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The Monkees|Christmas Party

Christmas Party

The Monkees

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It may be hard to believe, but 2018's Christmas Party is the first Christmas record the Monkees ever released. Chalk this up to the band breaking up in 1970, long before Christmas records were common among rockers, but 2018 is also the right time for the Monkees to deliver a Christmas record because the group figured out how to make the right kind of modern Monkees album with 2016's Good Times! A clever combination of made-to-order originals and gussied-up old recordings, the Adam Schlesinger-produced Good Times! managed to feel simultaneously fresh and familiar, a combination that lends itself well to holiday albums. Christmas Party contains many of the same collaborators as Good Times! -- Schlesinger returns as producer and he co-wrote "House of Broken Gingerbread" with Michael Chabon, while Andy Partridge, Rivers Cuomo, and Peter Buck & Scott McCaughey all deliver new songs -- and it has the same feel, blurring the lines between the past and present so thoroughly that it no longer matters to discover where they're separated. Schlesinger's presence is also a tell that Christmas Party leans into power pop: the back half contains versions of Alex Chilton's "Jesus Christ," Roy Wood's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day," and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," each sounding at home in this smartly self-referential version of the Monkees. If the two Davy Jones songs aren't as successful as those on Good Times!, it's only because the tracks date from somewhere after the '60s, so he's not as boyish as he sounded on the last record. Then again, both Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork carry their ages well, helping to give this a nice sentimental undercurrent, while Micky Dolenz remains something of a small wonder. All these years later, he sounds cheerful and committed singing these songs, acting out the Partridge, Cuomo, and Buck & McCaughey songs with gusto, and his enthusiasm is infectious. He's having a great time, as is everybody else making the record, and it's hard for the listener at home not to smile too.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Christmas Party

The Monkees

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1
Unwrap You at Christmas
00:03:32

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, MixingEngineer - Andy Partridge, Writer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Richard Dodd, Cello - Daphne Chen, Arranger, Violin - Eric Gorfain, Violin - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Leah Katz, Viola - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

2
What Would Santa Do
00:03:15

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Guitar, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Rivers Cuomo, Writer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

3
Mele Kalikimaka
00:02:25

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Davy Jones, Lead Vocals - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Chip Douglas, Producer, Guitar, Ukulele - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - Robert Alex Anderson, Writer - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

4
House of Broken Gingerbread
00:02:51

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals, Writer, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Michael Chabon, Writer - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

5
The Christmas Song
00:03:40

Michael Nesmith, Lead Vocals - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Mel TORME, Writer - Robert Wells, Writer - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Ian Walker, Upright Bass - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Dan Piscina, Engineer - Pete Finney, Pedal Steel Guitar - Christopher Allis, Drums - Christian Nesmith, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, MixingEngineer, VocalArranger - Circe Link, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

6
Christmas Party
00:03:05

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - PETER BUCK, Electric Guitar, Writer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - SCOTT MCCAUGHEY, Electric Guitar - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Scott McCoughey, Writer - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

7
Jesus Christ
00:02:37

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Alex Chilton, Composer - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

8
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
00:03:31

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Roy Wood, Writer - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

9
Silver Bells
00:03:27

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Jay Livingston, Writer - Davy Jones, Lead Vocals - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Chip Douglas, Producer - Ray Evans, Writer - Richard Dodd, Cello - Daphne Chen, Arranger, Violin - Eric Gorfain, Violin - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Leah Katz, Viola - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

10
Wonderful Christmastime
00:03:33

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Bass Guitar, Piano, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Paul Mccartney, Composer, Writer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

11
Snowfall
00:02:55

Ruth Thornhill, Writer - Michael Nesmith, Lead Vocals - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Claude Thornhill, Writer - Dan Piscina, Engineer - Jonathan Nesmith, Producer, Arranger, Keyboards, Background Vocals, All Instruments, MixingEngineer - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

12
Angels We Have Heard on High
00:02:48

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, MixingEngineer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Traditional, Composer - Peter Tork, Banjo, Production, Lead Vocals - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - James Lee Stanley, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Production - Dan Piscina, Engineer - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

13
Merry Christmas, Baby
00:02:57

Adam Schlesinger, Producer, Guitar, Piano, MixingEngineer - Lou Baxter, Writer - The Monkees, MainArtist - Ryan Smith, MasteringEngineer - Micky Dolenz, Lead Vocals - JOHNNY MOORE, Writer - Pete Min, Engineer - John Hughes, ExecutiveProducer - Andrew Schwartz, Engineer - Brian Young, Drums, Percussion - Michael Eisenstein, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar - Dan Piscina, Engineer - David Mead, Backing Vocals - Judy Elliot-Brown, Engineer

© 2018 Rhino Entertainment Company, a Warner Music Group Company. All Rights Reserved. ℗ 2018 Rhino Entertainment

Album Description

It may be hard to believe, but 2018's Christmas Party is the first Christmas record the Monkees ever released. Chalk this up to the band breaking up in 1970, long before Christmas records were common among rockers, but 2018 is also the right time for the Monkees to deliver a Christmas record because the group figured out how to make the right kind of modern Monkees album with 2016's Good Times! A clever combination of made-to-order originals and gussied-up old recordings, the Adam Schlesinger-produced Good Times! managed to feel simultaneously fresh and familiar, a combination that lends itself well to holiday albums. Christmas Party contains many of the same collaborators as Good Times! -- Schlesinger returns as producer and he co-wrote "House of Broken Gingerbread" with Michael Chabon, while Andy Partridge, Rivers Cuomo, and Peter Buck & Scott McCaughey all deliver new songs -- and it has the same feel, blurring the lines between the past and present so thoroughly that it no longer matters to discover where they're separated. Schlesinger's presence is also a tell that Christmas Party leans into power pop: the back half contains versions of Alex Chilton's "Jesus Christ," Roy Wood's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day," and Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime," each sounding at home in this smartly self-referential version of the Monkees. If the two Davy Jones songs aren't as successful as those on Good Times!, it's only because the tracks date from somewhere after the '60s, so he's not as boyish as he sounded on the last record. Then again, both Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork carry their ages well, helping to give this a nice sentimental undercurrent, while Micky Dolenz remains something of a small wonder. All these years later, he sounds cheerful and committed singing these songs, acting out the Partridge, Cuomo, and Buck & McCaughey songs with gusto, and his enthusiasm is infectious. He's having a great time, as is everybody else making the record, and it's hard for the listener at home not to smile too.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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