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The Monkees' Micky Dolenz Drops EP Of R.E.M. Covers

4 November 2023 | 10:57 am | Mary Varvaris

"What a joy to sing these classics and honour a team of outstanding writers."

Micky Dolenz & R.E.M.

Micky Dolenz & R.E.M. (Source: Supplied)

Two months after Micky Dolenz (of The Monkees fame) announced that he’d be releasing an EP of R.E.M. covers, that EP is here.

Dolenz Sings R.E.M. features new, completely rearranged versions of the band’s classics, including Shiny Happy People (from 1991’s Out Of Time), Radio Free Europe (Murmur, 1983), Man On The Moon (Automatic For The People, 1992), and Leaving New York (Around The Sun, 2004).

Upon hearing Dolenz’s version of Shiny Happy People back in September, The Music remarked, “On Dolenz’s version of the track, he slows things right down and gives it a bluesy twist, with a piano and chimes leading to bouncy, cheerful vocals.”

Dolenz Sings R.E.M. is out now via 7A Records, available on yellow vinyl, signed CD, and unsigned CD. You can purchase a copy of the EP here.

Tonight in Athens, GA. with most of R.E.M. Bill Berry, Peter Buck,and Michael Stipe

Posted by Micky Dolenz on Thursday, November 2, 2023

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The EP has left the members of R.E.M. stunned, with singer Michael Stipe writing upon the project’s announcement, “These songs are absolutely incredible. Micky Dolenz covering R.E.M. Monkees style, I have died and gone to heaven. This is really something.”

“I’ve been listening to Micky’s singing since I was nine years old,” guitarist Peter Buck commented in a press release. “It’s unreal to hear that very voice, adding new depth to songs we’ve written ourselves and inhabiting them so completely.”

Bassist Mike Mills added, “That voice—one of the main voices of my musical awakening—singing our songs… It is beyond awesome. Let’s help make this as huge as we possibly can. I am beyond thrilled.”

Dolenz said of the release, “Once again, this EP reaffirms my long-held conviction that a solid recording always begins with solid material. You don’t get much more solid than R.E.M. What a joy to sing these classics and honour a team of outstanding writers.”

Last December, Stipe said his first solo album “should come together” throughout 2023. The Losing My Religion singer was quiet for years following the group's amicable disbandment in 2011.

In October 2019, he quietly returned with his first glitchy solo single, Your Capricious Soul. He followed the song with another single, Drive To The Ocean, released on his 60th birthday on 4 January 2020. He released another track that year, No Time For Love Like Now, recorded with Big Red Machine (aka Bon Iver and The National's Aaron Dessner).

Also, in 2022, Stipe released the world's first ever commercially available bioplastic vinyl.