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The Monkees

American rock and pop band

The Monkees

American rock and pop band
ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
Biography

The Monkees are an American rock and pop band originally active between 1966 and 1971, with reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed. Their original line-up consisted of the American actor/musicians Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork with English actor/singer Davy Jones. The group was conceived in 1965 by television producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider specifically for the situation comedy series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968. The band’s music was initially supervised by record producer Don Kirshner, backed by the songwriting duo of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
The four actor/musicians were initially allowed only limited roles in the recording studio for the first few months of their five-year career as “the Monkees”. This was due in part to the amount of time required to film the television series. All four contributed lead vocals to various tracks. Their self-titled debut album was, in its majority, produced by Boyce and Hart, with their studio band, the Candy Store Prophets, recording the backing tracks. Nonetheless, Nesmith composed and produced some songs from the beginning, and Tork contributed limited guitar work on the sessions produced by Nesmith. The follow-up album, More of the Monkees, had Kirshner dismissing Boyce and Hart in favor of his own stable of songwriters and producers, who recorded the album using The Wrecking Crew and other session musicians, and with very little input of the band members.
The Monkees, principally Nesmith, became dissatisfied with the process of vocalizing in pre-recorded backing tracks. Eventually, Screen Gems, the Monkees’s TV production company, would fire Kirshner for releasing a single without its authorization, and the Monkees finally had the right to write and record their own music with producer Chip Douglas, dividing their time between acting for the TV show and recording for the albums and singles. Their third album, Headquarters, featured the band playing most of the instruments, with only the aid of Douglas and few other players. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. used a greater extent of session musicians. The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees saw the Monkees dropping Douglas to produce the records themselves. Starting with this album, they decided not to record as a unit anymore, pursuing their own individual interests in music.
Following the television show’s cancellation and the commercial flop of their film Head and its soundtrack album in 1968, Tork left the band, alleging exhaustion. The trio of Dolenz, Jones and Nesmith continued to record a few more albums and touring until Nesmith’s exit, in 1971, to focus on his own solo project. Dolenz and Jones recorded a last album, the bubblegum Changes, before breaking up.
A revival of interest in the television show came in 1986, which led to a series of reunion tours and new records. The group has reunited and toured several times since then with different line-ups (but always containing Micky Dolenz and at least one of the other original members) and with varying degrees of success. Jones died in February 2012 and Tork died in February 2019. Between those deaths, the album Good Times! was released and received good reviews. Dolenz and Nesmith remain active members of the group. In May 2021, The Monkees announced their farewell tour set for the fall season consisting of Dolenz and Nesmith.
Dolenz described The Monkees as initially being “a TV show about an imaginary band… that wanted to be the Beatles that was never successful”. Ironically, the success of the show led to the actor-musicians becoming one of the most successful bands of the 1960s. The Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide making them one of the biggest-selling groups of all time with international hits, including “Last Train to Clarksville”, “I’m a Believer”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, and “Daydream Believer”, and four chart-topping albums. Newspapers and magazines reported that the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined in 1967, but Nesmith admitted in his autobiography Infinite Tuesday that it was a lie that he told a reporter.

Associated Acts

The Beatles The Who Jimi Hendrix Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart The Monkees Present: The Mike and Micky Show Shoe Suede Blues

Genres

Pop rock psychedelic pop folk rock

Origin

Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Website
Years Active

1966 1971 1976 1986 1989 1996 1997 2001 2002 2010 present

Name

The Monkees

Nationality

United States of America

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