The Monkees’ Songwriter Revealed Why ‘I Wanna Be Free’ Is Different From Most of His Songs

One of The Monkees‘ most famous slow songs is “I Wanna Be Free.” One of the song’s writers said he was independent from his co-writer in some ways. Despite this, the duo was perfectly in sync when they wrote “I Wanna Be Free.”

The Monkees’ Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Micky Dolenz playing instruments
The Monkees’ Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, and Micky Dolenz | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Close friends wrote several of The Monkees’ most famous songs

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart formed the songwriting duo Boyce & Hart. They wrote Monkees songs such as “I Wanna Be Free,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” and “Valleri.” In his 2015 book Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem Into Miracles, Hart discussed his friendship with Boyce.

“We even managed to maintain a feeling of independence and freedom from each other, in spite of the fact that we were together so much of the time,” he said. “Tommy was my closest friend, the brother I never had. 

“I admired his talent, energy, and confidence,” Hart continued. “I emulated his social graces and innate people skills. But there was something deep inside my soul that constantly kept me striving to assert my own independence, and oftentimes it would demand that I retreat into seclusion.”

RELATED: What The Monkees’ Songwriter Thought of Andy Williams’ ‘I Want to Be Free’

What happened the night when Boyce & Hart wrote The Monkees’ ‘I Wanna Be Free’

Hart said he and Boyce were in sync when they wrote “I Wanna Be Free.” “But there seemed to be something in the air that night as we wrote this song together, and I think both of us were feeling it,” Hart recalled.

Hart revealed why “I Wanna Be Free” was distinct from most other Boyce & Hart songs. “‘I Wanna Be Free’ was one of the few songs that we wrote with no assignment or specific artist in mind, just because we felt like writing a song together, and once we started working on it together, it couldn’t have taken us more than half an hour,” Hart wrote.

RELATED: The Monkees’ ‘I Wanna Be Free’ Was Inspired by a Song With a Dark Theme

How ‘I Wanna Be Free’ and its parent album performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“I Wanna Be Free” was not a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The song appeared on the album The Monkees. The album topped the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks, remaining on the chart for 102 weeks in total. It was the group’s most popular album in the United States.

According to The Official Charts Company, “I Wanna Be Free” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Meanwhile, The Monkees was No. 1 in the U.K. for seven weeks. The album remained on the chart for 37 weeks in total, making it the group’s most popular album in the U.K. as well.

“I Wanna Be Free” wasn’t a hit — but it stood out among Boyce & Hart’s discography.

RELATED: Why The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz and The Carpenters Lost the Chance to Record Three Dog Night’s ‘An Old Fashioned Love Song’ 1st



The Monkees’ Songwriter Revealed Why ‘I Wanna Be Free’ Is Different From Most of His Songs
Source: News Pinoy Buzz

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