TITLE: If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
YEAR RELEASED: 1966
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Go Where You Wanna Go, California Dreaming (#4 US, #23 UK), Monday Monday (#1 US, #3 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not
LINEUP: John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Michelle Phillips, Cass Elliot. Part of the famous “Wrecking Crew” provided the music.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: It could be said that the Summer of Love and the world of Sunshine Pop started with this record. It’s got a great sunshine and laid back vibe even if some of the lyrics were dark and jaded.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The hits really overpower this album, but the whole album is filled with great melodies and harmonies, all impeccably sung and produced. Their version of I Call Your Name is arguably better than the Beatles’ original. Some of the covers are really just filler, but all of the Phillips’ originals are keepers. A fine album that will keep you humming and smiling even with the darker undertones of some of the songs.
There’s no doubt the kids started to think about California as an idyllic place thanks to this album.
NOTES & MINUTAE: Lou Adler is the unsung hero of this record. He assembled the backing band, put the group through their paces, and came out with one of the classic Sunshine Pop albums.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. There’s a good reason for that. ABC / Dunhill got rid of the first generation mono masters and the recording session tapes as a “cost savings move” in the 70’s. So any re-release is the stereo masters, which are a couple of generations removed from the pristine takes. Thanks, bean counters.
GRADE: B+. Some of the covers seem perfunctory, as John Phillips hadn’t filled up his bag o’songs yet.