ARTIST: The Mamas & The Papas
TITLE: The Papas & The Mamas
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #15 US
SINGLES: Twelve Thirty (#20 US), Safe in My Garden (#53 US), Dream a Little Dream of Me (#12 US, #11 UK), For the Love of Ivy (#81 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not from this one.
LINEUP: Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, John Phillips, Michelle Phillips. The Wrecking Crew provided the backing even though they moved studios
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: It was a downer year for all and this record was not bright and happy. But it was better than the last one by far.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Tensions were high within the group as they set about to record this album. John Phillips and Cass Elliot were feuding, the sessions for the album stalled out, and Elliot made plans to go solo.
Still, with all of this, the album aims high and mostly succeeds. “For the Love of Ivy” was a complex song with interlocking vocals. “Mansions” was another standout, and most of the second side was great but darker than their other material.
The times were changing here and the band was almost done. The public didn’t like their darker side and moved on. It less than three years, it was basically over.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The trouble may have started when John Phillips installed a studio in his house, and he could record as he wished. Which meant he diddled around and the vocals took forever thanks to Phillip’s perfectionism.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE A-: Though it wasn’t well received at the time, it’s aged a lot better than you’d expect.