Listen: Monkees’ Micky Dolenz covers R.E.M.’s ‘Shiny Happy People’

When it comes to covering good music, Micky Dolenz is still a believer.

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The lone surviving member of the 1960s band The Monkees recently released a video, in which the band’s longtime singer-drummer covers R.E.M.’s 1991 song, “Shiny Happy People,” Rolling Stone reported. The song will be part of an EP that will be released on Nov. 3 through 7A Records.

Dolenz, 78, was the lead singer on several of The Monkees’ greatest hits, including “I’m A Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.”

The extended play album will also include R.E.M. songs “Radio Free Europe,” “Man on the Moon,” and “Leaving New York,” according to Rolling Stone. The EP is produced by Christian Nesmith, the son of Dolenz’s bandmate on The Monkees, Mike Nesmith, the magazine reported.

“These songs are absolutely incredible,” R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe said in a statement. “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.”

Dolenz has recorded tribute albums before. He released an album of Carole King songs in 2010 and recorded an album of Mike Nesmith songs in 2021, Rolling Stone reported.

King wrote four songs for The Monkees, including “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967; “Star Collector”; “Porpoise Song” and “Wasn’t Born to Follow,” originally recorded by The Byrds.

“I was talking to (7A Records co-owner) Glenn (Gretlund) about what to do next,” Dolenz told Rolling Stone. “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.”

The “Shiny Happy People” video sung by Dolenz was created by longtime Monkees manager and historian Andrew Sandoval, according to the magazine. Sandoval used home video’s from Dolenz’s collection, with many coming from his childhood.

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