Come April, Micky Dolenz will be returning to a place where he hasn’t appeared in 33 years. No, the performing mainstay won’t be discovering some new, far-flung venue. But he will be returning to the single shelves of record store racks with his first 45 RPM release since 1983. 7a Records, the label responsible for Dolenz’s The MGM Singles Collection and the recent An Evening with Peter Noone and Micky Dolenz, will release “Chance of a Lifetime” b/w “Living on Lies” in conjunction with Europe’s Record Store Day festivities on Saturday, April 16.
The label has confirmed that “Chance of a Lifetime” b/w “Livin’ on Lies” is on the exclusive Record Store Day lists for the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Micky’s fans in the United States needn’t fear missing out, though. One week later, the single will be released to U.S. retailers including Ernie B’s.
Between 1971 and 1974, Micky Dolenz (with a little help from his friends!) released ten single sides on MGM Records and its affiliated Lion and Romar labels; those rare tracks were collected by 7a on The MGM Singles Collection last year. Following his stint with MGM, Micky kept busy. Among his activities, he reteamed with his old Monkees cohorts in Dolenz, Jones, Boyce and Hart, issued a one-off Christmas single with Jones and Tork (1976’s “Christmas is My Time of Year”) and co-starred with Davy Jones in a London stage production of their pal Harry Nilsson’s The Point! at the Mermaid Theatre. More solo singles arrived sporadically, on labels including Chrysalis, The Japanese All-Around Music Company (JAM), and A&M. For the latter, in 1983, Micky recorded “Tomorrow” from Paul Williams’ score to the movie musical Bugsy Malone. Before long, though, The Monkees were back on Micky’s mind. The success of the 1986 single “That Was Then, This is Now” by Dolenz and Tork spurred on further Monkees activity, and despite some breaks over the years, the group is still active today. A new album (featuring surviving members Dolenz, Tork, and Nesmith, plus a vintage vocal from Jones) and a new tour (with Dolenz and Tork only) are both on the way.
7a’s single release is pressed on clear vinyl and premieres two tracks recorded by Micky in the late 1990s (the exact recording dates are unclear today). Both sides were written by the artist with producers Mike Slamer and Tom Deluca, but when a full album didn’t materialize from the team, the tracks were shelved. Both sides are high-energy, guitar-driven productions designed to recall The Monkees’ classic sound in a modern setting that’s closer to the spirit and style of the original records than, say, Pool It!. The uptempo rocker “Chance of a Lifetime” evokes Micky’s old band with a riff straight out of Clarksville (“Last Train,” that is!) and a chugging beat, even as the lyrics root the singer in the present. The flip, “Livin’ on Lies,” is a bit edgier, but just as infectious as the A-side.
The 45 RPM single is strikingly designed and packaged in a sturdy gatefold. The interior boasts entertaining new liner notes from 7a’s Iain Lee as well as photographs from Henry Diltz and others. For extra protection, the single itself is housed in its own durable sleeve adorned with the label’s logo; the deluxe treatment throughout goes well beyond the usual standard today for single releases.
Micky Dolenz’s new single arrives from 7a on Record Store Day, April 16, in select European countries and hits the U.S. one week later at Ernie B’s and other retailers. Watch this space for more information on Micky, The Monkees, and 7a Records as it develops!