The new compilation CD and vinyl release called Micky Dolenz: The MGM Singles Collection compliments the band’s first new album in two decades, Good Times.
Released in May, the album hit the Top Ten and was followed by a successful Monkees concert tour, cementing the group as a top legacy act. It’s amazing how the old adage, “everything old is new again” rings true.
In the 1960s, The Monkees capitalized on the skyrocketing popularity of rock-and-roll and such groups as The Beatles.
The show debuted in 1966 and ran for two seasons. But what’s phenomenal about this made-for-television band is the way they transitioned to music.
Dolenz, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Michael Nesmith won two Emmys for the show and sold millions of albums.
The inevitable decline came when their debut feature film “Head” bombed after the show ended.
Falling record sales followed. Next came the “dwindling party” effect. Tork dropped out of the band. Dolenz, Jones and Nesmith released two albums as a trio and the last of the era, Changes, featured only Micky and Davy.
Micky went on to a solo career with MGM Records and recorded some amazing material. His work was virtually ignored by the press, radio stations and even the fans, which makes the MGM Singles Collection extra special.
Micky is featured at the height of his singing career on songs that most people have never heard.
In his autobiography, “I’m a Believer,” Micky wrote:
“An old high school buddy of mine, Mike Curb, was running MGM Records at the time, and to my everlasting gratitude, gave me a shot on the label. Unfortunately, the records I released disappeared without a trace. Harry Nilsson even produced me on one of his songs called ‘Daybreak,’ but I couldn’t get any airplay. The stations, the distributors, the industry just wouldn’t take me seriously. It was as if they were finally getting revenge for having had The Monkees shoved down their throats for so long.”
But the collection is a brilliant time capsule of recordings from the man whose voice was the lead of most of the band’s iconic singles, including “I’m a Believer” and “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone.”
On these MGM tracks, Micky got to try his hand at a lot of different styles, including classic rock like “Johnny B. Goode” and his “Buddy Holly Medley.” He also shows off his songwriting skills on “Easy on You.”
Last year, 7A Records released these MGM singles in a limited edition vinyl album. When it instantly sold out, the record company planned for a CD release; and expand the track list for these great songs
When Rhino released a vinyl edition of Good Times, it came in at No.1 on the Billboard Vinyl Chart. Now Rhino is considering a re-release of Dolenz’s great 2012 solo album Remember.
Also of note on the CD is an interview from Iain Lee himself with Dolenz and some terrific liner notes courtesy of writer Mark Kleiner.
Who knew 2016 would be known as “the year The Monkees came back?” The world is embracing them like 50 years never passed.