The Monkees – I’m a Believer

First Hit #1: December 31, 1966

Last hit of 1966, second last song of 2011 for this little project (which makes me sort of wish I had started one day later), I’m a Believer makes me wonder why selling out is considered so bad. Why? Well, this song is commercial, a testament to the power of love so marketable that it still shows up in film and ads some 45 years later. It’s sung by a band assembled to be the stars of a TV series, and also put out singles. It was put on a slapdash album compiled to capitalize on the group’s popularity, which the band hated, and which eventually caused them to smash things in order to be allowed to play their own instruments. It is one of the most crassly commercial products you can think of.

And it’s absolutely fantastic.

Seriously, it’s fun, it’s snappy, whatever tension there was within the band their vocal performances are tight and passionate, it’s got a great driving sound and it’s the definitive version of a song that has been recorded a lot. Yeah, it’s commercial, but it has staying power because it’s fun, catchy and a genuinely good song. So what if the Monkees were pre-fab, they put out some great music, and while it’s the ultimate in selling out, that doesn’t matter. So before you complain about someone selling out, ask yourself, does it really matter?

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