There has never been a bonafide Monkees Christmas album, only a few scattered Yuletide songs by assorted Monkees over the years. The Monkees Christmas Party is the first album with brand-new recordings by Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith, plus two previously recorded songs by Davy Jones from his private label.
Like their other recent release, Good Times, the production is first-rate and reminiscent of the joyous zany days of color TV and comic hijinks. A Christmas album makes this sort of thing a natural—even though Davy’s lovely tracks, the Bing Crosby classic “Mele Kalikimaka” and the string infused “Silver Bells” invite a feeling of melancholy for our loss friend.
All are in fine voice and play—yes play—like the artists they are. Mike takes a solo on “Snowfall” with Micky handling most of the leads. There are several original songs, making this more than a retread of the same old, same old. Among them are the title song “Christmas Party,” “Unwrap You at Christmas,” “What Would Santa Do,” “Jesus Christ,” and “The House of Broken Gingerbread.”
If I were to pick one song for hit status, at least in the U.S., hands down it would be “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Year.” Launched by the British glam rock band Wizzard in the UK, it is a standard there—and probably well known especially to Micky, who lived and worked there extensively. The song is a standard on English TV, radio and records by everyone from the Spice Girls and Kylie Minogue to Sarah Brightman and Max Bygraves. It was even played on an episode of Doctor Who. But while a few American artists have recorded it, the song has never caught on here. It’s just the thing for The Monkees to take to the top.