The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’: Only 1 Beatles Song Was No. 1 Longer

The Monkees‘ “I’m a Believer” was a huge hit in the 1960s. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 longer than any of The Beatles’ songs except for one. Paul McCartney said he wrote a bad lyric for the Fab Four song in question.

The Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork wearing blue during the "I'm a Believer" era
The Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Image

Why Micky Dolenz couldn’t hear himself when he played The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ on tour in the 1960s

During a 2016 interview with Entertainment Weekly, The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz discussed playing “I’m a Believer” in the 1960s. “I do remember lots of snatches of touring back then,” he said. “Unbelievable. No monitors. Screaming. Screaming, screaming.”

Playing had its challenges. “[When we played ‘I’m a Believer’] I couldn’t hear myself,” he said. “I just had to pound away. Even to this day, I sing with my eyes closed, because I had to close my eyes and hit myself in the leg to keep time on the drums. I had a big bruise.”

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Paul McCartney discussed writing The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ while John Lennon and Yoko Ono stood right behind him

Hey Jude” is the only Beatles song to stay atop the Billboard Hot 100 longer than “I’m a Believer.” During a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, Paul discussed creating “Hey Jude.” “I was in London, my music room at the top of the house, playing my little painted magic piano,” he recalled. “John and Yoko were standing right behind me, on my shoulder, in fact.”

Paul said “Hey Jude” originally had a different lyric. “They’re standing right behind me as I’m playing, ‘Hey Jude, da-da-da-da, da-da-da,” and I get to, ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder,’ and I just looked by and I said, ‘I’ll fix that one,'” Paul recalled. Paul said John said that was the best line in the song.

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How The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ and The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ performed on the charts in the United States

“I’m a Believer” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, staying on the chart for 15 weeks in total. The track appeared on the album More of the Monkees. The album was No. 1 for 18 of its 96 weeks on the Billboard 200.

“Hey Jude” was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks, remaining on the chart for 19 weeks altogether. It was The Beatles longest-running No. 1 single, beating out “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which topped the chart for seven weeks. “Hey Jude” appeared on the compilation album of the same title. The compilation reached No. 2, staying on the Billboard 200 for 36 weeks.

“I’m a Believer” was a huge hit even though it was commercially eclipsed by “Hey Jude.”

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