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TWO JEWS CHEW ON
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Critics' Choice
MONKEES RETURN TO THE TOP 10
6/6/16

By Phil Gallo

The Monkees reverted to the methodology of their days under Don Kirshner’s tutelage and delivered their highest charting album since 1968.

Good Times, their first album in 20 years, is #8 on the HITS Building Album Sales Chart, making it Rhino’s highest chart debut since the Frank Sinatra compilation Nothing But the Best came out in 2012 an debuted at #3.

During The Monkees mid- to late-'80s revival their highest chart position was the compilation Then, which hit #24. Their last album, 1996’s Justus—also on Rhino—did not chart. At their peak—1966-’68 when NBC aired The Monkees —they registered four straight #1 albums and saw The Birds, the Bees and the Monkees hit #3.

For Good Times!, songwriters were enlisted to write specifically for the Monkees much in the way Neil Diamond, Carole King & Gerry Goffin and Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart did during their '60s heyday.

Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard penned the lead single  “Me & Magdalena,” XTC’s Andy Partridge handed in “You Bring the Summer,”  Rivers Cuomo penned “She Makes Me Laugh” and the Brits Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller co-wrote “Birth of an Accidental Hipster.”

In addition, album producer Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne collaborated with Mickey Dolenz, while Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork contributed a song each. 

The chart success inspired Rhino President Mark Pinkus to rent a fleet of red 1966 GTO convertibles for the label staff to cruise down the PCH.