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Good Times! - The Monkees' New Album

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by David Vincent (subscribe)
Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
Published June 11th 2016
The original pop boyband, 50 years later
Thanks to modern technology, all four original members of '60s hitmakers The Monkees are back with their first new album in 20 years!

Marking their 50th anniversary in 2016, Good Times! sees Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Michael Nesmith reunited for a 13-track collection that demonstrates just how influential the band has been.

monkees, pop, good times, rivers cumo
The Monkees' Good Times!, their first studio album in 20 years, which officially marks their 50th anniversary.

Famously formed in LA as America's answer to The Beatles, the band released nine albums between 1966 and 1970, starred in their own hit TV series, produced a crazy psychedelic film and TV special, and racked up an incredible run of great tracks, including Daydream Believer, Last Train to Clarkesville and I'm A Believer.

There have been intermittent reunions over the decades, but most recently these have just been with Dolenz and Tork, as Nesmith declined to tour, and boyish Brit heart-throb Jones sadly passed away in 2012.

But Good Times!, the band's 12th album, features all four with Tork, Dolenz and Nesmith in the studio, and Jones in fine voice thanks to some nifty studio trickery.

The Monkees always attracted some of the biggest names in pop, from Neil Sedaka and Carol King to Harry Nilsson, and Good Times! is no exception, featuring tunes especially written for the band by Weezer's Rivers Cumo, XTC / Dukes Of The Stratosphear's Andy Partridge and Fountain's Of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger. There's also a Paul Weller / Noel Gahallager co-write.

These rest alongside re-tweaked vintage tunes by Neil Diamond and Harry Nilsson, and several numbers by Tork, Dolenz and Nesmith - all criminally underrated musicians and writers who, despite popular myth, created many original Monkees hits in the '60s.

"The album [was] named after this Harry Nilsson song we found called Good Times," said Pete.

"... which we still had the multi-tracks for," added Mickey. "I'm proud to say that it was my suggestion to make this tune the title track on the album. Harry did a killer lead vocal on this demo...

"The original session was in January of 1968, and the chance to sing a duet with Harry is just way beyond cool," Mickey said, of his friend who penned The Monkees' track Cuddly Toy for 1967's Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd, and died in 1994.

"The next album's gonna be called Sad Times!" Micky quipped.

Fifty years later ... and they're still Monkee'ing around.

Above: Two new tracks from 2016's Good Times!

Above: A true pop classic - the late Davy Jones sings lead vocals on Daydream Believer, a worldwide Top 10 hit from 1967's The Birds, The Bees and The Monkees.

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Why? One of the great pop groups from the '60s return.
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