Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sound Bank: 6) Daydream Believer

Daydream Believer is quite possibly the perfect pop song - but it has a very odd intro. "What number is this, Chip?" inquires tiny Liverpudlian dreamboat Davy Jones. "7-A" comes the reply. Not for nothing does the chorus ask "what can it mean?"

7-A was, in fact, the number of takes Davy had to record before the song was considered complete. It might not seem like a lot now, but in 1967 it was an eternity. "You can tell from the vocal that I was pissed off," Jones wrote in the official Monkees biography 20 years later.

You can't, really. Either through fatigue or boredom, Jones lends an air of wistfulness to the dainty melody. It's the song's Mona Lisa smile - an indescribable something that takes it from being a great performance to a transcendent one. Many people have tried to recreate it (more than 50, apparently) but none have succeeded.

This isn't just one of my favourite songs, though. It's the one my dad, a strait-laced Professor of medicine who routinely performs kidney transplants, will sing without provocation or hesitation any time he is in close proximity to a microphone.

You can't fault his taste.

The Monkees - Daydream Believer

Sound Bank is a series of blog posts I'm running in August while I'm on holiday. If you want to know more about it, there's an explanation on this page. Normal pop blog service will be resumed around 25th August

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