The Monkees and Pink Floyd made very different music. Despite this, a member of Pink Floyd was producer of a successful cover of “I’m a Believer” by The Monkees. Notably, the artist who performed the cover originally intended to record another Prefab Four song.
Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz of the Monkees | Keystone Features/Getty Images
Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason produced a Monkees cover for a rock star who loved pop music
Robert Wyatt is a rock musician who released a cover of The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” in 1974. Nick Mason of Pink Floyd produced the record. During a 2017 interview with Uncut, Wyatt discussed the origin of the cover.
“I had said in NME or Melody Maker that I really like pop music – for me it’s industrial age folk music, it’s what people sing and dance on Saturday nights,” said said Wyatt. “Simon Draper at Virgin, he saw this and he called me a bluff and said ‘Would you do a pop song?’ I was planning on doing ‘Last Train to Clarksville’, because I like it, but I got confused.
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Robert Wyatt compared The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” to paintings of monkeys
Wyatt has revealed his thoughts on The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer.” “A friend of mine said to me, ‘But Robert, is that a great song?’ “, he recalls. “In an exhibition, Peter Blake had a lot of paintings of monkeys, and someone said to him, ‘Oh, those aren’t very good paintings.’ He said, ‘Well, they’re pretty good for monkeys!’ »
“So for a Monkees song, it’s a really good song,” he said. “I don’t feel the need for hierarchies [in music] and there was a slight statement I was making about it. Wyatt revealed that he didn’t care if the song would become a hit when he recorded it. After all, many of his favorite jazz songs didn’t sell well.
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How ‘I’m a Believer’ and its Robert Wyatt cover performed on the UK pop charts
The Official Charts Company reports that The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” became the band’s only No. 1 single in the UK. The tune was No. 1 for four weeks, remaining on the chart for a total of 18 weeks. The track appeared on the album More of the Monkees. The album peaked at No. 1 in the UK for two weeks, remaining on the chart for a total of 25 weeks.
According to The Official Charts Company, Wyatt’s cover reached No. 29 in the UK and lasted for five weeks on the chart. None of Wyatt’s songs ranked higher there. A version of Wyatt’s “I’m a Believer” appeared on the Eps album, which was never recorded in the UK
The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” was a hit, and Wyatt proved it could be popular in the hands of another artist.
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