Listen to the Band (song)

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"Listen to the Band"
The Monkees single 10 Listen to the Band.jpg
US single cover reprint
Single by The Monkees
from the album The Monkees Present
B-side "Someday Man"
Released 26 April 1969
Format 7"
Recorded 1 June & 9 December 1968
RCA Victor Studios
Nashville, TN & Hollywood, CA
Genre Country rock[1]
Length 2:33
Label Colgems #5004
Songwriter(s) Michael Nesmith
Producer(s) Michael Nesmith
The Monkees singles chronology
"Tear Drop City"
"Listen to the Band"
"Good Clean Fun"

"Tear Drop City"
"Listen to the Band"
"Good Clean Fun"

"Listen to the Band" is a song by The Monkees that was released on Colgems single #5004 on April 26, 1969. Written by Michael Nesmith, it is the first time Nesmith sang lead vocals on a Monkees A-side single.

"Listen to the Band" was first heard on The Monkees television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee as a live performance with Peter Tork making his last appearance before leaving the Monkees. The one-hour special aired on NBC on April 14, 1969.

"Someday Man", a song written by Paul Williams and Roger Nichols and produced by Bones Howe, was sung by Davy Jones and peaked on the Billboard chart at No. 81. It was heavily promoted in trade ads and was designated as the 'plug side' on the promotional single. However, DJs began to recognize the superiority of the B-side. This justified Colgems making an updated picture sleeve with "Listen to the Band" as the A-side.

The song was written during Nesmith's RCA Nashville sessions and was recorded on June 1, 1968. It was completed on December 9, 1968 at RCA studios in Los Angeles with a horn section added to the track (arranged by Shorty Rogers). The revised single went to No. 63 on the Billboard chart.

"Listen to the Band" was included on The Monkees record album The Monkees Present, released on Colgems 117 on October 1, 1969. The album version runs 2 minutes and 45 seconds, 15 seconds longer than the single version. The Monkees were by now a trio (Dolenz, Nesmith, and Davy Jones), with Peter Tork having left in December 1968.

The song includes a long held cadenza on the electric guitar that rises from G to the key of C with the accompaniment of the organ before Nesmith repeats the spoken title of the song to "Listen to the Band". The song features a brass section that plays during the instrumental section as if the brass were the band. The song ends with the recorded sound of an audience cheering for the band, sourced from the album 144 Genuine Sound Effects on the Mercury Hill label.

In 1970, Nesmith re-recorded the song with The First National Band and placed on their second album Loose Salute. The updated recording faded in through the first verse and reached full volume on the words "Listen to the Band".

Nesmith later revealed that the chord progression of “Listen to the Band” was created by playing another Nesmith-written song, "Nine Times Blue" backward.


  1. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "What is Country Rock?". ThoughtCo. Retrieved March 12, 2017. 
  • Joel Whitburn Billboard Top Pop Hits
  • Rhino's "Present" CD booklet

External links[edit]