To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the band will also be heading out on an extensive North American tour, beginning May 18 in Fort Myers, Fla.
The new LP will include completed versions of unfinished songs from the Monkees’ ‘60s heyday, in addition to contributions from several contemporary alt-rockers with an ear for pop.
Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Noel Gallagher, XTC’s Andy Partridge and Rogue Wave’s Zach Rogue are all on board to collaborate in the songwriting process. Fountains of Wayne co-leader Adam Schlesinger will produce the album.
News of the tour and new album first broke via an Amazon item description. The details — save for the album’s title and release date — were taken down, but archived on the Monkees fan site MonkeesConcerts.com. Today (Feb. 5) Rolling Stone confirmed the full announcement.
Though the album is slated for a June 10 release, a final track list has not been announced and recording is still in progress.
“One reason we don’t have a final track listing yet is because once we put the word out all these people said they wanted to get involved,” the band’s Micky Dolenz said. “I began doing research and I realized that the whole indie rock scene is all about recapturing that 1960s jangly guitar sound of the Monkees, amongst many other groups, of course.” Gibbard’s song and Rogue’s song are both ready to go; Gallagher is still working and Cuomo’s song required some age-appropriate editing.
“We all agree that the lyrics in the Rivers Cuomo song needed to be aged up a little… It sounds like it’s about a little girl and I’m 70 years old, so Rivers is re-writing the lyrics.”
As for the older tracks, Good Times! features the completed version of a song of the same name, which Harry Nilsson first recorded alongside the Monkees’ Michael Nesmith in 1968. Also, Good Times! will include “Love To Love” (which Neil Diamond wrote for the Monkees) and the Carole King-penned “Wasn’t Born to Follow.”
The Monkees’ 2016 live incarnation will include original members Dolenz and Peter Tork. Michael Nesmith is not in the current lineup (and hasn’t been for most of the band’s post-1971 reunions), though Dolenz assured, “He’s always invited.” Fellow founding member Davy Jones died in 2012.
We leave you with Nilsson’s “Good Times” demo, followed by the Monkees’ current tour schedule. The band stated it is open to the possibility of additional dates.
May 18: Fort Myers, Fla. @ Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
May 19: Melbourne, Fla. @ King Center for the Performing Arts
May 20: Tampa, Fla. @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
May 21: Atlanta, Ga. @ Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater
May 24: Charlotte, N.C. @ Blumenthal PAC – Belk Theater
May 26: Washington, D.C. @ Warner Theatre
May 27: Boston, Mass. @ The Wilbur Theatre
May 28: Philadelphia, Penn. @ Keswick Theatre
May 29: Red Bank, N.J. @ Count Basie Theatre
June 1: New York, N.Y. @ The Town Hall
June 3: Toronto, Ontario @ Casino Rama
June 4: Windsor, Ontario @ The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor
June 5: Cleveland, Ohio @ Hard Rock Live Northfield Park
June 7: Fort Wayne, In. @ Foellinger Theatre
June 10: Louisville, Ky. @ Louisville Palace Theatre
June 12: Indianapolis, Ind. @ Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
June 14: Dayton, Ohio @ Rose Music Center at The Heights
June 28; Dallas, Tex. @ AT&T PAC – Winspear Opera House
June 30: Tulsa, Okla. @ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
July 1: Mayetta, Kan. @ Prairie Band Casino & Resort
July 16: Hampton Beach, N.H. @ Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
July 22: Hot Springs, Ark. @ Oaklawn Racing and Gaming
Sept. 15: Phoenix, Ariz. @ Mesa Arts Center
Sept. 16: Los Angeles, CAali. @ Pantages Theatre
Sept. 17: Las Vegas, Nev. @ Primm Valley Casino Resorts
Sept. 20: San Francisco, Cali. @ The Warfield
Sept. 21: Modesto, Cali. @ Gallo Center For The Arts
Sept. 23: Lincoln City, Ore. @ Chinook Winds Casino Resort
Sept. 24: Lincoln City, Ore. @ Chinook Winds Casino Resort
Sept. 25: Seattle, Wash. @ The Moore Theatre
Oct. 1: Biloxi, Miss. @ Hard Rock Live
Oct. 22: Paso Robles, Cali. @ Vina Robles Amphitheatre
Oct. 29: Shippensburg, Penn. @ H. Ric Luhrs PAC