Micky Dolenz, the drummer and one of two primary vocalists in The Monkees, has announced his latest musical project: releasing a covers EP honouring one of the greatest bands to come out of Athens, Georgia: R.E.M.
The EP is a four-track collection, including Dolenz’ take on Shiny Happy People (from 1991’s Out Of Time), Radio Free Europe (from 1983’s Murmur), Man On The Moon (1992’s Automatic For The People) and Leaving New York, from R.E.M.’s 2004 album, Around The Sun.
The first taste from the new EP, Shiny Happy People, is below. 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.
More Beach Boys than the original track, which features The B-52’s Kate Pierson, Dolenz’s version of Shiny Happy People is entirely original – which was his intention all along. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Dolenz revealed that the last thing he wanted when embarking on this project was to come off as a karaoke singer.
In response to the announcement about Dolenz Sings R.E.M., vocalist Michael Stipe wrote on his Instagram Stories, “This is the pinnacle of wow for me. I love the Monkees, and I love Micky Dolenz.”
Stipe added in a statement, “These songs are absolutely incredible. Micky Dolenz covering R.E.M. Monkees style, I have died and gone to heaven. This is really something.”