Daydream Believer

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"Daydream Believer"
The Monkees single 05 Daydream Believer.jpg
US single cover
Single by The Monkees
from the album The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees
B-side"Goin' Down"
ReleasedOctober 25, 1967
RecordedJune 14, 1967
August 9, 1967
StudioRCA Victor Studios
LabelColgems #1012
Songwriter(s)John Stewart
Producer(s)Chip Douglas
The Monkees singles chronology
"Pleasant Valley Sunday"
"Daydream Believer"
The Monkees singles chronology
"That Was Then, This Is Now"
"Daydream Believer (remix)"
"Heart and Soul"

"Daydream Believer" is a song composed by American songwriter John Stewart, shortly before he left the Kingston Trio. It was originally recorded by the Monkees, with Davy Jones singing the lead. The single reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1967, remaining there for four weeks, and peaked at No. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. It was the Monkees' last No. 1 hit in the U.S.

In 1979, "Daydream Believer" was recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray, whose version reached No. 3 on the U.S. country singles chart and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been recorded by others, including a 1971 version by Stewart himself.


John Stewart wrote "Daydream Believer" as the third in a trilogy of songs about suburban life.[1], recalling "I remember going to be thinking, "What a wasted day — all I’ve done is daydream". And from there I wrote the whole song. I never thought it was one of my best songs. Not at all".[2] According to Variety, the song's lyrics focus on the endgame of a comfy but increasingly distant relationship, with the narrator "caught in mid-gaze before the bathroom mirror, reflecting on the quiet dissolution of his materialistic marriage – a union between "a daydream believer and a homecoming queen," now curdled, driven more by money than by romance".[3] The song was turned down by We Five and Spanky and Our Gang. While attending a party at Hoyt Axton's home in Hollywood's Laurel Canyon, producer Chip Douglas told Stewart that he was now producing the Monkees and asked if Stewart had any songs that might work for the group. Stewart offered "Daydream Believer".[1] The song was recorded during the sessions for the Monkees' 1967 album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., but was ultimately included on their 1968 album, The Birds, The Bees & the Monkees. All four Monkees appear on the track: in addition to the lead vocals by Jones, Michael Nesmith appears on lead guitar, Peter Tork on piano and Micky Dolenz on backing vocals. Tork created the piano introduction, and the orchestral arrangement was created by jazz trumpeter and composer Shorty Rogers, who included the same seven-note phrase preceding the chorus that can be heard on the Beach Boys' "Help Me, Rhonda".[citation needed]

The track begins with this spoken dialogue:

Chip Douglas: 7A...
Davy Jones: What number is this, Chip?
Douglas (and another unspecified voice): SEVEN - A!
Jones: Okay, I don't mean to get you excited, man. It's 'cause I'm short, I know...

Jones claimed he had been "pissed off" recording the song, with his lead vocal showing a hint of annoyance at the ongoing takes.[4]

According to Billboard Hot 100 chart historian Joel Whitburn's mid-1980s book The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, the recording was originally scheduled to be the B-side of the Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song "Love Is Only Sleeping" (from Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.), featuring lead vocals by Michael Nesmith. However, a week before release, it was discovered that the European single masters for "Love Is Only Sleeping" were not ready, but the masters for "Daydream Believer" were. A last-minute switch meant that "Daydream Believer" now became the A-side and "Goin' Down", a song written by all four Monkees with Diane Hildebrand, in the style of Mose Allison, became the flip side. As such, Nesmith would not be given a lead vocal on a Monkees' single A-side until 1969's "Listen to the Band". Allegedly, Colgems Records did not like Nesmith's voice, preferring the voices of both Dolenz and Jones, and was further aggrieved when Nesmith had insisted on the inclusion of at least two of his songs per album.[citation needed] Previously, Nesmith's lead vocal version of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" had been eschewed for a re-recording with Dolenz on lead vocals for the B-side of the single "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You".

RCA Records did not like the song as written by Stewart, and insisted on changing a critical word. Stewart originally wrote "Now you know how funky I can be," but RCA wanted to change it to "Now you know how happy I can be," as one meaning of "funky" is "smelly". Stewart initially objected because the change would completely reverse the meaning of the line and would not make sense in the context of the song. He relented because RCA was adamant and Stewart realized that the song could well be a hit. In 2006, Stewart said that the proceeds from "Daydream Believer" "...kept me alive for all these years."[1]

In 1986, three of the four Monkees (Dolenz, Jones and Tork) mounted a successful reunion tour and had a major hit with the newly recorded "That Was Then, This Is Now". Arista Records, which owned the Monkees' masters at the time, re-released "Daydream Believer" as a follow-up single, remixed with a new and heavier percussion track by Michael Lloyd, who had produced "That Was Then, This Is Now".


The Monkees

Additional personnel


Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Gold 400,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Anne Murray version[edit]

"Daydream Believer"
Single by Anne Murray
from the album I'll Always Love You
B-side"Do You Think Of Me?"
ReleasedDecember 1979
GenreCountry pop
Songwriter(s)John Stewart
Producer(s)Jim Ed Norman
Anne Murray singles chronology
"Broken Hearted Me"
"Daydream Believer"
"Lucky Me"


Canadian singer Anne Murray recorded a cover version of "Daydream Believer" for her platinum-certified 1979 studio album I'll Always Love You. Produced by Jim Ed Norman and issued on Capitol Records the following year, Murray's single became her eighth No. 1 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart.[15] It reached No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 3 on Billboard's country chart.[16] For her 2007 album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends, Murray re-recorded the song as a duet with Nelly Furtado.[17]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1979-80) Peak
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 17
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[18] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 12
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[20] 1
Year-end chart (1980) Rank
US Top Pop Singles (Billboard)[21] 61

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "John Stewart interview on writing "Daydream Believer"". Archives of Music Preservation. 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Zollo, Paul. "The Story Behind The Monkees' "Daydream Believer"". American Songwriter. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  3. ^ Morris, Chris. "Before There Was Bieber, the Monkees' 'Daydream Believer' Took the Teen World by Storm". Variety. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  4. ^ "You can tell from the vocal that I was pissed off!" Davy Jones, The Monkees Tale, Last Gasp Press, 1986
  5. ^ a b c The Monkees - Daydream Believer
  6. ^ "The Monkees - Daydream Believer". Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  7. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 1 March 1968
  8. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. ^ RPM Top 100 Singles of 1967 Archived 2016-08-12 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Go-Set Magazine Charts". Barry McKay. January 2007. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1968". Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  14. ^ "British single certifications – Monkees – Daydream Believer". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 176.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 242.
  17. ^ "Anne Murray - Duets: Friends & Legends". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  18. ^ "Anne Murray Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Anne Murray Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Anne Murray Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "1980 Talent in Action – Year End Charts : Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 92 no. 51. December 20, 1980. p. TIA-10. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  22. ^ "Classics IV* - Spooky". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  23. ^ "Four Tops - Yesterday's Dreams". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  24. ^ "John Stewart (2) - The Lonesome Picker Rides Again". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  25. ^ "Lobo (3) - Just A Singer". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  26. ^ "Boyzone - Love Me For A Reason". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  27. ^ "Robson & Jerome - Robson & Jerome". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Kevin Rowland - My Beauty". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  30. ^ "Shonen Knife - Happy Hour". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  31. ^ "Atomic Kitten - Right Now". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  32. ^ "Susan Boyle - I Dreamed A Dream". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  33. ^ "さくら学院* - Jump Up ちいさな勇気 初回盤A". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  34. ^ "Joe McElderry - Saturday Night At The Movies". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-02-16.

External links[edit]