The Monkees

I'm a Believer

Song Review by

The best of the '60s good-time pop songs and one of the most infectious singles ever recorded, "I'm a Believer" by the Monkees grooves along with a ragged accompaniment featuring handclaps and tambourine, fab electric piano solos, and a few well-timed, rushing-up-to-the-brink pauses just before the contagious, fervent chorus. For a song so incredibly catchy, it's hardly surprising that songwriter Neil Diamond (before his transformation into a sex bomb for middle-aged females across the nation) and producer Jeff Barry were responsible; they were two of the most talented hires on the assembly line at the pop-song factory known as the Brill Building, responsible for dozens of hits during the '60s. "I'm a Believer" itself ranks as the third most popular rock song of the '60s, behind only the Beatles' "Hey Jude" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." It spent seven weeks at number one in America, hit the top of the charts in Britain as well, and charted in over a dozen countries. The vocals, by Mickey Dolenz, are poised halfway between the garage and the recording studio. Over the course of the song, Dolenz becomes increasingly aggressive, until he's practically screaming his devotion at the end of the last chorus. The rest is pure songwriting brilliance, and it's probably a rare group that couldn't have taken "I'm a Believer" to number one. Diamond's mix of internal and external rhymes in the chorus -- "Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer/Not a trace of doubt in my mind/I'm in love/I'm a believer, I couldn't leave her if I tried" -- are surprisingly complex for a pop song. With an efficiency matched only by the best songs on Motown Records, "I'm a Believer" proves that the American manufacturing process -- the best person for each job, working together in tandem to efficiently make a profitable product -- does occasionally result in high art as well as high sales.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1966 Arista 0:00
More of the Monkees 1967 Rhino 2:52
Greatest Hits [Colgems] 1969
Barrel Full of Monkees [Colgems] 1971 Colgems
No Image 1972 2:38
No Image 1974
Original Soundtrack
Arista 2:41
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:43
No Image 1980 EMI Music Distribution 2:42
No Image 1981 MFP
21 Legendary Superstars Oldies but Goodies 1983
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:43
Then & Now...The Best of the Monkees 1986 Arista 0:00
Oldies but Goodies, Vol. 2 [Box] 1987
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:43
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
The Monkees [Single] 1989 Arista 2:43
AM Gold: 1966 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:46
No Image 1991
Listen to the Band 1991 Rhino 2:47
Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits: 1962-1966 1993
Various Artists
Rhino 2:46
Remember the 60's, Vol. 2 [Remember] 1994
Various Artists
Remember Records
Sunny Afternoons [Polygram] 1995
Various Artists
Polygram 2:44
Best Sixties Album in the World Ever 1995
Various Artists
2:45
Greatest Hits [Rhino] 1995 Rhino 2:46
Bubblegum Classics, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varèse Sarabande 2:46
Only Rock 'N Roll 1965-1969: #1 Radio Hits 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 2:46
I'm a Believer and Other Hits 1997 Rhino Flashback 2:47
The Very Best of the Monkees 1997 Bellaphon Records 2:43
Anthology 1998 Rhino 2:47
Here They Come: The Greatest Hits of the Monkees 1998 WEA International 2:47
No Image 1998
Original Soundtrack
Warner Music 2:44
Jukebox Hits of 1966, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Jukebox Records 2:43
Oldies Radio: K-Earth 101FM Greatest Hits 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:45
More Music from the Motion Picture Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me 1999
Original Soundtrack
Maverick 2:44
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 2 & 3 2000
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:43
25 All-Time Greatest Bubblegum Hits: The Ultimate Bubblegum Collection 2000
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:44
Casey Kasem: America's Top 10 Through the Years 2000
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:47
20 Greatest Hits 2000 2:46
Greatest Number 1's Ever 2001 EMI Music Distribution 2:44
Music Box 2001 Rhino 2:46
Casey Kasem: America's Top 10 Through Years - The 60's 2001
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:47
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Realm Records 2:44
The Essentials 2002 Rhino 2:45
Pure 60's: The #1 Hits 2002
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:44
The Definitive Monkees 2002 WEA / WEA Int'l 2:45
Sixties Jukebox Classics 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 2:42
The Very Best of 60's Gold 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:46
The Best of the Monkees [Rhino] 2003 Rhino 3:13
All the 60's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:47
Billboard #1 Hits of the '60s 2003
Various Artists
Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 2:47
Rock & Roll: The First 50 Years - The Mid-'60s 2004
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:48
Inspired: The World's Greatest Covers 2004
Various Artists
V2tv 2:45
Daydream Believer: The Platinum Collection 2005 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. 2:44
All #1 Hits '60s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:46
Very Best of the Monkees [WEA] 2006 MSI Music Distribution / Warner Music 2:44
Platinum Collection: Daydream Believer, Vol. 1/Platinum Collection, Vol. 2 2006 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. / Rhino / WEA 0:00
The Greatest Groovy 60's Hits of All Time 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 2:45
Summer of Love: Gold 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:46
Forever the Monkees 2007 Rhino 2:47
#1 Classic Hits of the 60s 1965-1970 2007
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:45
I'm a Believer: The Best of the Monkees 2007 Music Club Deluxe 2:45
Sugar, Sugar: 60s Pop 2007
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:48
Kuhstall Hits 2009: Das Beste Vom Apres-Ski 2008
Various Artists
Edel Records 2:42
Sounds of the 60's Generation 2008
Various Artists
Destra 2:46
They Sold a Million [EMI] 2009
Various Artists
Virgin 2:43
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [2009] 2009
Various Artists
EMI 2:43
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
Original Album Series 2010 Rhino 2:48
100 Hits: Sixties Pop 2010
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:44
Monkeemania: The Very Best of the Monkees 2011 Rhino 2:46
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:46
Party Rock 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:44
Greatest Ever! Bubblegum Pop: The Definitive Collection 2013
Various Artists
Greatest Ever 2:46
Romancing the '60s [Time] 2013
Various Artists
StarVista / Time / Life Music 2:46
Ultimate Collection: 60s Classics [2014] 2014
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / Union Square Music / Universal 2:45
The Best Ever Sixties 2015
Various Artists
Rhino
The Monkees 50 2016 Rhino 2:47
An Introduction To 2018 Rhino / Rhino Flashback 2:46
'60s Summer of Love [UMOD]
Various Artists
UMOD / Universal 2:46
'60s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:50
100 Greatest Breakfast Songs
Various Artists
Rhino 2:41
100 Greatest Love Songs
Various Artists
Rhino
100 Greatest Motivation Songs
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
100 Greatest Number Ones
Various Artists
Rhino 2:41
No Image
Various Artists
Rhino
100 Greatest Summer Songs
Various Artists
Rhino 2:41
American Classics [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino
Car-aoke: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:50
Feel Good
Various Artists
Rhino
Feel-Good Favorites: Pop Hits of the '60s & '70s, Vols. 1-2
Various Artists
Ultimate Mix 2:47
Lost and Found: 1962-1969
Various Artists
EMI
Party Rock: Listen To The Music
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:44
Party Time! 50 Classic Party Tracks
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 2:50
Rock [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 2:50
Romancing the '60s: My Special Angel
Various Artists
StarVista 2:46
Sixties [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 2:50
Summer Road Trip [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 2:47
The Broons Family Album
Various Artists
EMI 2:46
Time Life Presents the 60s
Various Artists
Time Life 2:46
Time Life Presents: Greatest Love Songs of the 60's [5 Discs]
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:44
Top Hits/60's Only Number 1's
Various Artists
Warner Music 2:50