Ten of the Monkees’ hits reached the top 10 of the pop charts in the United States. Thereafter, some of them, like “Daydream Believer”, remain famous and others languish in obscurity. This ranking concerns them all.
10. “DW Washburn”
A vaudevillian attempt at comedy, this number borders on annoyance. Notably, the song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the same duo that wrote or co-wrote Elvis Presley hits like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Hound Dog.” The song peaked at number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 before being forgotten in time.
9. “That Was Then, This Is Now”
With this track, the Prefab Four manage to sound quite believable as a synth-pop band. However, as a new wave song about aging, it pales in comparison to Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” also released in 1986.
“Valleri” doesn’t have one of the best hooks in the bunch. However, the song’s flamenco-style riff gives it a lot of energy. It also has some welcome traces of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in its horn line.
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This attempt to emulate the sound of The Door has some pretty groovy verses, but the chorus gets a bit irritating. Still, anything resembling The Doors has its charms.
6. ‘I am a believer
5. “Last Train to Clarksville”
“Last Train to Clarksville” deserved far more credit for helping to create country rock before the Eagles even existed. For a chewing gum band, the Prefab Four were able to incorporate a real sense of drama and urgency into the song.
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4. “A little me, a little you”
The groove that Neil Diamond created for this song is so tight and fun that you can almost forget this song is about an imperfect relationship.
3. “Pleasant Valley Sunday”
Arguably the band’s most lyrical hit, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” gets extra points for Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s superb arrangement.
2. ‘(I’m not your) stepping stone’
The band’s best attempt at emulating the Doors, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” has become a protopunk classic in its own right. The Sex Pistols’ cover of the track only made it more legendary.
1. “Daydreaming Believer”
Along with “I’m a Believer”, “Daydream Believer” is probably the Monkees’ best-known song. The song’s opening piano riff sounds as good as it did in 1967.
All these years later, “Daydream Believer” is still one of the best bubblegum songs of all time.
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