An estimated 92% of us experience earworms. Despite the annoying times we can’t get a chorus or a hook of an overplayed pop song out of our heads, getting a really good earworm stuck can be one of the best things, ever. We here at Nerdist are dead set on bringing you those types of songs—even if only for the weekend. So shove this into your grey matter!
Oh, I can only imagine the comment trolls on this one folks. It’s going to be a treat to hear people rant about how they (somehow) don’t love The Monkees. They’re wrong, of course. Very, very wrong, because The Monkees were and are one of the most iconic bands of all time. If you find yourself disliking this undeniably great band, you need to reassess your life. Let’s not be like this little girl from The Simpsons. While the truth may have crushed Marge, there’s nothing that can stop me from loving this band.
As it turns out, this past week marked the 50th anniversary of The Monkees television show, so I figured I’d take the time to just mess around with some of the the bands music. Wait, that’s not the right term. There has got to be a much more appropriate phrase I could use in this instance. Hey! Hey! I got it! Let’s do some horsing around with some Monkees music.
Predictable? Absolutely! But necessary for an article about earworms. I would wager that there are people out there that know the chorus of this song without ever having consciously listened to it. It’s one of those special tunes that seeps into everyone’s brains through some sort of musical osmosis. When most people think The Monkees, this is likely the number that first pops into their brains. However, on quite literally the flip side of this song was its B-side tune that just might be my favorite Monkees song of all time.
Am I out of line for suggesting any music that Micky Dolenz had a hand in is some of the absolute best? “Goin’ Down” tells the story of a bad breakup that, like most bad breakups tend to do, gets a bit easier to deal with after a while, thanks to some different perspective. The lyrics follow a man jumping into a river to end it all, only to realize things aren’t that bad and one needs only to relax and float toward better things.
It’s a long time coming to feature this song since my second or third article ever published on Nerdist garnered some of my very first and favorite “fire this guy” comments for not sharing it. Those are a treat. (Bonus emphatic Dolenz-fronted song: “Randy Scouse Git.” You… are… welcome.)
Let’s get to some of The Monkees’ newer stuff. And I really mean new. Like, 2016 new.
“You Bring The Summer”
That’s right. The Monkees are still at it. Their latest album, Good Times, was released in May of 2016 and is everything it needs to be. Produced by Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, each tune has that undeniable Monkees sound with the bonus of occasionally taking on a vibe of the other artists involved. “You Bring The Summer” harkens back to what everyone remembers about the band and serves as a great example of the music they’re still producing. Also, how can you go wrong with simplified animated versions of the band getting up to the same antics we loved them for in a delightfully positive song?
The album is quintessentially Monkees but with some noticeable things that, on occasion, shine through. For instance, “You Bring The Summer” wouldn’t feel totally out of place on a Fountains of Wayne album, while others (like our next song) could play their part in other bands’ discographies.
“She Makes Me Laugh”
Released as the first single from the album, this song was written by Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. Now, as a massive fan of heartfelt Weezer songs, I can’t help but feel that there’s something special about Cuomo penning an earnest love song. At times, the structure of the song even feels like it could could be a lost B-side of Pinkerton or the Blue Album.
But hey, this isn’t about Weezer (that’s next week, probably); this about The Monkees. Choosing songs for today’s article has been one of the more daunting tasks in Weekend Earworms history because there’s just so many great ones to choose from. But this one here just may be the one to end with.
“You Just May Be the One”
Written by wool hat enthusiast Michael Nesmith, this song, in addition to “Daydream Believer,” perfectly encapsulates everything we love about The Monkees. Zany footage from the show tied into the video performance of the band is obviously something they were known for, but for whatever reason, this one hits every single cell of The Monkees nostalgia receptors in my brain. Plus, people who leave the article singing this one instead of “Daydream Believer” are likely to resent me less.
What are your favorite Monkees’ songs? Is anyone catching their 50th anniversary tour? Want to bring me with? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Image: The Monkees/YouTube
Blake Rodgers writes for Nerdist from Chicago, IL where he lives happily with his Guinness World Record for High Fives. You can be his pal by following him on Twitter (@TheBlakeRodgers)