The Beatles Once Knocked a Monkees Song Off the Top of the Chart

The Monkees‘ songs are often compared to The Beatles’ songs. Notably, the two bands had to battle for chart supremacy simultaneously. For example, one of The Beatles’ songs knocked The Monkees’ final No. 1 single off of its pedestal. John Lennon revealed he wasn’t a big fan of the Beatles song in question.

The Beatles' Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon near a drum set
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Paul McCartney wanted 1 of The Beatles’ songs to explore ‘a deep theme in the universe’

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the meaning of The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye.” “‘Hello, Goodbye’ was one of my songs,” he said. “There are Geminian influences here I think the twins. It’s such a deep theme in the universe, duality.” For context, Paul referred to the Gemini, twins from the Western Zodiac.

Paul elaborated on “Hello, Goodbye,” “Man woman, black white, ebony ivory, high low, right wrong, up down, hello goodbye — that it was a very easy song to write,” he recalled. “It’s just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive. You say goodbye, I say hello. You say stop, I say go. I was advocating the more positive side of the duality, and I still do to this day.”

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John Lennon wasn’t a fan of ‘Hello, Goodbye’ but he enjoyed 1 part of it

John had a less positive take on “Hello, Goodbye.” According to the 1980 book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John said the song had Paul’s fingerprints all over it. “That’s another McCartney,” he said. “Smells a mile away, doesn’t it? An attempt to write a single.”

John didn’t think “Hello, Goodbye” was impressive. “It wasn’t a great piece; the best bit was the end, which we all ad-libbed in the studio, where I played the piano,” he opined. “Like one of my favorite bits on ‘Ticket to Ride,’ where we just threw something in at the end.”

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How The Beatles’ ‘Hello, Goodbye’ performed against 1 of The Monkees’ songs

“Hello, Goodbye” was a massive hit in the United States. According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, it topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. “Hello, Goodbye” knocked The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” off the top of the chart.

“Daydream Believer” topped the chart for four weeks, becoming The Monkees’ final No. 1 song. Subsequently, the Prefab Four only released one more top 10 hit: “Valleri.” In 1968, The Monkees’ sitcom was canceled. The group eventually returned to the top 20 in 1986 with “That Was Then, This Is Now.”

“Hello, Goodbye” and “Daydream Believer” are both classic tracks — even if one topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a longer time.

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