The Monkees – I’m A Believer

The Monkees – I’m A Believer

The Monkees - I'm A Believer

Unlike most bands of the time, the Monkees were not formed by its members, but rather by TV producers: they were a fictional band in the TV show of the same name.

TV producers, Bert Schneider and Bob Rafelson, formulated an idea for a show about a Beatles-like band, then put ads in newspapers, seeking musicians to star in the series.

The band was composed of Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Peter Tork. All of the members had some musical experience.

The show debuted on NBC in 1966 and became a huge hit. When the series got the greenlight to go ahead, development of the musical side of the project accelerated with Columbia Screen Gems and RCA Records forming a partnership called Colgems Records to distribute Monkees records.

Each week the group would sing a song or two written by top industry names like Carole King, Neil Diamond and Gerry Goffin, while instrumentation was provided by talented musicians, including Stephen Stills and Harry Nilsson.

‘Last Train to Clarksville’ was the band’s first single was released in August 1966 before the debut of the show and it became a huge hit. Their first album ‘The Monkees’ was released a month later and shot to the top of the chart.

The Monkees’ principle audience consisted of young teenagers and children. Nonetheless, singles like ‘I’m a Believer’ became Top 10 hits, and the ‘Prefab Four’ became media icons. By 1967 the Monkees were the most popular band in the US, their records outselling the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

Other top hits included ‘I’m a Believer’ (1966), ‘A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You’ (1967), ‘Mary Mary’ (1968) and ‘I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’, with the group selling over 65 million records worldwide.

But the Monkees themselves grew frustrated at not being able to play their own instruments or write their own songs, and began to rebel against their producers and record company.

The Monkees began playing some of their instruments and writing some songs on 1967’s ‘Headquarters’. That year they embarked on a major tour, proving they could perform live.

By 1968 the Monkees were already deviating from their manufactured image and straining for credibility, starring in the bizarre psychedelic movie ‘Head’. It was not a commercial success but has since gained a cult status.                                                                    Read More…

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