I'm a Believer

November 21, 1966

I'm a Believer is the title of a song of the U.S. pop group The Monkees from the year 1966. The piece was the most successful single of the band and one of the fastest -selling records. The song was written by Neil Diamond.


The Casting band The Monkees had accepted that the music of their songs was played by studio musicians and the head of her record label Don Kirshner felt their skills as insufficient. This was also the case at the two recording days for I'm a Believer / ( I'm Not Your ) Steppin 'Stone, 15 and 23 October 1966 in New York City. Jeff Barry as producer of the A-side dedicated, among other things as an acoustic guitar player the young composer of the title, Neil Diamond, as a drummer Buddy Salzman and as bassist Carol Kaye of the Wrecking Crew. Singing was allowed only Micky Dolenz, whose vocals were added in Hollywood for so prepared Instrumental Playback by way of overdubbing.

Diamonds text about the first true love, but there is not only in fairy tales and only for others, was highlighted by the interplay between guitar and organ, which forms the dominant staple of the piece. Take 18 was eventually used as the master and went into record production. On November 12, 1966, the single was as Colgems # 1002, only the second plate of the young label, published. RCA took over the distribution of pop songs.

Million Sellers

After December 3, 1966, the Monkees had denied their first concert in Honolulu, was I'm a Believer on December 5, 1966 resulted in 13 ( "One Man Shy" or " Peter and the Debutante ") of the sitcom series "The Monkees " presents.

At that time, a total of 1.05128 million pre-orders were available for the single. From December 1966 and until the beginning of 1967, over three million copies of the single were sold within two months in the U.S.. Just because of the pre-orders they received a gold record. In the UK, 750,000 shares were traded, worldwide an estimated ten million. She became the best-selling single of the year 1967. This year, the Monkees sold more records together as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Only five million LPs in 1967 was for the music industry a hitherto unknown scale.

After her charts entry on 10 December 1966, the single jumped already on 31 December 1966 rank one, where it remained for seven weeks. It was recorded in 16 countries in first place of the charts, including for four weeks in the UK and from February 11, 1967 for five weeks in Germany the year.

Background of the song

After the Monkees had their first, very successful hit Last Train to Clarksville, Don Kirshner was looking for additional material for the group. Here, Neil Diamond, he noticed, had ended in August 1966 with the original composition Cherry, Cherry his first hit. Diamond was at Aldon Music publishing Music publishing contract, the Kirshner had sold to Columbia - Screen Gems in 1963. The buyer of the music publishing was so that his current employer. Kirshner asked Diamonds producers Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, whether Diamond could offer more. This left the Monkees not only I'm a Believer, but also the title for the follow-up single A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You and many other compositions.

Tommy Boyce, who was the first Monkees single ( and the B-side of I'm a Believer ) produces and also other recordings monitored, was not convinced by the vocal qualities of the group: " Micky Dolenz could sing, Davy had a passable ballad voice, Michael felt as Merle Haggard and Peter could not sing at all; taken together, showed not the TV series, the Rock Band Image ". The vocal problems and the shortcomings of the instrumental group were offset by professional studio musicians such as Hal Blaine, James Burton and Leon Russell.

Cover versions

The best known cover version written by the composer Neil Diamond himself, he recorded the song for his album Just for You, which was released on 16 September 1967. This was followed by 25 more versions.