On July 13, the newly-formed label – a labor of love for BBC radio and television presenter Iain Lee – will release Micky Dolenz’s The MGM Singles Collection on vinyl. This collection reissues for the first time all ten single sides released between 1971 and 1974 by Dolenz on the MGM, Lion and Romar labels. That Lee and his partner at 7A are Monkees fans is an understatement; even the label’s name is derived from the studio chatter preceding the band’s recording of “Daydream Believer.”
This 180-gram blue transparent vinyl gatefold release is a limited edition of 400 units. It includes all of Dolenz’s original MGM singles, or 10 songs out of the 28 tracks he recorded while at MGM and its various affiliated imprints. Micky himself has participated in an exclusive interview for this project, which is included along with a 12-inch, 12-page booklet featuring newly-penned liner notes and never-before-published photos by legendary photographer and Southern California rock chronicler Henry Diltz. All of the recordings have been transferred from the original master tapes housed in the Universal vaults, except for two tracks where the original masters could no longer be located. These two tracks have been restored from original vinyl sources.
In its press release, 7A notes, “These songs are an over looked part of Monkees history. They show Micky’s versatility as a songwriter, a musician and also show just how a good his voice has always been!” Among the tracks included is a rendition of “Daybreak,” written, arranged and conducted by Dolenz’ pal Harry Nilsson; “A Lover’s Prayer” written by Randy Newman; a medley of classic Buddy Holly tunes; and two sides (“Easy on You” b/w “Oh Someone”) with Peter Tork helping out on arrangements. Two sides from Micky’s collaboration with Michael Lloyd as Starship have also been included.
Dolenz has actively participated in the creation of this release, too. 7A states of the artist, “He’s been wonderful although he was more than a little surprised that two fans [Lee and Glenn Gretlund] in the U.K. were doing this! As he said to the executive producers of this project, ‘I am incredibly surprised, and very flattered, and honored – I am very glad that some of this stuff is being listened to! I liked it, at the time! And I’m glad that other people do. It’s fantastic.” Indeed, Dolenz produced some adventurous work at MGM; fellow Monkee Davy Jones also landed at the label during this period.
The MGM Singles Collection is currently only available as a vinyl release. For those looking for another format, however, don’t fear. The label promises that “once this vinyl run has sold out, we will release the album as a digital download. Don’t worry, the 12-page booklet will also be available to download and we are investigating the possibility of bonus tracks. One definite thing we can promise for the download version is the audio of the interview with Micky, another world exclusive. We are also looking at the feasibility of a CD release.”
Further Monkees projects are in the pipeline from 7A. “We aim to supply material from various Monkees members, as well as those closely connected with them. We are currently talking to various people and sorting out licensing rights,” says the label. Over at The Steve Hoffman Forums, Iain Lee has also revealed that “I’m also in the very early stages of looking at a Turtles release. I’ve been speaking to Howard Kaylan about either a CD boxset or a series of album reissues on CD. The problem is – while he has all the released stuff, we are struggling to find any unreleased Turtles stuff – demos, outtakes, studio chatter, live stuff….if anyone can help please pop over to www.facebook.com/turtlesrarities or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
You can watch an “unboxing” video of Micky Dolenz’s The MGM Singles Collection at 7A’s Facebook page. Looking at this deluxe release, chances are you’ll be a believer, too! While the LP is currently only pre-ordering at Amazon U.K. (available to ship everywhere), 7A indicates that it will be available at Amazon U.S. after its release date. Don’t miss the last train to Clarksville; You can pre-order this July 13 release just below, and watch this space for more information on the label’s upcoming projects!
Micky Dolenz, The MGM Singles Collection (7A Records, 2015) (Amazon U.S. TBD / Amazon U.K.)
- Easy On You (MGM K 14309, 1971)
- Oh Someone (MGM K 14309, 1971)
- Unattended In The Dungeon (MGM K 14395, 1972)
- A Lover’s Prayer (MGM K 14395, 1972)
- Johnny B. Goode (as Starship, Lead Vocal: Michael Lloyd) (Lion 132, 1972)
- It’s Amazing To Me (as Starship) (Lion 132, 1972)
- Daybreak (MGM/Romar RO-710, 1973)
- Love War (MGM/Romar RO-710, 1973)
- Buddy Holly Tribute: Peggy Sue / Every Day / Maybe Baby / That’ll Be The Day (Romar/MGM RO-715, 1974)
- Ooh She’s Young (Romar/MGM RO-715, 1974)