Growing up, one of my most vivid memories was that of my mother playing Monkees records on the home stereo. And while that scenario may seem torturous to some, it was ace when compared to the Donny Osmond records she seemed to spin equally as much.
It is true that The Monkees was a band manufactured to ride the wave of the British Invasion and star in their own television show, but it is too drastic to write off the quartet for these reasons alone. The group did have talent and was able to crank out some memorable top-ten hits if only for their charisma and stage/studio presence alone. For instance, 'Daydream Believer,' the bittersweet piano ditty, has long been played on oldies stations, while a modern rendition of 'I'm a Believer' was featured in one of the Shrek films.
The legacy of The Monkees may be forever overshadowed by their reputation as conspicuous Beatles emulators, but out of all the corporate schlock that surrounded the band emerged some great and raw rock & roll songs. 'Valleri' was a cut that falls into this very category: The layered refrain, as well as the Spanish guitar and brass, creates a whirlwind of sound in all but two and a half minutes. Add that to the all too typical subject matter of "love song for a girl," and 'Valleri' is a great find.
Listen to 'Valleri' below:
The Monkees - Valleri'