The Monkees: What Micky Dolenz Thought of Smash Mouth’s ‘I’m a Believer’

The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer” became a hit song in the 1960s. However, some younger audiences are more familiar with “I’m a Believer” through Smash Mouth’s cover that appeared in the movie Shrek. Interestingly, The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz opened up about his reaction to Smash Mouth’s version of the song. Here’s how he reacts to kids who might not know that The Monkees’ performed the song decades before the Shrek franchise began.

The Monkees playing instruments
The Monkees | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Is ‘I’m a Believer’ Micky Dolenz’s favorite song by The Monkees?

Forbes’ Jim Clash asked Dolenz to name his favorite Monkees song. Dolenz found the task impossible. He said it was as difficult as choosing his favorite album by The Beatles.

“There’s a whole bunch,” Dolenz revealed. “It depends on if it’s a ballad, or up-tempo, whatever. There are some songs that tend to work better on-stage than others.”

The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer”

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Dolenz then discussed a handful of the writers behind The Monkees’ songs, describing these writers as some of the greatest in their field. “I like a lot of the stuff that [Carole] King and [Gerry] Goffin wrote, not necessarily big hits,” he said. “Of course, you love singing the big hits. A lot of them were written by Boyce and Hart: ‘Last Train To Clarksville,’ ‘Steppin’ Stone’ and, of course, our theme song. Then King and Goffin again, who wrote ‘Pleasant Valley Sunday,’ still a great song to do live, a real rocker. Of course, there’s Neil Diamond and one of our biggest hits, ‘I’m a Believer,’ which I usually use to close my show.”

What Micky Dolenz wants to tell kids who know ‘I’m a Believer’ from ‘Shrek’

Clash asked Dolenz about Smash Mouth’s version of “I’m a Believer,” which appears in the wedding scene from Shrek. “I thought it was a great rendition,” he revealed.  “When I used to do it in my solo show, I’d say to the audience, ‘For all of you kids out there, I want you to know that I did this way before Shrek [laughs].’”

Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer”

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The Monkees’ version of “I’m a Believer” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remained on the chart for 15 weeks. It was The Monkees’ highest-charting hit besides “Daydream Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville.”

On the other hand, Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer” was a more modest hit, reaching No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, it stayed on the chart for 20 weeks — significantly longer than The Monkees’ rendition. The song became so associated with Shrek that it appeared in the Broadway adaptation of the film. Even if Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer” wasn’t as big of a hit as The Monkees’, Dolenz still appreciated it.

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