It Took 47 Years to Finalize This Monkees Song That Davy Jones Sang
Though the Monkees’ heyday was in the 1960s, the group has put together plenty of compelling music since then. This sometimes included looking back at their older work for inspiration. Here’s the story of a song penned by a major pop star that Davy Jones recorded in the 1960s that wasn’t finalized until the 2010s.
A Monkees song written by Neil Diamond that Davy Jones recorded in 1969
Davy Jones sadly passed away in 2012. Four years later, the Monkees released one of their most acclaimed albums for their 50th anniversary: Good Times! According to the book Long Title, the album included a Neil Diamond-penned tune called “Love to Love.” Though Jones recorded the song in 1969, it hadn’t appeared on a proper Monkees album until Good Times! The story of the song is a winding road.
When Jones recorded the track in the 1960s, it was passed over in favor of another song from Diamond: “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” That track became one of the Monkees’ most iconic hits and includes some of the same bubbly energy as “Love to Love.” Fans wouldn’t get to hear “Love to Love” until 1979, when the Monkees released their compilation album Monkeemania. The production of this version of “Love to Love” was rather raw.
“Love to Love” appeared on three Monkees compilations during the 1980s and 1990s. Still, fans didn’t get to hear the final version. In the 2010s, two other members of the band lent their vocals to the final version of “Love to Love.”
Why ‘Love to Love’ is an important part of ‘Good Times!’
Eventually, “Love to Love” appeared on Good Times! This final version of the track includes backing vocals by two other members of the band: Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz. In an interview with Goldmine, Tork explained how he felt about including “Love to Love” on Good Times!
“It was great to have young Davy, early Davy on the record doing that song in his inimitable Broadway/Cabaret style,” Tork said, “and we got a chance to join him to the best of our ability and throw in a little bit. It’s great to have a work by Davy on this CD…. It adds wonderfully to the record. I’m pleased as heck about it.” In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Tork explained how “Love to Love” helped bridge the gap between the elements of 1960s music and the elements of 2010s music present on Good Times!
“Davy singing ‘Love to Love,’ if you didn’t know Davy wasn’t among us, that could have been a much more recent song than it actually was,” Tork opined. “On the other hand, it’s also a bit of a ’60s song…. So it’s not like a clump of ’60s-sounding songs and then a clump of 2010 — I don’t even know what they’re calling this decade yet. It’s not like it’s two lumps at either end, with nothing in between. It’s a continuum.” It’s certainly a testament to Jones and “Love to Love” that the song sounded fresh even in the 2010s.