Christmas Party (the Monkees album)

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Christmas Party
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 12, 2018 (2018-10-12)
Recorded2018
GenrePop rock, Christmas music
LabelRhino
ProducerAdam Schlesinger, Christian Nesmith, Jonathan Nesmith
the Monkees chronology
Good Times!
(2016)
Christmas Party
(2018)

Christmas Party is the thirteenth album by the Monkees. Produced mainly by Adam Schlesinger (with Michael Nesmith's tracks produced by his sons Christian and Jonathan), the album is the Monkees' first to focus on Christmas music. It follows on the success of their 2016 album Good Times! The two-year gap is the shortest between albums since the 1969/1970 releases of The Monkees Present and Changes. The album features surviving Monkees Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork, as well as two posthumous contributions from Davy Jones.[1] It is the final Monkees album to be released prior to Tork's death in February 2019.

The album features a mix of covers of earlier Christmas songs (from "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Wonderful Christmastime" to the relatively obscure "Jesus Christ" originally by Big Star) and new holiday tunes written specifically for the album by several Good Times! contributors, including XTC's Andy Partridge, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and Schlesinger. [2] The Target store exclusive version features two additional tracks, "Riu Chiu" and "Christmas Is My Time of Year," vintage recordings from the group remastered and remixed by original Monkees producer Chip Douglas. [3]

Cover[edit]

The album cover was illustrated by comics artist Michael Allred. Allred, a lifetime Monkees fan, recalled: "I can't even remember doing it now. I was on a crazy high trying to squeeze everything I could into it."[4]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
The Guardian3/5 stars[5]
The Arts Desk3/5 stars[6]
The LA Times2.5/4 stars[7]

The album received a mixed review in The Guardian, who described it as 'a curious hodgepodge' and gave it three out of five stars. The same score was given by The Arts Desk who described it as 'a mixed bag of covers and original songs and some of it is a bit cheesy'. The Los Angeles Times gave the album ** 1/2 out of four stars, stating 'the big calling card may well be two vocals that Davy Jones recorded in 1991 and that are newly outfitted in fresh instrumental accompaniment pulled together by album producer Adam Schlesinger.' Variety didn't give the album a score, but described it as feeling 'mostly like a Micky Dolenz solo album — co-produced by Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger — that happens to have a few odd interjections from Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and, yes, the late Davy Jones.' [8]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition[9]
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalistLength
1."Unwrap You at Christmas"Andy PartridgeMicky Dolenz3:33
2."What Would Santa Do"Rivers CuomoMicky Dolenz3:13
3."Mele Kalikimaka"Robert Alexander AndersonDavy Jones2:26
4."House of Broken Gingerbread"Michael Chabon and Adam SchlesingerMicky Dolenz2:55
5."The Christmas Song"Bob Wells and Mel TorméMichael Nesmith3:41
6."Christmas Party (features audio sourced from The Monkees episode "The Christmas Show", filmed November 22, 1967)"Peter Buck and Scott McCaugheyMicky Dolenz3:04
7."Jesus Christ"Alex ChiltonMicky Dolenz2:37
8."I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day"Roy WoodMicky Dolenz3:31
9."Silver Bells"Jay Livingston and Ray EvansDavy Jones3:22
10."Wonderful Christmastime"Paul McCartneyMicky Dolenz3:33
11."Snowfall"Claude ThornhillMichael Nesmith2:57
12."Angels We Have Heard on High"traditional, lyrics by James ChadwickPeter Tork2:49
13."Merry Christmas, Baby"Lou Baxter and Johnny MooreMicky Dolenz2:56

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
US Billboard Top Albums 66[12]
US Billboard Holiday Album Sales 2[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Monkees To Release Christmas Party, Their First Ever Holiday Album". monkees.com. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  2. ^ "Micky Dolenz Breaks Down the Monkees' New Christmas Album". rollingstone.com. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  3. ^ "Zilch #124 Monkees Christmas Party News". zilchmonkeescast.blogspot.com. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-10-12.
  4. ^ "MIKE ALLRED Talks New MONKEES Album Project". 13thdimension.com. 2018-09-24.
  5. ^ Hann, Michael. "The Monkees: Christmas Party review – festive mishmash best when guests chime in". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ Oddy, Guy. "Wake up Sleepy Jean, the Monkees are back to spread some Christmas cheer". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 2019-01-08.
  7. ^ Lewis, Randy. "This year's essential Christmas albums ranked, from 'Shatner Claus' to the irresistible JD McPherson". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  8. ^ Willman, Chris. "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Spotify: 15 New Holiday Albums Reviewed, From John Legend to William Shatner". Variety. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  9. ^ "The Monkees Announce Christmas Album with Rivers Cuomo, Peter Buck, Andy Partridge, & More". SPIN. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  10. ^ Duquette, Mike (2018-09-20). "Wonderful Christmastime: The Monkees' "Christmas Party" Arrives In October". The Second Disc. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  11. ^ "The Christmas Show" at monkeestv3.tripod.com
  12. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/The-Monkees/chart-history/top-album-sales
  13. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/The-Monkees/chart-history/XHL