Neil Diamond: “I’m A Believer”

Posted: February 9, 2015 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “I’m A Believer” – The Monkees
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: The Frank & Walters vs. Nina Hagen
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


And In My Hour of Need, I Truly Am Indeed, Alone Again, Broccoli ...

I Thought Love Was Just a Bowl of Broccoli …

I’m A Believer was composed and recorded by Neil Diamond in 1966. It was released on his album Just for You in 1967. However, in November 1966, The Monkees recorded and released the song to immediate fanfare. I’m a Believer amazingly ranks as the third most popular rock song of the ’60s, behind only the Beatles’ Hey Jude and I Want to Hold Your Hand. It spent seven weeks at number one in America, hit the top of the charts in Britain as well, and charted in over a dozen countries.

The Original

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Neil Diamond:

This version is just plain weird. It sounds like…well… it sounds like Neil Diamond is singing it…some things are just not right!

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The Most Popular

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The Monkees:

There, now that sounds much better…

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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The Frank & Walters vs. Nina Hagen

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The Frank & Walters:

Nina Hagen:

Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Cuspid says:

    Nina takes this one hands-down… even if she does support Scott Walker.

  2. RDubbs says:

    Man this one’s really tough. The Frank & Walters cut exhibits little to no imagination, playing the song as close to the original as possible. This approach tends to annoy me in a cover song. Why bother recording a cover that apes the original as close as possible? However, I do like this feel-good song of my youth and, consequently, enjoy The Frank & Walters’ close-to-the-vest homage.

    To the other extreme, Nina Hagen’s creative rendition significantly departs from the original, keeping only its lyrics and general beat. Thus, points in her favor are surely accrued for originality. However, the question then arises, is it a version that you’d want to hear more than, say, once every other year? For me the answer would clearly be in the affirmative.

    So how do I vote? Where do I go? What should I have for lunch?

    Ahhhh, I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself!!!

    Hmmm, could that be a hint pertaining to CMI’s next post…Stay tuned…

  3. Lucky H says:

    Nina Baby! Am I crazy, or didn’t she perform this in an early episode early episode of Batman, circa 1965??

  4. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I agree with everything Richie says… except for all of the words that he used.

    Nina, baby.

  5. Pete Black says:

    I am for the destructing and defiling of many things unjustly popular but…Eartha Kitt on nitrous? What is more scary? Nina’s evil Bond villain mug or her vacuous 80s deconstruction of a catchy, well written mid sixties nugget? I like Neil’s version best. He was very good until about 1972. Then he became a cheeseburger fast food franchise. Elvis was similar but on a bigger scale but Elvis never wrote a song or really played an instrument.

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