When froth-mouthed young girls scream for a pop heartthrob like Justin Bieber, they’re also screaming for Davy Jones. On Wednesday the entertainment world lost a bonafide icon when Jones, the former teen idol and singer in 1960s TV band the Monkees, died from a heart attack at his Florida home. He was 66.
Jones was like the original Bieber—his work onstage and TV paved the way for many pop idols to follow, from David Cassidy to Donny Osmond. While some panned Jones and the Monkees for their lack of authenticity, both have proved to be vital strains in the DNA of pop and rock music.
Sure, the Monkees were a made-for-TV band designed to cash in on Beatlemania. But the Monkees had some damn fine pop albums, and the band was able to work with then up-and-coming songwriters like Neil Diamond and Harry Nilsson.
In honor of Jones’ legacy, I’ve compiled the five best Monkees songs. Enjoy.
“Cuddly Toy.” It’s an adorable teen-pop love song written by maverick singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson.
“I’m a Believer.” This catchy ‘60s classic was written by Neil Diamond. Rock that tambourine, Davy!
“Daydream Believer.” Written by John Stewart of the Kingston Trio, this piano diddy went straight to No.1. Easy to hear why.
“Last Train to Clarksville.” Written by the songwriting duo Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, this jam is definitely my all-time fave Monkees song. It just rocks.
“A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You.” It’s another Diamond-penned track and it bares his signature climbing melodies and staccato verses.