The Monkees release new album to mark 50 years

The Monkees will release a new album called Good Times! to mark their 50 year anniversary, despite the death of prominent member, Davy Jones in 2012.
The Monkees will release a new album called Good Times! to mark their 50 year anniversary, despite the death of prominent member, Davy Jones in 2012.

The Monkees, the original reality TV stars whose band was conceived as a show, are returning with a new album and tour for their 50th anniversary.

The album announced Friday, entitled Good Times!, will be the first by The Monkees in 20 years and features tracks written by others for the classic band.

The songwriters include legendary singer and contemporary Neil Diamond as well as prominent alternative rockers such as Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and Ben Gibbard, frontman of Death Cab for Cutie.

The album, which comes out on June 10, comes despite the death of The Monkees' most prominent member, Davy Jones, in 2012, although the band said that his voice will still appear on one song.

Only two of the original Monkees will take part in the tour - Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork. The third surviving member, Michael Nesmith, participated in the album but will not tour.

Nesmith has had friction with the bandmates over the years as he grew disgruntled with the band's overwhelming commercial nature and the artistic control over the group.

Conceived as Beatlemania swept the United States, The Monkees starred in a television show from 1966 to 1968 about four men trying to make it as rockers in Los Angeles.

The Monkees released a string of hits while the show was on the air including Last Train to Clarksville, Daydream Believer and I'm a Believer, which was written by Diamond.

The band eventually grew out of the television show and created its own music, enjoying a revival starting in the late 1980s.

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The band has periodically toured without releasing new material, even after Jones' death.

The latest tour will open on May 18 in Fort Myers, Florida and continue with breaks throughout the United States and Canada before closing on October 29 at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania.

- AAP

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