The vast majority of the new Monkees holiday album Christmas Party was produced by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, but on the two tracks where Michael Nesmith sings lead (“The Christmas Song” and “Snowfall”) he instead worked with his sons Christian and Jonathan. Here’s a new animated video for “The Christmas Song” that was directed by Jonathan Nesmith, though the song itself was produced by Christian.
The video takes place in the surreal, psychedelic world of the Monkees TV show at Christmas time, complete with their mascot Mr. Schneider wearing a Santa hat, Davy Jones dodging kisses under a mistletoe and the four members of the group wrapping up presents while dressed as elves. It’s bookended by Nesmith and Micky Dolenz chatting about the holiday and taking a boat ride through the cartoon world.
Christmas Party — which features songs by Rivers Cuomo, Alex Chilton and Andy Partridge — arrived in stores on October 12th. “The idea of doing a Monkees Christmas album had been floating for 50 years,” Dolenz tells Rolling Stone. “After the success of Good Times! the idea got re-kindled. Then it all came together very quickly.”
Monkees guitarist Peter Tork only appears on a single song on Christmas Party and hasn’t played with the band since 2016. “There’s a lot of stuff going ’round, and I want to let you all know how it is for me,” he wrote in an October Facebook message in response to rumors about his health. “While it is true that my health has required a little more attention these days, I’m feeling pretty good … Thanks for your good wishes. This is a private time and I won’t be posting updates.”
The Monkees Featuring Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz are playing a series of American dates in March and then heading to Australia and New Zealand in June. The latter shows will mark Nesmith’s first appearance there as a Monkee since 1968.