BACKSTORY: The Monkees’ “I’m A Believer”
Q: Did it bother Neil Diamond that The Monkees had a hit with his song I'M A BELIEVER and he didn't?
A: I'll let Neil tell you himself: "I was thrilled, because at heart I was still a songwriter and I wanted my songs on the charts. It was one of the songs that was going to be on my first album, but Donny Kirshner, who was their music maven, hears CHERRY, CHERRY on the radio and said, 'Wow, I want one like that for The Monkees!' He called my producers, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich - 'Hey, does this kid have any more?' And they played him the things I had cut for the next album and he picked I'M A BELIEVER, A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU and LOOK OUT (HERE COMES TOMORROW), and they had some huge hits. But the head of my record company freaked. He went through the roof because he felt that I had given #1 records away to another group. I couldn't have cared less because I had to pay the rent and The Monkees were selling records and I wasn't being paid for my records." Diamond believed his song was to be recorded by country singer Eddy Arnold and was surprised when it was passed on to The Monkees. Monkee member Mike Nesmith didn't care for the song, saying "I'm a songwriter, and that's no hit" – so producer Jeff Barry banned Mike from the studio in order for Micky Dolenz to record the vocal.