Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Is My Time Of Year 1976

1971 marked the year that was to be the last release of a Monkees single with the 45 of "Do It In The Name Of Love." The legal rights for them to use the name the Monkees had expired and it was released under the names of the two remaining monkees Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones. For the next few years there would be unofficial Monkee reunions, mostly behind the scenes. Mike had a successful solo career in country music and Davy was trying to keep his career going as a teen pop star as well as on the stage. In 1976 Davy and Micky formed Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart. They had a successful tour of Japan and small venues in the USA as well as a well received album. Around this time Peter started to rejoin them by appearing in a couple of their concerts. Eventually they decided to release a Christmas single for their fans. 
Stories of Mike Nesmith being involved are as different as night and day. Some say that with Nesmith in a successful solo career that he didn't want anything to do with a Monkees reunion. Nesmith's solo career was starting on its downside at this time but maybe he just wanted to focus on getting it back on track. A different point of view is from Peter who said that Mike had not been asked to join in on any of the reunions at that point. Another rumor is that Mike was on this Christmas single playing the Steel Guitar but not credited when it was released. That is the one I like to believe but I have no idea if it is true.
The song was co-written by the Turtles Howard Kaylan and produced by former Monkees producer Chip Douglas. The B side is Davy Jones preforming White Christmas. Davy's version of White Christmas was re-released in 1986 after Chip Douglas did some additional over dubs. While the picture sleeve says We Three Monkees, it was officially released as Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as they still couldn't call themselves the Monkees for legal reasons.  With the release of this song it was the first Monkees single to be released since 1971. While the Monkees version is the most popular it was done before in the 1960's by a group called Christmas Spirit.
Here is a video that has what I believe is the song by the group Christmas Spirit.

Chip Douglas' has a smooth and easy to listen to production style that is timeless. This song would fit well on any of the Monkees albums he produced in the 60's or any that they have done since. While it had limited release in 1976 it has been on many Christmas compilation albums over the years.
Here is the song that was relased in 1976. Have a Merry Christmas everybody.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Five star review for Last Train to Murder has another five star review for Last Tra to murder.