“As I was saying before I was interrupted . . .” — Jack Paar
It’s been said by persons better schooled than me in all things music that Micky Dolenz possesses one of the best voices in rock and roll. Now comes, Gigatone Records with “King For A Day,” Dolenz’s album tribute to the songs of Carole King.
I can’t really argue that point; his group, The Monkees, sold in excess of 65 million records and he was the lead singer.
Micky, 63, has gone on to numerous stints on Broadway musicals (including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida and Grease).
King was among the premier songwriters for The Monkees along with Paul Williams, Harry Nilsson, Neil Diamond, Boyce and Hart, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil and Neil Sedaka.
King who crafted many delicious works for The Monkees such as “Take a Giant Step,” “Porpoise Song,” “As We Go Along,” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”
The first question is how did Dolenz, and producer Jeffrey Foskett, even select the 14 songs that make up the sequencing?
The album is just outstanding. Dolenz’s voice has never sounded better, at once conjuring up memories of his best moments in The Monkees, but proving all these years later that he is as vibrant as ever.
His voice has developed a nice edge and maturity, no question.
This is an album for people who love music and who appreciate the true craftsmanship of a good song. Face it, they don’t write ‘em like this anymore!
When you hear Micky tear into “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?,” there’s a terrific authority and gravitas to his delivery that comes across so beautifully.
“Crying in the Rain,” which he sings duet-style with his sister Coco, is hands down my favorite. Not only does it rank, in my mind, as one of Carole’s best songs ever, but again, it tears at your heart in a most positive way.
The production on this one is terrific, too. Foskett, who produced the last album from Brian Wilson (and, is something of a Beach Boys acolyte, from what I hear) is the real surprise player on this album.
His terrific taste has melded perfectly with Micky’s; it is a true meeting of the minds and spirits with terrific results.
A real stand-out is “I Feel the Earth Move,” which he duets with tween-sensation Emily Osment, from TV’s “Hannah Montana.”
As Micky tells me, he met her and her family at an event last year and immediately began to brainstorm the collaboration. I have to say that the melding of the two voices is just sensational: her youth, combined with, his experience.
Really, a terrific track and one that I’m quite sure Radio Disney will embrace immediately.
“Just Once In My Life” brings in the evocative vocal talents of Righteous Brothers-icon Bill Medley , and it goes tremendously.
Medley appears to have lost none of his magical pipes and his voice with Micky’s is a perfect blend.
Osment acquits herself well, but Medley is the icing on the cake.
Dolenz’s take on “Go Away, Little Girl” is a pure delight, his voice wrapping ever so finely around King’s words; if this track doesn’t move you, nothing will.
All in all, simply a terrific presentation from start to finish. As the fourth quarter moves firmly into place, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction this album generates.
It’s out August 31; consider this is a sneak preview.
You Never Give Me Your Money
I guess The Beatles books will go on forever. Just look at The Beatles’ Rock Band video game . . . bigger than ever.
And I hear they’re big in Vegas, too!
Peter Doggett’s current book on the group “You Never Give Me Your Money” (Harper) is downright fascinating, whether you’re a fan or not.
In many ways, it resembles author Richard DiLello’s “The Longest Cocktail Party” (originally published in 1972), because it closely covers the intimate workings of the group and Apple Records after the official breakup.
All these years later, the most profound response I have is, How sad.
I don’t recall who first said it (as everyone said it after a while) but the one thing Apple did successfully do was keep battalions of lawyers in business; buying them homes in both the city and country, and sending their kids through college and grad school.
Doggett’s look at their personal struggles, be it Starr’s alcoholism or the Lennons’ travails with immigration and their solo albums, is a terrific page turner.
I can’t imagine the surviving Beatles will be totally happy with its release; on the other hand, it does answer many questions that have been hanging out there since the group formally disbanded.
Doggett’s tale of how McCartney learned to cope with off-the-cuff comment about Lennon’s death is particularly moving.
The book is a fascinating “behind-the-scenes” look, and if there was Beatles book I could recommend, this would be it.
Doggett first honed his exceptional writing skills at the U.K.’s Mojo. They’re all here; Allan Klein, Terry Doran; Neil Aspinall, the Eastmans, Pete Bennett, Abbie Hoffman, Mal Evans, the wives, girlfriends and, of course, lawyers. Gripping stuff indeed!
Names in the News
RACHAEL ROBBINS, ABBI REGIER, DAVID SALIDOR, BRUCE GRAKAL, MARK BEGO, EVA MUELLER, ART EDELSTEIN, DEB CAPONETTA, MICHAEL ZILKHA, THE ALPERTS, ANTHONY POMES, LEE JESKE