So here we are, November 30th and I’m on the 30th song. It was a little bit of a circuitous route to this point, but I’m here and in my book, that’s a win. I’m sorry if I didn’t get to your song – there’s always next year. Plus I’m thinking of doing this again in March or something just because I have a such a good time doing it. It is a little bit stressful, especially this year as I had no posts in draft form that just needed some revising so the pressure really was on.
For the last song, we’re doing a cover. It’s one of those covers that hasn’t quite eclipsed the original in my brain, but it very nearly has. It’s Anne Murray’s 1980 version of The Monkees’ 1967 hit “Daydream Believer.” I really do love this song – it’s one of those songs that has dual memories for me. I remember when it first came out and how I knew the song thanks to my mom having the 45 of The Monkees’ version. I remember always being a bit shocked when I would recognize a song, but it wasn’t the version I was used to. Murray’s version was an AM radio staple in late 1979/early 1980 and since that’s what we listened to in my parents’ Ford Maverick, I heard “Daydream Believer” quite a bit.
Fast forward to 1990-1991 and I’m a freshman at Iowa State. I hijacked my mom’s cassette copy of Anne Murray’s Greatest Hits (I know) and “Daydream Believer” was the 4th song on side 2. I played that tape constantly during that year. It usually alternated between that and Dolly Parton’s Greatest Hits (the one with the photo shoot that looks like it was shot in a locker room and Dolly wearing her cotton ball wig.) I was officially the nerdiest college freshman ever – it’s no wonder I could not get any girls! Clearly, I was too busy listening to Anne Murray’s sweet 70s sounds. Anyway, whenever I listen to “Daydream Believer”, I’m simultaneously 8 and 18, a kid riding in the front seat of a car without a seat belt on and a kid on a college campus really not sure what the fuck I was doing.
I really do love Anne Murray’s music, although she is very much a singles artist for me. I only have a couple of her actual albums and not surprisingly, they are both mid to late 80s efforts in which Murray attempted to update her sound by adding synths and cheesy 80s production. Murray dismisses them in her autobiography All Of Me (still hands down the best celebrity autobiography I’ve ever read), but for me, the cheesiness works. They’re so bad, they’re fantastic.
In 2008, Anne Murray rerecorded “Daydream Believer” as a duet with Nelly Furtado for her Duets & Legends album. It was also her last album before heading into a much earned retirement. In all honesty, I preferred her original version because the voice of a 35 year old is not the same as a 63 year old, but you can hardly fault her for trying. I’ve embedded both versions below for comparison’s sake.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this month of blogging songs – thanks to all who have read the entries, commented here, on Facebook and on Twitter. Pop music is one of my biggest passions in life – if I ever stop liking it, you need to think that I have probably lost the will to live. I told Heidi the other day that I’ll probably be the easiest nursing home patient in the world – just put my music on and let me be. I’m sure “Daydream Believer” will be amongst them.