I'm a Believer

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"I'm a Believer"
The Monkees single 02 I'm a Believer.jpg
US single cover
Single by the Monkees
from the album More of the Monkees
B-side"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"
ReleasedNovember 12, 1966
RecordedOctober 15 and 23, 1966
Genre
Length2:47
LabelColgems
Songwriter(s)Neil Diamond
Producer(s)Jeff Barry
The Monkees singles chronology
"Last Train to Clarksville"
(1966)
"I'm a Believer"
(1966)
"A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You"
(1967)
Official audio
"I'm a Believer" (2006 Remaster) on YouTube

"I'm a Believer" is a song written by Neil Diamond and recorded by the Monkees in 1966 with the lead vocals by Micky Dolenz. The single, produced by Jeff Barry, hit the number-one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending December 31, 1966, and remained there for seven weeks,[3] becoming the last No. 1 hit of 1966 and the biggest-selling single for all of 1967. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 5 song for 1967.[4] While originally published by Screen Gems-Columbia Music (BMI), it is now published by Stonebridge Music/EMI Foray Music (SESAC), with administration passed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group.

The song was No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for four weeks in January and February 1967 and reached the top spot in numerous countries, including Australia, New Zealand,[5] Canada, and Ireland.[6]

Billboard described the song as 'an easy-go dance mover' that 'will hit with immediate impact'.[7] Cash Box said the single is a "medium-paced rocker [that] is full of the group's top notch harmonies and is laced with infectious sounds."[8]

The song appeared in four consecutive episodes of the television series The Monkees in December 1966. The Monkees principals later played it for themselves in live appearances, on overseas tours, and at reunion concerts.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Diamond also suggested the song to the Fifth Estate, who recorded it as a 1967 album cut to follow up their hit "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead".

A recording by Diamond, featuring additional lyrics, appears on his 1979 album September Morn. Diamond also performed it in a duet with Linda Ronstadt as part of a medley of his songs on an episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in 1970.

Charts[edit]

Neil Diamond
Chart (1971) Peak
position
Canada RPM Adult Contemporary[9] 21
Canada RPM Top Singles[10] 61
Germany 23
Netherlands 29
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[11] 51
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 31
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 52

Recording[edit]

Session guitarist Al Gorgoni (who played on "The Sound of Silence" and later on "Brown Eyed Girl") had worked on Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" and also contributed to "I'm a Believer". Other personnel on the record include Sal DiTroia on rhythm guitar, Neil Diamond on acoustic guitar, Russ Savakus on bass, George Butcher on piano, Stan Free on Vox Continental organ, George Devens on tambourine, and Buddy Saltzman on drums.[12]

The song is listed at No. 48 on Billboard's All Time Top 100.[3] In 2021, it was listed at No. 341 on Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time"[13]


Personnel[edit]

The Monkees

Additional Personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Platinum 600,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[28] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Smash Mouth version[edit]

"I'm a Believer"
I'm a Believer by Smash Mouth.jpg
Single by Smash Mouth
from the album Shrek: Music from the Original Motion Picture and Smash Mouth
ReleasedAugust 14, 2001
Recorded2000
Length3:02
LabelInterscope
Songwriter(s)Neil Diamond
Producer(s)Eric Valentine
Smash Mouth singles chronology
"Then the Morning Comes"
(1999)
"I'm a Believer"
(2001)
"Pacific Coast Party"
(2001)
Music video
"I'm a Believer" on YouTube

American pop rock band Smash Mouth covered the song in 2001 as part of the soundtrack to the movie Shrek, along with "All Star". The band also released the song on its self-titled album. Eddie Murphy, portraying the character Donkey, also performed a rendition of the song in the film. The song was chosen for its opening line, "I thought love was only true in fairy tales", which matched the fairy tale theme of the film. Subsequently, the song was played as exit music for the Broadway musical adaptation of the film, for comic effect. (Weezer also had a version of the song at the end of Shrek's 2010 sequel Shrek Forever After, which was inserted into the musical's finale a year into its run.) The Smash Mouth version hit No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 20 in New Zealand and Spain. In Australia, the cover reached No. 9 on the ARIA Singles Chart, received a Platinum certification for sales exceeding 70,000, and came in at number 36 on ARIA's year-end chart for 2001.

Music video[edit]

The music video for Smash Mouth's version was directed by Scott Marshall. It at first depicts the band performing in a tent; then, the scene switches to them walking out of a movie theater, complete with cardboard advertisements of Shrek and the characters. Then, lead vocalist Steve Harwell bumps into a blond-haired girl by accident and then tries to catch up with her. However, a man with blond hair comes up as Harwell freaks out and screams. Afterwards, the girl walks into a "fairy tale convention" at a hotel. Harwell continues to follow the girl into the hotel. Once in the hotel, Harwell tries to find the girl by looking through different rooms. However, there are short clips from Shrek each time he opens the door. Finally, he tries one more door and thinks it is the girl. However, it is a blond-haired chimpanzee, who dances with a girl dressed as a banana. With no luck, Harwell walks out of the hotel, but the girl speeds off in her red convertible. Hoping to catch up, he sneakily takes a red jacket and borrows a silver Lexus car driven by a costumed gingerbread man who is injured on crutches. Then, Harwell winks at the camera as the chase begins. While driving, he throws the jacket up and into the street. He then stops at a party where the girl is and goes into a tent (the same tent where the band's performance takes place). However, he sees multiple blond-haired girls with the same red shirt on, all dancing. By the time he catches up to her, the girl goes on a boat. Harwell asks a boat captain for assistance to win the girl. The band then performs on the boat during a heavy storm. Meanwhile, Harwell and the captain are on the lookout of the girl. He finally catches her on a dock and says that she forgot her keys. Just as he is about to leave, the girl recognizes him as Steve from Smash Mouth and asks for his number. However, Harwell declines and says he has to go. Finally, the girl then chases him and yells, "Wait! Please! But I love you!"

Charts and certifications[edit]

Other covers and later uses[edit]

British Canterbury scene musician Robert Wyatt issued a cover version of the song as a single on the Virgin Records label in 1974. The record was produced by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and hit #29 on the UK Singles Chart.[45] Wyatt performed the song on BBC's Top of the Pops in September of that year.[46][47]

The song was originally used in the home video version of the Coen brothers' 1984 film Blood Simple, but after licensing issues were settled, was replaced in the 2001 director's cut of the film by the song used in the theatrical version: Four Tops' "It's the Same Old Song".[48]

An Italian cover by Caterina Caselli was used in Ridley Scott's 2021 biopic House of Gucci.[49][50]

The song was also covered by EMF with Vic and Bob (Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer) in 1995 and reached No. 3 in the UK charts.[51]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, John. "The Monkees – I'm a Believer". AllMusic. Retrieved May 17, 2021. The best of the '60s good-time pop songs and one of the most infectious singles ever recorded{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "I'm a Believer - the Monkees | Song Info | AllMusic". AllMusic.
  3. ^ a b "The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs". Billboard. Retrieved March 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1967
  5. ^ a b "flavour of new zealand - search listener". www.flavourofnz.co.nz.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 200. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "Spotlight Singles" (PDF). Billboard. December 3, 1966. p. 18. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  8. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. December 3, 1966. p. 40. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. August 14, 1971. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. August 14, 1971. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  12. ^ 'More of the Monkees' deluxe reissue, Rhino Records 2017, booklet, Pages 17 and 20, containing personnel as listed by Monkees historian Andrew Sandoval, sourced directly from official Musicians' Union records
  13. ^ "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 15, 2021. Retrieved July 18, 2022.
  14. ^ "Go-Set Magazine Charts". poparchives.com.au. Barry McKay. January 2007. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. January 2, 1967. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  16. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. p. 210. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – I’m A Believer". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "South African Rock Lists Website SA Charts 1969 – 1989 Acts (M)". Rock.co.za. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  20. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 2/11/67". tropicalglen.com.
  21. ^ "Go-Set Magazine Charts". poparchives.com.au. Barry McKay. January 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles of 1967". Archived from the original on August 12, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  23. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1967". Retrieved September 2, 2018.
  24. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1965/Top 100 Songs of 1965 | Music Outfitters". www.musicoutfitters.com.
  25. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 23, 1967". Archived from the original on September 30, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  26. ^ "Greatest Of All Time Hot 100 Songs". Billboard. Retrieved November 17, 2022. {{cite magazine}}: Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "British single certifications – Monkees – I'm a Believer". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 13, 2021.
  28. ^ "American single certifications – The Monkees – I'm a Believer". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  29. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  30. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  31. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer" (in German). GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  32. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Smash Mouth". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  33. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer". Top Digital Download. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  34. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  35. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer". Top 40 Singles.
  36. ^ "Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer" Canciones Top 50. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  37. ^ "Smash Mouth Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
  38. ^ "Smash Mouth Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  39. ^ "Smash Mouth Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  40. ^ "Listy bestsellerów, wyróżnienia :: Związek Producentów Audio-Video". Polish Airplay Top 100. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
  41. ^ "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 2001". ARIA. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  42. ^ "BDS CHART : Top 100 of 2001". Jam!. Archived from the original on July 26, 2002. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  43. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  44. ^ "British single certifications – Smash Mouth – I'm a Believer". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  45. ^ "Robert Wyatt and Nick Mason on 'I'm a Believer': "We made our own rules and did what we liked"". January 27, 2017.
  46. ^ "Robert Wyatt and Nick Mason on 'I'm A Believer': "We made our own rules and did what we liked"". January 27, 2017.
  47. ^ "I'm A Believer (Previously Unreleased Extended Version)". Archived from the original on December 13, 2021 – via www.youtube.com.
  48. ^ Beckett, David (March 27, 2013). "Blood Simple - Director's Cut (2013) DVD". Film 365.
  49. ^ "House of Gucci Soundtrack".
  50. ^ "House of Gucci Soundtrack".
  51. ^ "EMF/REEVES & MORTIMER". officialcharts. Retrieved January 9, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)