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"Pleasant Valley Sunday"
Single by The Monkees
B-side "Words"
Released July 3, 1967 (1967-07-03)
Length 3:10
Label Colgems 66-1007 / RCA 1620
Writer(s) Gerry Goffin, Carole King
The Monkees singles chronology
"A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"
(1967)
"Pleasant Valley Sunday"
(1967)
"Daydream Believer"
(1967)

"Pleasant Valley Sunday" is a song by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, most famous for the version recorded by The Monkees in 1967. Goffin's and King's inspiration for the name was a street named Pleasant Valley Way, in West Orange, New Jersey.[1] The road follows a valley through several communities among the Watchung Mountains. The lyrics were a social commentary on status symbols, creature comforts, life in suburbia, and "keeping up with the Joneses".

Chip Douglas, producer of the Monkees' music during 1967, also played bass guitar on some of their recordings. (This freed up Peter Tork to play keyboards.) He showed lead guitarist Michael Nesmith an interlocking bass and lead riff that they used throughout the song. Nesmith doubletracked the lead guitar riff, which was based on The Beatles's "I Want to Tell You". "Fast Eddie" Hoh, a session musician, played drums, and Micky Dolenz sang lead vocals.

For an ending, Douglas and engineer Hank Cicalo decided to "keep pushing everything up", adding more and more reverberation and echo until the sound of the music became unrecognizable, before fading out the recording. Separate mono and stereo versions were mixed for single and album records.

The single peaked at Number Three in the U.S. Billboard charts and was featured in the second season of their television series. The song also appeared on the fourth Monkees album, Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd., in November 1967.

In February 1986, MTV featured a marathon of episodes of the series titled Pleasant Valley Sunday after the song, which sparked a second wave of Monkeemania. The reunited Dolenz, Tork, and Davy Jones, already on tour, went from playing small venues to playing arenas and stadiums in the following weeks.

In the season 4 episode "To Live and Let Diorama" of Gilmore Girls the song is heard playing at the music store owned by Sophie Bloom- a character played by Carole King, who co-wrote the song.

The Wedding Present covered the song on their 1992 RCA release, Hit Parade 1.

References

  1. ^ La Gorce, Tammy. "New Jersey's Magic Moments", The New York Times, October 30, 2005. Accessed November 25, 2007.
  • The Monkees Tale, Eric Lefcowitz (Last Gasp Press) (ISBN 0-86719-338-7)
  • Monkeemania! The True Story of the Monkees, Glenn A. Baker, Tom Czarnota & Peter Hogan (St. Martin's Press) (ISBN 0-312-00003-0)
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