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  • Smash Mouth liked their cover of The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” that appeared in Shrek.
  • Members of the band were concerned about the film’s quality.
  • Both the original song and the cover were huge hits.
The Monkees' Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith, and Micky Dolenz  with a piano during the "I'm a Believer" era
The Monkees’ Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith, and Micky Dolenz | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Smash Mouth’s cover of The Monkees‘ “I’m a Believer” appeared in Shrek. At first, a member of Smash Mouth said he wasn’t sure why the cover made the film. But subsequently, he said it might have been because the band’s lead singer is similar to Shrek.

Members of Smash Mouth worried ‘Shrek’ was going to be ‘terrible’

According to a 2021 article from USA Today, producer Eric Valentine asked Smash Mouth to cover “I’m a Believer.” Smash Mouth’s Paul De Lisle said the band “quickly worked up a treatment … and just recorded it on the spot.” De Lisle said the band was proud of its recording of the song but worried at first about its use in Shrek.

“The way people explained (the movie) … it sounded like it could potentially be terrible,” De Lisle said. “Then Eddie Murphy came in to record, and I’m like, ‘OK, this is kind of a big deal.’ And then a year later, it’s the biggest movie ever in the history of the universe.”

Paul De Lisle offered thoughts for why Smash Mouth’s cover of The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ appeared in ‘Shrek’

De Lisle was asked why Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer” appeared in Shrek. “I’m not sure why,” he responded. “It’s a very positive song with a very encouraging lyric, you know? And this may sound strange, but it might have something to do with our singing kind of vaguely resembles Shrek.”

De Lisle mentioned his bandmate Steve Harwell. “He’s kind of Shrek-ish himself and ever since then, I don’t think we’ve played a show in 20 years where there isn’t someone in the audience dressed up like Shrek or with a Shrek sign or something,” he added.


The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ Was Written by This Major Singer

How The Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’ and Smash Mouth’s cover performed on the charts

The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” became a massive hit in the United States. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, staying on the chart for 15 weeks total. “I’m a Believer” appeared on the album More of the Monkees. The album was No. 1 for 18 of its 96 weeks on the Billboard 200, becoming one of the band’s biggest hits on the chart.

Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer” was a more modest hit. It reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 20 weeks. Smash Mouth released the cover on the album Smash Mouth. The album hit No. 48 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 10 weeks.

Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer” is the most famous cover of a Monkees track, regardless of why it was in Shrek.