365 Days of Songs (1967)
The Monkees, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”
I’ve always loved this song, even as nine-year-old wondered about phrases like “the weekend squire goes out to mow his lawn.” Of course, I was in a full blown Monkees obsession, because I could watch them every day in syndication (probably an hour before I got to watch an hour of Adam West’s Batman).
If my mind couldn’t understand the suburban social commentary, I certainly got the music—The Wrecking Crew living up to their name by blasting through the song; the indelible, double-tracked guitar riff; the wonderfully arranged and executed vocals; and the chaotic, reverb-drenched fade out. (I’m sure I didn’t really “get” the eight-bar key change at the end of the last chorus, but it sounded cool, and I can certainly appreciate it better now as an adult musician and songwriter.)