Good Times!

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Good Times!
Good Times! (The Monkees) (Front Cover).jpg
Studio album by The Monkees
Released May 27, 2016 (2016-05-27)
Recorded 1967, 1968, 1969, February–March 2016
Studio Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles (2016 recordings),
RCA Studio B, New York City, and RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood
Genre Pop rock
Length 36:47
Label Rhino
Producer Adam Schlesinger, Andrew Sandoval
The Monkees chronology
Monkeemania (The Very Best of the Monkees)
(2011)
Good Times!
(2016)
Christmas Party
(2018)
Singles from Good Times
  1. "She Makes Me Laugh"
    Released: April 28, 2016 (2016-04-28)
  2. "You Bring the Summer"
    Released: May 2, 2016 (2016-05-02)
  3. "Me & Magdalena"
    Released: May 20, 2016 (2016-05-20)

Good Times! is the twelfth studio album by The Monkees. Produced mainly by Adam Schlesinger (with some additional bonus tracks produced by Andrew Sandoval), the album was recorded to commemorate the band's 50th anniversary. It is the first Monkees studio album since Justus (1996) the longest gap to date and the first since the death of founding member Davy Jones. The album features surviving Monkees Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork, as well as a posthumous contribution from Jones.

Background and recording

The project was initiated by Rhino executives John Hughes and Mark Pinkus, who were excited about a 50th anniversary album for the Monkees.[1] Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne was hired to produce the album, with tracks by the three surviving Monkees, initially unreleased songs by the songwriters they used during their initial run including Neil Diamond, Carole King & Gerry Goffin, Harry Nilsson and Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart and contemporary rock songwriters Schlesinger, Rivers Cuomo, Andy Partridge, Ben Gibbard, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller.[2]

The title track was written by Harry Nilsson and a surviving demo from the late 1960s was used incorporating Nilsson's vocals posthumously in a "duet" with Micky Dolenz. Davy Jones performs the Neil Diamond-penned track "Love to Love" which was recorded in 1967 for the Monkees' third album in a Don Kirshner-supervised session while the group was trying to gain musical independence from Kirshner. Once he was removed, the song was discarded in favor of recording an album of songs both sung and played by the group. The resultant album was Headquarters. The vocal track was re-recorded in 1969, but never saw an official release until the 1980s. For its inclusion on Good Times!, the 1969 version is used with new backing vocals by Dolenz and Tork.

The first single from the album was "She Makes Me Laugh". Penned by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo, it was released on April 28 along with a lyric video. The second new track to be released was "You Bring the Summer" written by Andy Partridge, which was debuted by DJ and Monkee-fan Iain Lee on his radio show on May 2, followed by it being made available by Rhino.

Musicians on the album include Fountains of Wayne members Adam Schlesinger (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, percussion), Jody Porter (guitar) and Brian Young (drums, percussion), as well as Mike Viola (guitar, bass, background vocals), and band members Micky Dolenz (vocals, drums), Michael Nesmith (vocals, guitar) and Peter Tork (vocals, keyboards, banjo).

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Independent 4/5 stars[7]
The New York Times
Herald Standard
Mojo Magazine 4/4 stars[8]
Record Collector 4/5 stars[9]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[10]
Rolling Stone Australia 4/4 stars[11]
Ultimate Classic Rock
RTÉ
ABC News 4/5 stars[12]
The Times 3/5 stars[13]
The Evening Standard 3/5 stars[14]
The Irish Times 2/5 stars[15]

The album has received generally positive reviews, including a 4 out of 5 review by The Independent, who declared that Good Times! was "probably The Monkees' best album, after their hits compilation",[7] while The New York Times summed up the release with "Fifty years later, the Monkees are still endearing."[3] The Herald-Standard concluded that "If indeed this latest album serves as the group’s swan song, then it is a joyous finale."[11] Music magazine Mojo gave the album four stars, and declared it their album of the week,[8] while Record Collector stated "to everyone’s considerable relief and delight, they’ve pulled it off. They really have," and gave the album four stars.[9]

The album was awarded 3.5 out of 5 by Rolling Stone, who concluded "Monkees freaks have waited far too long for this album. But it was worth it."[10] The album was even better received by the magazine's Australian edition, which gave it full marks and noted "Producer Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne knows a thing or five about classic pop, and although Good Times! is a Frankenstein's monster of something old, something new and something in between, he manages to orchestrate the whole thing into something beyond an embarrassing heritage act."[11]

Ultimate Classic Rock declared that "The fact that there is a new Monkees album in 2016 is miraculous enough, but that said album, Good Times!, is nothing short of a masterpiece is astounding."[5] The RTÉ website also gave the album a positive review, stating that "keeping it analogue and raw, Good Times! is a joy. This is one band reunion that doesn’t besmirch the legacy and even offers something new and fresh." However, it acknowledged that "Noel Gallagher teams up with Paul Weller to dash off 'Birth Of An Accidental Hipster', another droll sub-Kinks ditty but it sounds bloated compared to the effervescence of what’s gone before."[6] ABC News concluded that "This is mandatory listening for any Monkees fan."[12] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, stating the album is "a joyous revival of the cheerful jangle that characterized the group's big '60s hits."[16]

A slightly more mixed review was given by Will Hodgkinson in The Times, who gave the album 3/5,[13] and the Evening Standard, who decided that the album "doesn’t quite work as it’s let down by a flat production and the lack of anything approaching their more magical moments. For all that, though, it’s no disgrace" and gave the album three stars.[14]

A negative review was given by The Irish Times, with Tony Clayton-Lea summarizing that "Songs by Death Cab for Cutie songwriter Ben Gibbard ("Me & Magdalena"), XTC’s Andy Partridge ("You Bring The Summer"), and Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller ("Birth of an Accidental Hipster") brilliantly reference the band’s 1960s glory days, but as a cohesive project it’s more unpleasant valley Sunday than anything else."[15]

At Metacritic, the album has a metascore of 79, indicating generally favorable reviews. Its user score is 8.7, indicating universal acclaim.[17]

The album is the highest charting Monkees album in the US since The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees in 1968 and the highest charting in the UK since Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. in 1967.

Accolades

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Mojo The 50 Best Albums of 2016 2016
30[18]

Track listing

Standard edition
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocalist Length
1. "Good Times" Harry Nilsson Micky Dolenz with Harry Nilsson 2:46
2. "You Bring the Summer" Andy Partridge Micky Dolenz 3:00
3. "She Makes Me Laugh" Rivers Cuomo Micky Dolenz 3:00
4. "Our Own World" Adam Schlesinger Micky Dolenz 2:45
5. "Gotta Give It Time" Jeff Barry/Joey Levine Micky Dolenz 2:17
6. "Me & Magdalena" Ben Gibbard Michael Nesmith with Micky Dolenz 3:33
7. "Whatever's Right" Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart Micky Dolenz 2:00
8. "Love to Love" Neil Diamond Davy Jones 2:29
9. "Little Girl" Peter Tork Peter Tork 2:42
10. "Birth of an Accidental Hipster" Noel Gallagher/Paul Weller Michael Nesmith with Micky Dolenz 3:31
11. "Wasn't Born to Follow" Gerry Goffin/Carole King Peter Tork 2:53
12. "I Know What I Know" Michael Nesmith Michael Nesmith 3:30
13. "I Was There (And I'm Told I Had a Good Time)" Micky Dolenz/Adam Schlesinger Micky Dolenz 2:15

Personnel and session information

All tracks produced by Adam Schlesinger unless otherwise noted

"Good Times"

  • Micky Dolenz – lead vocals
  • Harry Nilsson - lead vocals, piano
  • Michael Nesmith - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - guitar
  • Rick Dey - bass
  • Eddie Hoh - drums
  • Recorded: January 10, 1968, and Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016

"You Bring the Summer"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Michael Nesmith - guitar, backing vocals
  • Peter Tork - organ, backing vocals
  • Mike Viola - guitar
  • Pete Min - guitar
  • Jody Porter - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass, keyboards
  • Brian Young - drums, percussion
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February - March 2016

"She Makes Me Laugh"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Peter Tork - banjo, backing vocals
  • Michael Nesmith - guitar, backing vocals
  • Mike Viola - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass
  • Brian Young - drums, percussion
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016
  • Dolenz wasn't comfortable with some of the original lyrics as written by Rivers Cuomo. The lyric "directing traffic in the mall" was improvised by Dolenz,[19] and Cuomo "added in new lyrics about Scrabble and a canoe trip when Dolenz felt the original draft was geared towards a man much younger than his 71 years."[20]

"Our Own World"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Peter Tork - keyboards, backing vocals
  • Michael Nesmith - backing vocals
  • Adam Schlesinger - guitar, bass, keyboards
  • Brian Young - drums, percussion
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016

"Gotta Give It Time"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Michael Nesmith - backing vocals
  • Al Gorgoni - guitar
  • Don Thomas - guitar
  • Hugh McCracken - guitar
  • Lou Mauro - bass
  • Artie Butler - organ
  • Herb Lovelle - drums
  • Tom Cerone - tambourine
  • Jeff Barry - original producer, original arrrangement
  • Adam Schlesinger - reproducer
  • Ray Hall - original engineer
  • Leftover from the final Kirshner supervised sessions in January 1967. However no vocals were recorded at the time.
  • Recorded at RCA Studio B, New York City, January 21 (11:00 AM – 7:00 PM) and 24, 1967, and Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016

"Me & Magdalena"

  • Michael Nesmith - lead vocals
  • Micky Dolenz - harmony vocals
  • Mike Viola - guitar, bass
  • Jody Porter - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - piano, drums
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February - March 2016

"Whatever's Right"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Michael Nesmith - backing vocals
  • Peter Tork - keyboards
  • Mike Viola - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass
  • Brian Young - drums
  • Coco Dolenz - backing vocals
  • Bobby Hart - organ/backing vocals
  • Originally recorded during the sessions for More of the Monkees but no tapes of the original recording have been found. It is unknown whether any Monkee vocals were ever recorded for the original version.
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February - March 2016

"Love to Love"

  • Davy Jones - lead vocals
  • Peter Tork - backing vocals
  • Micky Dolenz - backing vocals
  • Al Gorgoni - guitar
  • Don Thomas - guitar
  • Hugh McCracken - guitar
  • Lou Mauro - bass
  • Artie Butler - organ
  • Herb Lovelle - drums
  • Tom Cerone - tambourine
  • Jeff Barry - original producer, original arrrangement
  • Adam Schlesinger - reproducer
  • Ray Hall - original engineer
  • Originally recorded in 1967 for the group's third album (which would become Headquarters), the vocal track was re-recorded by Jones in 1969 for The Monkees Present, but left unreleased until Missing Links Volume Three. In 2016, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork contributed new backing vocals to the 1969 version for inclusion on this album. The original vocal track recorded in 1967 was eventually released on the 2007 re-release of Headquarters. That makes this version unique in that the instrumental track was recorded in 1967, the lead vocal track in 1969, and backing vocal track in 2016, making this song a combination of three different time periods.
  • Recorded at RCA Studio B, New York City, January 21 (11:00 A.M. - 7:00 P.M.) and 24, and February 4 and 5, 1967, and August 5, 1969, and Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016

"Little Girl"

  • Peter Tork - lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Mike Viola - guitar, backing vocals
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass
  • Brian Young - drums
  • Tork notes in the Good Times! CD booklet that he wrote this song with Davy Jones in mind, and had hoped Jones would've sung it.
  • The track should not be confused with another Monkees song "Little Girl" from The Monkees Present which was written by Micky Dolenz.
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016

"Birth of an Accidental Hipster"

  • Michael Nesmith - lead vocals
  • Micky Dolenz - co-lead vocals
  • Coco Dolenz - backing vocals
  • Mike Viola - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass, piano, percussion
  • Brian Young - drums
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February - March 2016

"Wasn't Born to Follow"

  • Peter Tork - lead vocals, banjo
  • Mike Deasy - guitar
  • Dennis Budimir - guitar
  • Al Casey - guitar
  • Max Bennet - bass
  • Michael Melvoin - harpsichord
  • Earl Palmer - drums
  • Stan Leavey - percussion
  • Milt Holland - vibes
  • Originally produced by The Monkees
  • Originally started during the sessions for The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees but previously unfinished or unreleased.
  • Recorded at RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, March 9, 1968, and Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February 2016

"I Know What I Know"

  • Michael Nesmith - lead vocals
  • Adam Schlesinger - piano, bass, guitar, Chamberlin

"I Was There (And I'm Told I Had a Good Time)"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals, drums
  • Adam Schlesinger - piano, bass
  • Mike Viola - guitar
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, February - March 2016

Bonus tracks

"Me & Magdalena" (Version 2)

  • Michael Nesmith - lead vocals, guitar
  • Micky Dolenz - harmony vocals
  • Mike Viola - guitar
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass, organ
  • Brian Young - drums

"Terrifying"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Michael Nesmith - guitar
  • Peter Tork - keyboards
  • Mike Viola - guitar, backing vocals
  • Adam Schlesinger - bass, guitar
  • Brian Young - drums

"Love's What I Want"

  • Micky Dolenz - lead vocals
  • Andrew Sandoval - acoustic six-string & electric 12-string guitars, backing vocals, drums, handclaps
  • Coco Dolenz - backing vocals
  • Erik Paparozzi - bass, electric guitar, backing vocals, handclaps
  • Bobby Hart - organ, handclaps[21]
  • Pete Thomas - drums, percussion, handclaps

"A Better World"

  • Peter Tork - lead vocals, guitar, percussion
  • Micky Dolenz - backing vocals
  • Coco Dolenz - backing vocals
  • Joe Boyle - lead guitar, bass, backing vocals
  • Sturgis Cunningham - drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • Katlin Wolfberg, Corinne Olson, Emily Elkins, Eliza James - strings
  • Produced by Andrew Sandovol
  • Recorded at Lucy's Meat Market, Los Angeles, March 2016

Charts

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[22] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[23] 83
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[24] 167
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[25] 95
Irish Albums (IRMA)[26] 58
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[27] 130
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[28] 10
Scottish Albums (OCC)[29] 24
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 57
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 29
US Billboard 200[32] 14
US Billboard Vinyl Albums [33] 1

References

  1. ^ Greene, Andy (2016-02-05). "The Monkees Plot 50th Anniversary Tour, New LP 'Good Times!'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  2. ^ "The Monkees Plan 50th Anniversary Tour, Will Release New LP, 'Good Times!'". SPIN. 2016-02-05. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  3. ^ a b Pareles, John. "Review: Hey, Hey, the Monkees are Busy Singing Again!". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-05-25.
  4. ^ Rhodes, Clint. "Music review: The Monkees - 'Good Times!'". The Herald-Standard. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
  5. ^ a b Swanson, John. "The Monkees, 'Good Times!': Album Review!". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  6. ^ a b Corr, Alan. "Album review: The Monkees swing back into action". RTÉ. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  7. ^ a b Gill, Andy. "The Monkees, Good Times!, album review: 'Probably the band's best album, after their hits compilation'". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-05-26.
  8. ^ a b Wilson, Lois. "Album Of The Week". Mojo. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  9. ^ a b Rathbone, Oregano. "Delivering the goods". Record Collector. Retrieved 2016-07-01.
  10. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob. "The Monkees's New Album: Good Times!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  11. ^ a b c Divola, Barry. "The Monkees's New Album: Good Times!". Rolling Stone Australia. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  12. ^ a b Raible, Allan. "The Monkees, Beth Orton and Kristin Kontrol and More Music Reviews". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  13. ^ a b Hodgkinson, Will. "Pop: The Monkees: Good Times!". The Times. Retrieved 2016-05-27.
  14. ^ a b Aizlewood, John. "The Monkees - Good Times!, review: 'let down by flat production'". The Evening Standard. Retrieved 2016-06-10.
  15. ^ a b Clayton-Lea, Tony. "The Monkees: Good Times album review - just trying, and failing, to be friendly". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2016-06-01.
  16. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/good-times%21-mw0002916562
  17. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/music/good-times!/the-monkees
  18. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2016". Mojo. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  19. ^ "Zilch #56 Adam Schlesinger & John Hughes talk GOOD TIMES!". Zilch!. 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  20. ^ "How the Monkees Got Their 1960s Groove Back". Rolling Stone. 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
  21. ^ "Deep Dish Radio Interview". Deep Dish Radio Podcast. Powers. Retrieved 13 July 2016. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  22. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The Monkees – Good Times!". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  23. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Monkees – Good Times!" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Monkees – Good Times!" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  25. ^ "The Monkees Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  26. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 23, 2016". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  27. ^ "Oricon Archive - The Monkees". Oricon. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  28. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 18, 2016. Retrieved July 15, 2016.
  29. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Monkees – Good Times!". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  32. ^ "The Monkees Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  33. ^ "Billboard Vinyl Albums Chart". Billboard. September 3, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
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