|"I'm a Believer"|
US single cover
|Single by The Monkees|
|from the album More of the Monkees|
|"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"|
|Released||November 12, 1966|
|Recorded||October 15 & 23, 1966|
New York City, NY
|The Monkees singles chronology|
"I'm a Believer" is a song composed by Neil Diamond and recorded by The Monkees in 1966 with the lead vocals by Micky Dolenz. The single, produced by Jeff Barry, hit the number-one spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending December 31, 1966 and remained there for seven weeks, becoming the last No. 1 hit of 1966 and the biggest-selling record for all of 1967. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 5 song for 1967. Because of 1,051,280 advance orders, it went gold within two days of release. It is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold more than 10 million physical copies worldwide. While originally published by Screen Gems-Columbia Music (BMI), it is now published by Stonebridge Music/EMI Foray Music (SESAC).
The song appeared in four consecutive episodes of The Monkees TV show in December 1966.
A revised recording by Diamond, featuring additional lyrics, appears on his 1979 album September Morn. Diamond also performed it in a duet with Linda Ronstadt as part of a medley of his songs on an episode of The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour in 1970.
|Canada RPM Adult Contemporary||21|
|Canada RPM Top Singles||61|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||51|
|U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary||31|
|U.S. Cash Box Top 100||52|
Session guitarist Al Gorgoni (who played on "The Sound of Silence" and later on "Brown Eyed Girl") had worked on Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" and also contributed to "I'm a Believer". Other personnel on the record include Sal DiTroia on rhythm guitar, Neil Diamond on acoustic guitar, Russ Savakus on bass, George Butcher on piano, Stan Free on Vox Continental organ, George Devens on percussion, and Buddy Saltzman on drums.
The song was originally used in the home video version of the Coen brothers' 1984 film Blood Simple, but after licensing issues were settled, was replaced in the 2001 director's cut by the song used in the theatrical version: Four Tops' "It's the Same Old Song". It was also used in the South Park episode "Chickenpox".
|"I'm a Believer"|
|Single by Smash Mouth|
|from the album Smash Mouth|
|Released||August 14, 2001|
|Smash Mouth singles chronology|
American pop rock band Smash Mouth covered the song in 2001 as part of the soundtrack to the movie Shrek, along with "All Star". The band also released the song on its self-titled album. Eddie Murphy, portraying the character Donkey, also performed a rendition of the song in the film. The song was chosen for its opening line, "I thought love was only true in fairy tales," which matched the fairy tale theme of the film. Subsequently, the song was played as exit music for the Broadway musical adaptation of the film, for comic effect. Weezer also had a version of the song at the end of Shrek's 2010 sequel Shrek Forever After, which was inserted into the musical's finale a year into its run. The Smash Mouth version hit No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 20 in New Zealand and Spain. In Australia, the cover reached No. 9 on the ARIA Singles Chart, received a Platinum certification for sales exceeding 70,000, and came in at number 36 on ARIA's year-end chart for 2001.
The music video for Smash Mouth's version was directed by Scott Marshall. It depicts the band performing in a tent. Then, the scene switches to them walking out of a movie theater, complete with cardboard advertisements of Shrek and the characters. Then, lead vocalist Steve Harwell bumps into a blond-haired girl by accident and then tries to catch up with her. However, a man with blond hair comes up as Harwell freaks out and screams. Afterwards, the girl walks into a "fairy tale convention" at a hotel. Harwell continues to follow the girl into the hotel. Once in the hotel, Harwell tries to find the girl by looking through different rooms. However, there are short clips from Shrek each time he opens the door. Finally, he tries one more door and thinks it is the girl. However, it is a blond-haired monkey, who dances with a girl dressed as a banana. With no luck, Harwell walks out of the hotel, but the girl speeds off in her red convertible. Hoping to catch up, he sneakily takes a red cape and borrows a silver Lexus car driven by a costumed gingerbread man who is injured on crutches. Then, Harwell winks at the camera as the chase begins. While driving, he throws his red cape up and into the street. He then stops at a party where the girl is and goes into a tent. However, he sees multiple blond-haired girls with the same red shirt on, all dancing. By the time he catches up to her, the girl goes on a boat. Harwell asks a boat captain for assistance to win the girl. The band then performs on the boat during a heavy storm. Meanwhile, Harwell and the captain are on the lookout of the girl. He finally catches her on a dock and says that she forgot her keys. Just as he is about to leave, the girl recognizes him as Steve from Smash Mouth and asks for his number. However, Harwell declines and says he has to go. Finally, the girl then chases him and yells, "Wait! Please! I love you!"
On select prints of the Shrek soundtrack, a prototype version of the Smash Mouth song has a different arrangement, and does not sound like the more prominent song in the film. An Italian version by Caterina Caselli "Sono Bugiarda" was a hit in Italy in 1967. Robert Wyatt had a Top 30 hit in the UK in September-October 1974 (it reached No. 29 on the UK charts) with a version of "I'm a Believer" that features Fred Frith on violin, Andy Summers (later of the Police) on guitar, and drums by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, who also produced the recording. It was Wyatt's first recording after the June 1973 accident that left him a paraplegic.
In 2004, the song was covered by M10, a band formed from school music students.