Hey, hey, it's the holidays! Okay, so we may be jumping ahead - give Halloween and Thanksgiving their due - but the record industry always gets a head start when it comes to announcing seasonal music releases and this one is worth adding to your wish list. The Monkees have announced their first holiday album, entitled Christmas Party, and it's due Oct.12.
Much like The Monkees’ last album, 2016’s critically beloved Good Times!, which featured songs written by Weezer's Rivers Cuomo, XTC's Andy Partidge, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, and others, this winter wonder disc features plenty of special guest help, and was produced by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger.
The 13-track collection features repeat contributions from Cuomo (he wrote "What Would Santa Do?") and Partridge ("Unwrap You At Christmas") as well as new collaborators like R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, The Minus 5’s Scott McCaughey, and novelist Michael Chabon. The latter worked with Schlesinger on a new song, “House of Broken Gingerbread,” while Buck and McCaughey wrote the title track; both of them play on the song “Jesus Christ.”
Naturally, the new album consists largely of vocals from the three living Monkees - Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, and Peter Tork - but again, as on Good Times!, some previously-recorded Davy Jones tracks have allowed the late teen idol, who passed away in 2012, to appear. You'll hear him performing “Silver Bells” and “Mele Kalikimaka" with newly recorded music.
Christmas Party includes two songs with Nesmith on lead vocals (“The Christmas Song” and “Snowfall”) but, alas, Nez did not write any new material for this album. Considering his past year included a tour with Dolenz, which was cut short when Nesmith needed quadruple-bypass heart surgery, only a grinch would complain. (Glad you're feeling better, Mike!)
Along with the new material, The Monkees bring the merriment on a number of Christmas classics and a few cool cover tunes. The full track listing for Christmas Party is below.
Christmas Party Track List:
Unwrap You at Christmas
What Would Santa Do
House of Broken Gingerbread
The Christmas Song
Jesus Christ (Big Star cover)
I Wish it Could Be Christmas Every Day (Wizzard cover)
Wonderful Christmastime (Paul McCartney cover)
Angels We Have Heard on High
Merry Christmas, Baby