Monkees’ New Album Arrives (Updated)

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

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

(Update 5/28) Mike Nesmith may not be out on tour this summer with fellow Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork – instead, he’s busy writing a book – but make no mistake about his feelings about the band and their well-received brand new album. He recently told ABC Radio News that he and his bandmates were “thrilled” with how Good Times! turned out.

“I thought it came out great, and the songs that people have been writing for it I thought were great,” says Nez. “[I]t just came together like an ordinary record, but because it was our 50th [anniversary], we knew it was gonna be kind of a touchstone, so everybody had high hopes for it. And then when it came out like it did, it was like, ‘Holy smokes, this actually… sounds good!'”

He credits that to the longtime musical association of The Monkees and the songs specially written for the band by noted rock songwriters. “It was very easy ’cause we worked together for so long…. Having the different writers gave us so many more things to say and so many more opportunities at a good time. Hah, no pun intended.”

And he enjoys the irony in these days of prefab pop music that the group created for the 1960s TV series – and reviled by some at the time for being a “fake” band – today maintain a standard for keeping it real. “The thing that I think works so good about the new record is that it really is in the moment,” Nesmith contends. “It’s happening right now. These are real people, right now, singing it in this real time.”

Hey, hey The Monkees are back almost 50 years after the premiere of their TV series (which first aired in September 1966) and self-titled debut album (released in October that year) with a tour and new album. We’ve already given you a listen to the first new song they’ve released – “She Makes Me Laugh,” written by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer – from the album Good Times! that arrived on May 27. The band also has just begun a 40-plus date tour (see itinerary below).

Now here’s another new Monkees gem. It’s titled “Me & Magdalena” and it’s sung by Mike Nesmith and written by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. And (we feel) it’s utterly lovely.

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It stokes appetites even further for Good Times!, which apparently strikes a balance between back then and now. Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and  Nesmith all wrote new material for the album. It includes songs by a number of the writers of vintage Monkees hits: Neil Diamond (“Love To Love”), Carole King & Gerry Goffin (“I Wasn’t Born To Follow”), Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart (“Whatever’s Right”) and Jeff Barry and Joey Levine (“Gotta Give It Time”). The 13-track album also features new compositions by Gibbard, Cuomo, Andy Partridge (XTC), Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave), Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller writing together, and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne), who produced the album. It also has a vintage vocal by the late Davy Jones (who died in 2012) and the Harry Nilsson-penned title track from a 1967 demo.

Monkees Good Times CoverOnly Dolenz and Tork will be performing on the tour, but rumors are rumbling that Nesmith may guest on a few dates.

Finally, to make the half-century celebration even sweeter, the entire The Monkees TV series will be released on Blu-ray for the very first time on June 24th. The 10-disc collection also includes the 1968 cult-classic film, Head, along with many never-before-seen outtakes, and will be limited to 10,000 numbered sets. It will be available for purchase exclusively at Monkees.com.

Good Times! Track Listing (with songwriters noted)

1. “Good Times” (Harry Nilsson)
2. “You Bring The Summer” (Andy Partridge)
3. “She Makes Me Laugh” (Rivers Cuomo)
4. “Our Own World” (Adam Schlesinger)
5. “Gotta Give It Time” (Jeff Barry/Joey Levine)
6. “Me & Magdalena” (Ben Gibbard)
7. “Whatever’s Right” (Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart)
8. “Love To Love” (Neil Diamond)
9. “Little Girl” (Peter Tork)
10. “Birth Of An Accidental Hipster” (Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller)
11. “I Wasn’t Born To Follow” (Carole King/Gerry Goffin)
12. “I Know What I Know” (Michael Nesmith)
13. “I Was There (And I’m Told I Had A Good Time)” (Micky Dolenz/Adam Schlesinger)

The Monkees 2016 Tour Dates (Click here for tickets)

May
18 Fort Myers, FL – Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
19 Melbourne, FL – King Center for the Performing Arts
20 Tampa, FL – Ruth Eckerd Hall
21 Atlanta, GA – Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater
24 Charlotte, NC – Blumenthal PAC – Belk Theater
26 Washington, DC – Warner Theatre
27 Boston, MA – The Wilbur Theatre
28 Philadelphia, PA – Keswick Theatre
29 Red Bank, NJ – Count Basie Theatre

June
1 New York, NY – Town Hall
3 Toronto, ON – Casino Rama – Entertainment Centre
4 Windsor, ON – The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor
5 Cleveland, OH – Hard Rock Live Northfield Park
7 Fort Wayne, IN – Foellinger Theatre
8 Grand Rapids, MI – Meijer Gardens Amphitheater
10 Louisville, KY – Louisville Palace Theatre
11 Hammond, IN – The Venue At Horseshoe Casino
12 Indianapolis, IN – Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
14 Dayton, OH – Rose Music Center at The Heights
16 Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre
28 Dallas, TX – AT&T PAC – Winspear Opera House
30 Tulsa, OK – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – The Joint

July
1 Mayetta, KS – Prairie Band Casino & Resort
14 Ottawa, ON – Lebreton Flats Park
16 Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
22 Hot Springs, AR – Oaklawn Racing and Gaming – Finish Line Theater
24 Augusta, GA – Bell Auditorium

August
6 Reno, NV – Grand Sierra Resort

September
4 Vancouver, BC – PNE Amphitheatre
14 Tucson, AZ – Fox Tucson Theatre
15 Phoenix, AZ – Mesa Arts Center – Ikeda Theater
16 Los Angeles, CA – Pantages Theatre
17 Las Vegas, NV – Primm Valley Casino Resorts – Star of the Desert Arena
20 San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
21 Modesto, CA – Gallo Center For The Arts
23 Lincoln City, OR – Chinook Winds Casino Resort
24 Lincoln City, OR – Chinook Winds Casino Resort
25 Seattle, WA – The Moore Theatre
29 Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre

October
1 Biloxi, MS – Hard Rock Biloxi
3 Branson, MO – Welk Resort Theatre
21 Anaheim, CA – City National Grove Of Anaheim
22 Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amphitheatre
29 Shippensburg, PA – Shippensburg University – H. Ric Luhrs PAC

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