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Album: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones LtdReleased: 1967Charted:
Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote this about Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange, New Jersey, where they lived at the time. The Monkees fourth single, it is an ode to the simple life in happy suburbia.
While studio musicians were brought in to play on many songs for The Monkees, the band did play on this one - for the most part. Peter Tork played piano and Mike Nesmith played the famous opening guitar riff. Chip Douglas, a former member of The Turtles who produced the Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd
album, played bass and came up with the guitar part, which was based on The Beatles "I Want to Tell You." He taught it to Nesmith, who overdubbed it twice. You can see him play the line during a close-up for the "video."
Guitarist Mike Nesmith and drummer Micky Dolenz handled the vocals on this track (Dolenz also sang on "I'm A Believer
"). Peter Tork of The Monkees explained to Bruce Pollack in 1982: "A notion of mine that I was real pleased with took over at one point, and that was having two guys sing in unison rather than one guy doubling his own voice. So you've got Mike, who was really a hard-nosed character, and Micky, who's a real baby face, and these two voices blended and lent each other qualities. It's not two separate voices singing together, it's really a melding of the two voices. Listening to that record later on was a joy."
Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork both cited this as their favorite Monkees song in a 1997 interview with Mojo.
This was used in a 2008 episode of the TV show Family Guy in a scene that was a homage to The Monkees, complete with a comic chase scene.