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Dolenz, the sole surviving member of The Monkees, shared that the four-track EP will be titled ‘Dolenz Sings R.E.M’. Alongside ‘Shiny Happy People’, the other three songs will be ‘Radio Free Europe’, ‘Man on the Moon’ and ‘Leaving New York’.
According to an interview with Rolling Stone, the project came about as a result of a conversation Dolenz had with 7A Records co-owner Glenn Gretlund. “I was talking to Glenn about what to do next. The band R.E.M. came up. I went, ‘Wow, that’s very cool.’ I’m a big fan… And I’ve heard through the grapevine that the band were fans of The Monkees. I found that incredibly flattering,” Dolenz said.
While creating the EP, The Monkees frontman said he did not want it to feel like he was doing karaoke. “My first instinct was to go back and listen to all their songs,” he explained. “Fortunately, I caught myself. I said, ‘Wait a minute. I do not want to make a karaoke version of this music. If I listen to these songs over and over, it’ll be very difficult to not just do somebody else’s vocal.’ That was my overall approach. I didn’t listen before going to the studio.”
R.E.M frontman Michael Stipe shared his excitement for the covers EP. “These songs are absolutely incredible. Micky Dolenz covering R.E.M. Monkees style, I have died and gone to heaven,” Stipe said to Rolling Stone. “‘Shiny Happy People’ sounds incredible (never thought you or I would hear me say that!!!). Give it a spin. It’s wild… I am finally complete.”
‘Dolenz Sings R.E.M’ is set for release on November 3 via 7A Records. It will be available on a special yellow vinyl pressing. Pre-order the EP here.
‘Dolenz Sings R.E.M.’ track list is:
1. ‘Shiny Happy People’
2. ‘Radio Free Europe’
3. ‘Man on the Moon’
4. ‘Leaving New York’
Dolez has previously worked with R.E.M.’s guitarist Peter Buck. He co-wrote the title track for The Monkees’ final album, ‘Christmas Party’, and appeared on the record.
Elsewhere, the sole-surviving Monkees member will embark on a handful of tour dates to honour his late bandmates. Check out the full list of tour dates below and visit here for tickets.
Micky Dolenz honouring The Monkees 2023 tour dates are:
14 – Modesto, CA, Gallo Center for the Arts
15 – Ojai, CA, The Libbey Bowl
18 – Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up
22 – Los Angeles, CA, The Ace Hotel
10 – New Philadelphia, OH, Kent State Performing Arts Center
11 – Tiffin, OH, The Ritz Theatre
13 – St. Charles, MO, The Family Arena
14 – Des Plaines, IL, Des Plaines Theatre
15 – St. Charles, IL, Arcada Theatre
27 – Angola, IN, T. Furth Performing Arts Center