Readers’ Poll: The Best Monkees Songs of All Time
The Monkees were a prefab band and mostly played songs penned by professional songwriters from the Brill Building, so they only occasionally get the respect they deserve for performing some of the most memorable pop gems of the Sixties. To honor the passing of co-frontman Davy Jones, we asked you to name your favorite songs by the band. Click through to see your top 10.
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10. ‘A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You’
This brief, jangly number, penned by Neil Diamond, marks the first time Davy Jones sang lead on a Monkees single.
9. ‘Listen to the Band’
Michael Nesmith's brass-enhanced, country-tinged "Listen to the Band" made its debut at the end of 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, the final Monkees special in April 1969. After the special aired, the group wouldn't get back together again as a quartet until 1986.
"She," the opening cut from the group's second album, More of the Monkees, is one of the band's most popular album tracks, and one of the few non-singles to be a staple of their many hits compilations.
"Valleri" was created at Monkees mastermind Don Kirshner's request for a "girl's-name song" for the band's television series. Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart delivered one of the group's best psychedelic rockers, complete with a busy flamenco guitar solo, buzzy bass and a rumbling beat.
6. ‘Porpoise Song’
The Monkees went full-on psychedelic with "Porpoise Song," the theme from their deeply bizarre 1968 movie Head. It's a catchy tune, for sure, but it's mostly remarkable for how the band tosses in organ, cello, woodwinds, horns and a huge amount of echo without losing the song's floaty, ambient vibe.
5. ‘(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone’
Paul Revere and the Raiders were the first band to record Boyce and Hart's "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone," but the Monkees made it famous in 1966. It's one of the band's most aggressive tunes and would later go on to be covered by numerous punk and hardcore bands, including the Sex Pistols and Minor Threat.
4. ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday’
Gerry Goffin and Carole King's "Pleasant Valley Sunday" is one of the Monkees' signature pop tunes and buries sharp commentary on life in suburbia in sweet, Beatlesesque harmonies.
3. ‘Last Train to Clarksville’
The Monkees' debut single set the template for the band's sound by merging the easygoing harmonies of the Beatles with jangling, folk-rock guitars. Unsurprisingly, the tune hit Number One on the Billboard charts in November 1966.
2. ‘I’m a Believer’
Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer" is one of the best compositions of his long career as a songwriter and one of the Monkees' signature hits. The song was a smash upon its release at the end of 1966 and stuck around at the top of the U.S. charts for seven weeks despite some serious competition.
1. ‘Daydream Believer’
Davy Jones turned in the finest performance of his career on "Daydream Believer," a smash hit penned by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio. The song has become a pop standard and has been covered by everyone from the Four Tops and Paul Westerberg to U2 and Susan Boyle.