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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!: Day 150 - The Monkees

Good Times! - The Monkees
Produced by Adam Schlesinger
Released 27th May 2016

I don't know if you'll believe me or not but the first Studio Album from The Monkees in 20 years (Justus in 1996) might actually turn out to be their best album ever!

It's been 50 years since the release of their debut album The Monkees and also their debut single Last Train To Clarksville and listening to the new album there is a real feel for the late sixties on it whilst also maintaining a very contemporary feel to it.

Some bits of the album have their roots in tracks going back to the 1960's: album opener Good Times was originally a 1967 demo from Harry Nilsson that they managed to turn into a duet between Micky Dolenz and Nilsson! There's also Love To Love, which had been a discarded song written by Neil Diamond and is here with an updated backing track but with the original vocal by Davy Jones (it's actually quite cool hearing him alongside the band again). Whatever's Right and also Gotta Give It Time use music from tapes recorded in the 1960's.

It's the songs written by newer artists that are the most surprising though. I can remember when I first heard about this project I thought that's just going to sound strange hearing songs written by the likes of Paul Weller/Noel Gallagher, Andy Partridge (XTC), Ben Gibbard (Death Cabe for Cutie) and Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) performed by The Monkees, but you know, these songs sound like they were something that only The Monkees could perform!

Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith (coming out of semi-retirement) also have contributed a song each. Most of the vocals are by Micky Dolenz but Peter Tork takes the lead for Little Girl and the Carole King & Gerry Goffin penned I Wasn't Born to Follow, and Michael Nesmith for I Know What I Know. Gibbard's Me and Magdalena has Dolzenz and Nesmith singing together as does Weller & Gallagher's Birth of an Accidental Hipster.

I know I get a little excited about music from time to time and with this new album from The Monkees I feel the excitement is well worth it.

Most of the reviews I've seen so far for the album have been pretty glowing, and rightly so. This album joins the pile for The Soundtrack4Life Album of the Year!

A Sneak Peak at Good Times!

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 
14. Terrifying (Zach Rogue)
15. "Me & Magdalena (Version 2)"  (Ben Gibbard)

Let The Day Begin...Let The Day Start!
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