Micky Dolenz, the last surviving member of the Monkees, is releasing an R.E.M. covers EP. Dolenz Sings R.E.M. will be out at the beginning of November, and he’s kicking off the rollout with a cover of “Shiny Happy People.”
“Once again, this EP reaffirms my long-held conviction that a solid recording always begins with solid material,” Dolenz said in a statement. “You don’t get much more solid than R.E.M. What a joy to sing these classics and honor a team of outstanding writers.”
The Monkees were an influence on R.E.M., and Dolenz has some recent history with some of the band members: Peter Buck co-wrote and plays guitar on the title track of Christmas Party, the final Monkees album, which came out in 2018.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dolenz said 7A Records co-owner Glenn Gretlund came up with the idea of covering R.E.M.: “I was talking to Glenn about what to do next. The band R.E.M. came up. I went, ‘Wow, that’s very cool.’ I’m a big fan. I remember their stuff very well. And I’ve heard through the grapevine that the band were fans of the Monkees. I found that incredibly flattering.”
Dolenz’s covers EP has the Michael Stipe seal of approval, via RS:
These songs are absolutely incredible. Micky Dolenz covering R.E.M. Monkees style, I have died and gone to heaven. This is really something. ‘Shiny Happy People’ sounds incredible (never thought you or I would hear me say that!!!). Give it a spin. It’s wild. And produced by Christian Nesmith (son of Michael Nesmith). I am finally complete.
Listen to the cover of “Shiny Happy People” below.
Dolenz Sings R.E.M. is out 11/3 via 7A Records.