Smash Mouth, ‘I’m a Believer’ – Terrible Classic Rock Covers
Technically, ‘I’m a Believer’ is a Neil Diamond song, even though it was made famous by the ’60s’ best made-for-TV rock group, the Monkees. But it doesn’t matter which of those acts claims ownership of it, as long as it’s not Smash Mouth, who covered the song in 2001 for the hit animated movie ‘Shrek.’
Originally released in 1966, ‘I’m a Believer’ is one of those pure-fun types of love songs — and the Monkees really caught that groove and spirit and ran with it. The lyrical hook, ‘and then I saw her face,’ could be seen as a direct reference to the Beatles’ ‘I’ve Just Seen a Face’ from the year before. It’s a similar concept, if you think about it: guy sees girl’s face, falls madly in love, and that’s that.
But for all its simplicity, the producers of ‘Shrek’ should be brought up on charges for hiring late-‘90s band Smash Mouth — the forgettable act that put out vomit-inducing hits like ‘Walkin’ On the Sun’ and ‘All Star’ — to record a version for their film, where it was heard by thousands of impressionable children.
Where the Monkees’ version had character and the top studio musicians in Los Angeles playing on it, Smash Mouth’s cover is cheesy and overproduced. You’d think that with the advancements in technology, a band who made a pretty penny in the ‘90s could find a way to push the song ahead a few miles. Instead, they made it practically unlistenable.
Listen to the Monkees’ ‘I’m a Believer’