According to my research, as of today “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees was the number one song in both the U.S. and the UK. Which means that for the moment they were a bigger force in the charts than The Beatles, and thus two degrees more popular than Jesus.

You can see why executives at Parlophone and Capitol were fairly desperate for new Beatles product; the Prefab Four were making money hand over fist. Or at least their handlers were; I think the Monkees themselves were signed on a work-for-hire basis.

The story of how the Monkees cut their puppet strings and became something akin to a legitimate band is a long, interesting, and even somewhat inspiring one. But this is probably not the place for it; the name of this site is not, after all, The Monkees Plus 50. Still, we’ll keep an eye on them as things progress.