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"
Released October 25, 1967
Format 7"
Recorded June 14 & August 9, 1967
RCA Victor Studios
Hollywood, CA
Length 2:54
Label Colgems #1012
Writer(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 John Stewart shortly before he left the Kingston Trio. It was originally recorded by The Monkees, with Davy Jones singing lead vocals. The single hit the number one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1967, remaining there for four weeks, and peaked at number five in the UK Singles Chart. It was the Monkees' last number one hit in the U.S.

In 1979, "Daydream Believer" was recorded by Canadian singer Anne Murray, whose version reached number three on the U.S. country singles chart and number twelve on the Billboard Hot 100. The song has been recorded by many others, including a 1971 version by John Stewart himself.

Stewart said that it was supposed to be the third in a trilogy of songs about suburban life. Married couples start out in an idealistic haze, but after a few years it wears off, and each sees the other as they really are. This is when genuine love is proven.[1]

The Monkees original version[edit]


Producer Chip Douglas was friends with John Stewart and ran into him at a party at Hoyt Axton's home in Hollywood's Laurel Canyon. Douglas told Stewart that he was now producing the Monkees and asked if he had any songs that might work for the group. Stewart offered "Daydream Believer."

It was recorded during the sessions for their 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, with Michael Nesmith on lead guitar, Peter Tork on piano (he created the catchy piano introduction; the orchestral arrangement was created by noted 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") and Micky Dolenz on backing vocals.

Many people did not think the song would be popular. It had been turned down by the We Five and Spanky and Our Gang, and even Davy Jones was "pissed off" about that. He recorded the vocal with a hint of annoyance at the ongoing takes.[2]

RCA Records did not like it as Stewart wrote it either, and insisted on changing a critical word. Stewart originally wrote "Now you know how funky I can be," but RCA wanted to change that to "Now you know how happy I can be." One meaning of "funky" is "smelly."

Stewart initially objected because it completely reverses the meaning of the line and makes no sense in the context of the song. But he relented because RCA was adamant and he realized it could well be a hit—which it was. In 2007, Stewart said that the proceeds of Daydream Believer "[didn't just] pay the rent. It kept me alive 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 heavier drum track by Michael Lloyd who had produced "That Was Then, This Was Now."

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 2
Austrian Singles Chart [3] 7
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[4] 8
German Singles Chart 4
Irish Singles Chart 1
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart 4
Norwegian VG-lista Singles Chart [3] 2
Swiss Singles Chart [3] 10
UK Singles Chart 5
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 1
Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 79
Preceded by
"Incense and Peppermints"
by Strawberry Alarm Clock
Billboard Hot 100
number one single

December 2–23, 1967
Succeeded by
"Hello, Goodbye"
by The Beatles

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?"
Released December 1979
Format 7"
Recorded 1979
Genre Country pop
Length 2:26
Label Capitol
Writer(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 number 1 hit on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart.[6] It reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and charted at number 3 on Billboard's list of the most popular country songs.[7] She re-released the song as a duet with Nelly Furtado on her 2007 album, Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 17
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary 1
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[8] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 12
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[10] 1
Preceded by
"Give It All You Got" by Chuck Mangione
Billboard Adult Contemporary (chart) number-one single
March 1, 1980
Succeeded by
"Give It All You Got" by Chuck Mangione
Preceded by
by Barbara Mandrell[11]
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

March 22, 1980[12]
Succeeded by
"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys"
by Willie Nelson[13]

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "John Stewart interview on writing "Daydream Believer"". Archives of Music Preservation. 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2016. 
  2. ^ "You can tell from the vocal that I was pissed off!" Davy Jones, The Monkees Tale, Last Gasp Press, 1986
  3. ^ a b c The Monkees - Daydream Believer
  4. ^ "The Monkees - Daydream Believer". Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  5. ^ "The Monkees – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for The Monkees.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 176. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 242. 
  8. ^ "Anne Murray – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Anne Murray.
  9. ^ "Anne Murray – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Anne Murray.
  10. ^ "Anne Murray – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Anne Murray.
  11. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for March 15, 1980". RPM. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for March 22, 1980". RPM. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "RPM Country Tracks for March 29, 1980". RPM. Retrieved 24 November 2010. 

External links[edit]