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?
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!
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….
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.
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?
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!
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.