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"The Girl I Knew Somewhere" is a song by the American pop rock band the Monkees, written by Michael Nesmith, and first released as the B-side to the "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" single on Colgems Records on 8 March 1967 (see 1967 in music). It was distributed in support of the group's third album Headquarters, and later appeared on the reissued version of the LP. The song was recorded as the Monkees finally achieved the independence that enabled them to freely produce their own material, with the actual band members being featured on both vocals and instrumental arrangements.

"The Girl I Knew Somewhere"
Girl I Knew Somewhere.jpg
Single by The Monkees
A-side"A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You"
Released8 March 1967
Format7" single
Recorded23 February 1967, RCA Victor Studios, Hollywood, California
GenrePop rock
Length2:32
LabelColgems
Songwriter(s)Michael Nesmith
Producer(s)Chip Douglas
The Monkees singles chronology
"I'm a Believer"
(1966)
"The Girl I Knew Somewhere"
(1967)
"Pleasant Valley Sunday"
(1967)

Upon release, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" charted at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100, while its A-side "A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You" propelled to number two.

BackgroundEdit

The Monkees had enjoyed enormous commercial success with their first two albums, The Monkees and More of the Monkees, both reaching number one on the Billboard 200. However, under the direction of their music supervisor Don Kirshner, the group was almost completely barred from studio work, aside from recording as vocalists and penning some original material.[1] Longing to achieve creative freedom, the Monkees, led by Michael Nesmith, who felt especially insulted by Kirshner's condescension, entered months of bitter negotiations that eventually concluded with Kirshner's firing.[2] With his departure, the band was finally given the ability to play the instrumentals themselves, making the Headquarters sessions the first of which to feature the actual members on the arrangements.[3] Nesmith compared the Monkees' process to build upon their differing styles: "[It was like] a really good tennis player, and a really good football player, and a really good basketball player, and a really good golfer got together and played baseball. ... We could give it a try. Maybe make a little garage-band music".[4]

Although it was known to the record-buying public upon its release, "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" was the first song recorded by the Monkees containing instruments performed by the band members. It was first recorded on 19 January 1967 with Nesmith on lead vocals; however, a second version was recorded on 23 February 1967, with Micky Dolenz replacing Nesmith to create a more commercialized sound. The song became very accessible with its breezy melodic shifts, catchy rhythm, and relatable lyrics.[5][6]

Since its original distribution, the composition has been featured on nearly all the Monkees' compilation albums, with it first appearing on 40 Timeless Hits in 1980. An early demo of "The Girl I Knew Somewhere" is compiled on The Headquarters Sessions, along with a rendition with additional backing vocals, and a stereo version was first released on More Greatest Hits of the Monkees.[6]

PersonnelEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Sendra, Tim. "Headquarters - Review". allmusic.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  2. ^ Draper, John. "Four Monkees Don't Stop No Show". recordcollectormag.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  3. ^ Swanson, Dave. "48 Years Ago: The Monkees Declare Their Independence". ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Fox, Randy. "The Monkees' Headquarters Is Still the Real Deal". nashvillescene.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Girl I Knew Somewhere". colli.tripod.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Greenwald, Matthew. "The Girl I Knew Somewhere - Review". allmusic.com. Retrieved December 6, 2015.