Jeff: So, Jason, as I believe we’ve mentioned before, this is our fifth Mellowmas together.

Jason: Yes. Please stop mentioning it.

Jeff: I know it makes you a little weepy. But I bring it up now because I’ve been thinking about how, in the beginning, we tended to focus on artists of a … shall we say … more “refined” vintage.

In other words, old.

Jason: That’s true. And we’ve headed towards younger artists in recent years, mainly because they’re so stupid.

Jeff: Yes! Younger artists are so much fun. But in this, our fifth year, I thought it might be a good time to go back to our roots.

Jason: How far back, exactly?

1995?

1990?

Jeff: How does 1987 grab you?

Jason: I love 1987! That’s, like, one of my favorite years of music.

Jeff: I guarantee that statement does not include this performance. But I understand how you feel.

Jason: George Michael!

Jeff: T’Pau!

Robbie Nevil!

Jason: Whitesnake!

Jeff: Expose!

Jason: Debbie Gibson! gasp Please tell me you’ve found a track that features ALL OF THEM SINGING TOGETHER.

Oh wait, that’s “Voices That Care,” isn’t it.

Jeff: We could do this all day. But we’d never, ever get around to mentioning the artists we’ll be covering today. This is a very special track, Jason.

Jason: Uh oh. I don’t like the sound of this.

Jeff: What we have before us is what I believe to be the first and last Christmas compilation appearance by an artist who had already been dropped by the label by the time the compilation was released.

Jason: Do you mean “very special” in the mentally-and/or-physically-challenged sort of way? Whoa! I’m intrigued!

Jeff: Yes! I knew you would be! And it gets better!

Jason: …it does? Jesus Jumping Christ, this is like Christmas morning! Tell me!

Jeff: Because the artists were also the stars of a TV show that had ALSO been canceled by the time this compilation was released! In 1987!

Jason: Hang on. Artists were stars of a TV show canceled by….

oh no.

Jeff: Do you hear what I hear, Jason?

Jason: jams fingers in ears

Jeff: Hee hee hee!

Jason: You don’t mean…

Jeff: Mulleted primates!

Jason: THE NEW MONKEES?

Jeff: Yes! The one and only!

Jason: Okay, so you did mean “very special” in the way I thought you did. I am no longer as intrigued as I was 30 seconds ago.

Jeff: So apparently, the Warner Bros. Christmas compilation for 1987 — titled Yulesville!, for all you folks keeping score at home — included a New Monkees song.

Jason: Dear God, why couldn’t it have been T’Pau?

Jeff: Because T’Pau was on Virgin, and Virgin was too cheap for these things.

Jason: Goddammit.

Jeff: Man, those Warners holiday collections were cool.

Jason: How did we find this track?

Jeff: Marty Ross put it in a bag of poop, lit it on fire, and left it on my steps!

Jason: Seems like the bag was kind of unnecessary, but okay.

Jeff: Poor New Monkees.

Jason: Don’t feel sorry for them, Jeff. Two houses, remember?

Jeff: Yulesville! contains tracks by artists such as Ice-T, Los Lobos, Randy Travis, and Prince, making this the closest to cool those poor fellas ever got.

Jason: Also on the compilation: Christine McVie and Force M.D.’s. Sadly not together.

Jeff: But wait! Further indignity awaited our recently canceled TV stars.

Jason: Lay it on me.

Jeff: Because the song we’re going to listen to, Jason? The song on this compilation?

Jason: Yes?

Jeff: IT’S A SONG FROM THE NEW MONKEES’ ALBUM, ONLY WITH THEM SINGING HOLIDAY LYRICS OVER THE MUSIC.

Jason: They pulled a Tommy Tutone! Only it was years before Tommy did it, so I guess that makes them visionaries.

Jeff: Yeah, except we were only guessing where Tommy’s song was concerned, right?

Jason: Uh, I don’t think so. I believe the song was called “Santa Jenny” or something.

Jeff: Right, but here’s what I’m saying. Not only did the band use the same ARRANGEMENT, but I would bet one of Marty Ross’ houses that they used the same TRACKS.

Jason: I want to say two things.

1. You are awesome for knowing this.

2. You are awful for knowing this.

Jeff: Agreed on both counts.

Jason: I mean, I only really know OF The New Monkees. I watched the first episode, because I was a big Monkees fan. I didn’t get it, turned it off, and never watched it again.

Jeff: But this is why I feel bad for the New Monkees. Because I think Warner Bros. came to them and said “Hey, good news! You’re going to be on this year’s holiday album! …and you get $100 for studio time!”

Jason: I wouldn’t know a New Monkees song if it smacked me in the ass.

Marty, we know you’re reading this. Seriously, we want to know the backstory.

Jeff: Yeah, I’m actually curious. I’m sure it’ll be more entertaining than what we’re about to hear.

Jason: I can’t believe I’m going to listen to my very first New Monkees track during Mellowmas.

Jeff: So, the original song in question was called “What I Want.” The “band” “performed” it on their show.

Jason: And what’s this one called? Something like “What I Want (For Christmas)”?

Jeff: You win! Your prize: Christmas lyrics over a New Monkees song! Ready to get synthy?

Jason: Sure, why the hell not?

Jeff: That’s the spirit!


New Monkees – What I Want (For Christmas)

Jason: “Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!” This IS very special!

Jeff: I would bet Marty Ross’ other house that these vocals weren’t really mastered. What I want I ain’t got! Peace on Earth you can give me!

Jason: Wow. I can predict the last word of each lyric with frightening accuracy. Listen to all those na nas.

Jeff: I’m going to predict something else: You and I are the first people to listen to this song all the way through since December of 1987.

Jason: You think we’re the only sadistic fucks on the Internet?

Jeff: We can have a better world, Jason.

Jason: Oh, hang on, uninspired guitar solo.

Jeff: It starts with me and — hey! — it starts with you. Give me peace on Earth, you asshole.

Jason: This track sounds like it’s trying to be a little zany. Like, just on the outskirts of it.

Here come the na nas again!

Jeff: Yeah, that was kind of the New Monkees’ thing. Late ’80s zaniness. Remember when everything was trying to be the Mac Ransom font?

Jason: It’s like Warner said the song had to be x number of words, and they were 300 short.

Jeff: Merry Christmas, everybody! applause

Jason: Is it just me, or were there only jingle bells at the very end? “Shit, the song’s over! Quick, grab the jingle bells!”

Jeff: I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s actually how it happened. “We don’t have any money for overdubs!”

Jason: Did Warners sell this compilation? I don’t remember it at all.

Jeff: Well, a lot of the tracks are 30-second “messages” from the artists, so I kind of doubt it. I’m guessing it was shipped to radio stations. Who promptly never played the New Monkees’ “What I Want (For Christmas).” In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone lost their job over the New Monkees even BEING on this, because, as I said, I’m pretty sure the show was canceled before Christmas.

Jason: Well, I have to say, I’m at least pleased that we found something from the ’80s that very few people have heard. And Marty, come on. Give us the goods.

Jeff: All is forgiven, Marty Ross.