Continuing a 50-year legacy of smiling along to the music of others, legendary TV-cast-turned-musical-superstars The Monkees have announced a new album, complete with songs penned by the likes of Noel Gallagher, Rivers Cuomo, and Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard. Titled Good Times—from an old Harry Nilsson track that the group intends to turn into a “virtual duet” with Micky Dolenz—the album is set to release just in time for the 50th anniversary of the band’s self-titled debut.
The Monkees have toured and worked together off-and-on for the last half-century, with the last major resurgence coming when Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, and Peter Tork reunited in the wake of the 2012 death of Davy Jones. This latest collaboration—which largely seems to be coming from Dolenz and Tork, at the moment—was prompted by Rhino Entertainment, which owns the band’s trademark. According to Dolenz, the company is currently high on the idea of The Monkees, telling Rolling Stone that executives “said they wanted us to make a new album, and they spelled out the exact kind of album that would go down well with the 50th anniversary and with our fans,” because not even 50 years of touring will grant Micky Dolenz agency over his own musical life.
The record’s producer—soundtrack composer and songwriter Adam Schlessinger—was responsible for soliciting the various high-profile artists who’ve contributed work to the still-unfinalized disc. For his part, Dolenz admitted ignorance of many of the performers in question, but said that after some research, “I realized that the whole indie rock scene is all about recapturing that 1960s jangly guitar sound of the Monkees, amongst many other groups, of course.”
Besides the songs written by The Monkees’ clear musical descendants (and the Nilsson track), the new record will also feature a spattering of original Monkees recordings, mostly collected from the band’s early days, when they engaged in a running war to actually be allowed to record the music being released under their own names. Good Times is currently slated for a June 10 release.