Music: Micky Dolenz’s ‘Remember’

In case you missed it, I am a big fan of the Monkees. I’m also a big fan of the Monkees as solo acts.

Micky Dolenz recently released a solo album of covers called Remember. All of the songs on the album have a personal meaning to him and he did all of the vocals on all of the tracks (one of which features something like 40 different vocal tracks!). After hearing the samples on iTunes and a free preview of “Randy Scouse Git” in its entirety, I knew I was going to have to own this album.

First of all, the cover of “Randy Scouse Git” really sold me. It’s completely different from the original, but just as amazing. The sample of “Sometime in the Morning” (a favorite Monkees song) gave me chills. “I’m a Believer” as a country song intrigued me. These factors pretty much sealed the deal for me.

Not to mention my absolute love of covers.

Now, I’m no music critic; I just know what I like. And I really, really like this album. I listened to it five times in a row after first downloading it. There’s not a song on it I don’t like. The surprise standouts for me are “Sugar, Sugar”, “Do Not Ask for Love”, and “Good Morning, Good Morning”. I figured I’d like them, but I was caught off guard as to HOW MUCH I like them. Micky’s “Sugar, Sugar” might be better than the original if only for the ending.

It’s a fun album. I’ve always felt Micky has been very creative musically and this album reflects that. It also shows that his voice is just as good now as it was when he was in his twenties. The man can still sing. (Seriously, “Do Not Ask for Love” is just his vocals and it is unbelievable.)

If you want a break from the current radio pop airplay, this is what you should be listening to. It’s fun, classy, and genuine.

Rerun Junkie–The Monkees

I know I’ve talked about the music before, but now let’s focus on the show. After all, it’s the reason for the music anyway, right? At least in the beginning.

The premise was simple enough: four band members lived in a kickin’ beach pad and had wacky adventures while playing really catchy tunes that are still played to day. Most episodes got two songs and these were usually set to “romps” in which the boys and the guest starts ran around and acted silly. There were also given an excuse to play at least one number in many episodes.

The second season got a little crazier as the guys were more prone to imporve and more prone to smoking pot. There weren’t so much as script as there were guidelines to an epidsode and even tehn they were quite loose. The episodes, though a little stranger, were still fun.  “The Devil and Peter Tork”, “Fairy Tale”, and “The Monkees Christmas Show” remain to fan favorites.

Peter, Mike, Micky, and Davy. Yes, I know what episode this is from.

The band was comprised of Davy, the cute one; Micky, the crazy one; Mike, the in-charge one; and Peter, the dumb one. Okay, that’s over-simplifying things a bit, but the point was there was a “type” for every girl (though the target girls ended up being 8-12). Davy was the teen idol heartthrob with a British accent bonus. Micky was as charming and funny with a good heart. Mike was the epitome of the strong, sarcastic Texan with a protective air. And Peter was sweet, sensitive, and a little naive, which made you want to protect him. I think every one of these guys has been my favorite at some point or another. I think they planned it that way. Very clever.

The show managed to attract some fun guest starts including Rose Marie, Julie Newmar, Lon Chaney Jr, Monte Landis, Phil Leeds, Butch Patrick, Ron Maask, Rip Taylor, Ruth Buzzi, and Joey Forman.

Sporadic reruns of the show have garnered new generations of fans. I got hooked when I was six during their 20th anniversary tour. Though I listen to the music almost daily (I’ve got all but 2 albums on my iPod and I will have those one day, oh yes), I still love watching the show, particularly when I need a mood boost. Most of the eps I have are on VHS. It’s the only reason I still have a VCR.

I can’t imagine a higher compliment than that.

 

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