Peter Tork Loved 1 of The Monkees’ Albums That Wasn’t ‘Bubblegum Music’

TL;DR:

  • Peter Tork had strong opinions about The Monkees’ albums from the 1980s and the 1990s.
  • He said one of the albums was very different from the Prefab Four’s early work.
  • The album did not chart in the United States or the United Kingdom.
The Monkees' Peter Tork folding his arms
The Monkees’ Peter Tork | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Monkees‘ Peter Tork discussed the albums the group released in the 1980s and the 1990s. He said one of the albums was “sterling.” In addition, he said Micky Dolenz’s work on the album was “really stellar.” Notably, Tork felt the record was a departure from the Prefab Four’s trademark bubblegum music.

Peter Tork said the group returned to their 1960s sound in the 2010s after changing styles in the 1980s and 1990s

During a 2016 interview with Goldmine, Tork discussed The Monkees’ 2016 reunion album Good Times! “It’s not a joke and it’s not a novelty,” he opined. “It’s calculated in some ways but then all records are to some extent.”

Tork compared Good Times! to some of the group’s earlier material. “You’ve got to be able to say, ‘Well, I like this better than that,'” he said. “But finally, it’s the next record by The Monkees. The fact that dozens of years have gone by in between doesn’t seem to change anything. It’s more ’60s than what we did in the ’80s and ’90s.”

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Peter Tork liked all of The Monkees’ albums from the 1980s and the 1990s

Tork discussed some of the music the band made past their commercial peak. “We made three albums in the ’80s and ’90s,” he recalled. “We did Pool It! and we did Justus and we did three new songs for Then & Now [… The Best of The Monkees], an Arista greatest hits record. I enjoyed all of them.” The three songs were “Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere,” a cover of Paul Revere & the Raiders’ “Kicks,” and the hit “That Was Then, This Is Now.”

Tork expressed his fondness for Justus, the only album the Prefab Four released in the 1990s. “I still think that Justus is a sterling album,” he said. “I think some of Micky’s work in particular is really stellar. But Justus was not frothy bubblegum music. That’s what The Monkees were about on our first two-plus albums.”

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How The Monkees’ ‘Justus’ performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

While Tork was a fan of Justus, it never charted on the Billboard 200. The Prefab Four would not reach that chart again until Good Times! peaked at No. 14 in 2016.

According to The Official Charts Company, Justus did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Subsequently, the Prefab Four returned to the chart when Good Times! reached No. 29.

Justus wasn’t a big hit — but Tork was very proud of the album.

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