and Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day.”

Listen to several songs and watch several lyric videos, below.

Watch “What Would Santa Do”

After helming the Monkees’ studio album Good Times! in 2016, Grammy- and Emmy-winning songwriter Adam Schlesinger reprises his role as producer on Christmas Party. All of the album’s 13 songs were recorded this year, with “Silver Bells” and “Mele Kalikimaka” using classic Davy Jones vocals from the archives combined with newly recorded music.

Related: Dolenz and Nesmith are touring in 2019

(L-R): Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz from a 1967 episode of The Monkees TV series (via their Facebook)

Much like Good Times!, Christmas Party features songs newly written for the band by a group of outside songwriters, including Rivers Cuomo of Weezer (“What Would Santa Do”) and Andy Partridge of XTC. (Hear the recording of his “Unwrap You at Christmas” below, with lead vocals by Dolenz.) Schlesinger and author Michael Chabon teamed up to write “House of Broken Gingerbread.” Guitarists Peter Buck of R.E.M. and Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 play on two songs: a cover of Big Star’s “Jesus Christ” and the album’s title track, which they wrote together.

Related: Michael Nesmith has returned to the stage following recent heart surgery

Christmas Party also includes two songs with Michael Nesmith on lead vocals, with each track being produced by one of his sons. His take on the yuletide classic “The Christmas Song” was produced by Christian Nesmith while “Snowfall” was helmed by Jonathan Nesmith.

Watch the “Unwrap You at Christmas” video

Christmas Party Track Listing 
1. “Unwrap You at Christmas”
2. “What Would Santa Do”
3. “Mele Kalikimaka”
4. “House Of Broken Gingerbread”
5. “The Christmas Song”
6. “Christmas Party”
7. “Jesus Christ”
8. “I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day”
9. “Silver Bells”
10. “Wonderful Christmastime”
11. “Snowfall”
12. “Angels We Have Heard On High”
13. “Merry Christmas, Baby”

Listen to “Silver Bells” featuring Davy Jones

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  1. Disgruntled Monkees Fan
    #1 Disgruntled Monkees Fan 12 October, 2018, 15:13

    I WAS highly excited and looking forward to purchacing this album. That is, until I heard the track, “Unwrap You At Christmas”. Really Rhino? Generic background singers? Why aren’t Peter and Mike providing the background vocals? One can only assume every track on the album is the same way. One Monkee singing lead and generic vocals in the background. Therefore, this is not actually a Monkees album but a collage of solo tracks. There is no excuse for this. It feels like a big middle finger (not only from Rhino but from Mike, Peter and Micky as well) has stuck in the faces of all Monkees fans. I’m no longer sure if I can bring myself to buy this album. Such a disapointment. Too bad too because otherwise “Unwrap You At Christmas” is a fine song. Just not a Monkees song.

    Reply this comment
    • JerryJ
      JerryJ 16 October, 2018, 09:40

      Other than Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones ltd, a majority of Monkees tracks only have 1 Monkee on them. With Nesmith’s latest heath scare and honestly, I’m really worried about Peter’s health these days too. I don’t think a Good Times 2 was possible. Please enjoy this Monkees album now – it will probably be the last one we get.

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