- Jimmy Webb said one of the Monkees songs influenced him early in his career.
- He sang it in a melody with one of the Everly Brothers songs that inspired him.
- The Prefab Four song in question appeared on one of the band’s hit albums.
Monkees songs were not always respected in the 1960s. Despite this, country singer Jimmy Webb held a Prefab Four song in high regard. He once sang it in a melody with another classic Everly Brothers song.
1 of the Prefab Four songwriters called a Jim Webb song a ‘masterpiece’
Boyce & Hart was a songwriting team consisting of Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart. Together they wrote some of the Monkees’ most famous songs. These tracks included “Last Train to Clarksville”, “(Theme of) Monkeysand “(I’m not your) stepping stone.”
In his 2015 book Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees and Turning Mayhem Into Miracles, Hart discussed dating Webb. “He invited Boyce and me to his New Year’s Eve party in 1967, and before he left he took us upstairs and played us an unreleased tape of his masterpiece, ‘MacArthur Park'” , wrote Hart.
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Jimmy Webb performed one of the Monkees songs in a medley with 1 of the Everly Brothers songs
Later that night, Hart and his date, Claudia Jennings, watched Webb sing. “But halfway through that date night, as Claudia and I were watching, Jimmy came up with a medley of two songs he hadn’t written himself,” Hart recalled. “He told his audience of fans and music luminaries that these tracks inspired him early on and he considers them two of the greatest songs of all time.
“The first was the Everly Brothers classic, ‘Let It Be Me,'” Hart recalled. “The second was ‘I Wanna Be Free’ by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart. It was an unexpected and appreciated honor, but more importantly, it capped off a perfect second date with a girl who, until now, didn’t know much about what I did for a living.
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How The Monkees’ “I Wanna Be Free” Performed On The Charts In The US And UK
“I Wanna Be Free” did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. He appeared on the Prefab Four’s debut album, Monkeys. This album exceeded the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks, remaining on the chart for a total of 102 weeks.
According The Official Map Company, “I Wanna Be Free” was also not recorded in the UK. Meanwhile, Monkeys was No. 1 in the UK for seven weeks. The album lasted 37 weeks on the chart in total.
“I Wanna Be Free” was not a hit, but Webb held it in high regard.
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