Many famous songwriters have written songs for The Monkees. For example, the lead singer of a famous 1990s/2000s band wrote a single for them. He said writing that song was the highlight of his career. In addition, he said he wouldn’t be the same if not for the Prefab Four.
The time a bunch of rock stars wrote songs for an album by The Monkees
During their 1960s heyday, famous songwriters like Neil Diamond, Carole King, and Gerry Goffin wrote songs for The Monkees. A lot of their later music didn’t have the same sort of songwriting pedigree. That changed with the release of The Monkees’ 2016 album Good Times!
The songs from Good Times! were mostly written by rock stars who became famous after The Monkees debuted. Some of the famous rockers who wrote songs for Good Times! are Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Noel Gallagher of Oasis, and Paul Weller of The Jam. Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, an indie rock/pop band that debuted in the 1990s and made a lot of its most famous music in the 2000s, wrote a song for Good Times! called “Me & Magdalena.”
Why Ben Gibbard was so happy he wrote a song for the Prefab Four
According to NPR, Gibbard explained why The Monkees mattered so much to him. “Before The Beatles, before The Velvet Underground and before punk and/or indie rock, The Monkees were the first band I truly loved,” Gibbard wrote. “Their albums were always on in our home when I was a kid (especially Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.), and I learned to sing alongside them.”
The Monkees’ show had an impact on Gibbard as well. “I spent countless hours in front of the TV in the ’80s watching Monkees reruns wishing I could climb through the screen and be in the show with them,” Gibbard wrote. “They made being in a band seem so fun — and goddammit, it should be! For these reasons and a million others, I can say with absolutely zero hyperbole that contributing ‘Me & Magdalena’ to this album has been the greatest honor of my career.”
How the world reacted to The Monkees’ ‘Good Times!’
The Monkees released “Me & Magdalena” as a single. Despite this, it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Good Times! was more popular in the U.S., hitting No. 14 on the Billboard 200 and remaining on the chart for four weeks.
“Me & Magdalena” was not a hit in the United Kingdom either. The Official Charts Company reports the song did not chart there at all. On the other hand, Good Times! was a minor hit in the U.K., peaking at No. 29 and staying on the chart for one week. “Me & Magdalena” was not a hit; however, it meant a lot to Gibbard.