Neil Diamond was “thrilled” to give the Monkees “I Am a Believer”
In January 1967, the Monkees had a # 1 hit with “I’m a Believer”, a song originally written by Neil Diamond.
Diamond said the manager of his record company initially “panicked” and “exploded” over the Monkees’ recording of the track because, as Diamond said Mojo magazine in 2008, “he had the feeling that I had given the No. 1 records to another band”. Diamond was on a different mindset, saying he “didn’t care, because I had to pay the rent, and the Monkees were selling records, and I wasn’t getting paid for my records!”
The Monkees recorded the song for their 1966 album More Monkees, and Diamond also included the song on his 1967 album Just for you, but it turned out to be more successful for the group that took it over.
When asked if he resented the Monkees’ success with the song, Diamond refuted the idea. “I was thrilled,” he said, “because deep down I was still a songwriter and wanted my songs to hit the charts…”
At first, “I’m a Believer” almost turned into a country song, and in fact, that’s what Diamond envisioned for his song. He wanted country crooner Eddy Arnold to record the song, but instead it found its way to the Monkees thanks to producer and talent manager Don Kirshner, who helped make it a pop hit via the boy group. designed for television. Session guitarist Al Gorgoni, who also performed on Diamond’s “Cherry, Cherry,” helped record the Monkees, and Diamond himself played acoustic guitar on the track.
Listen to ‘I’m a Believer’ from the Monkees
The catchy song that Billboard described at the time as an “easy going dance mover” turned out to be the best-selling single of 1967, and with over a million advance orders it went platinum within two days of its release. . He also appeared in four consecutive episodes of the television series, The Monkees, in December 1966.
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