The folks at Sundazed are going where they wanna go with two new reissues from the classic catalogue of The Mamas and the Papas. The label is following their mono edition of the group’s 1966 debut If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears with 1967’s self-titled sophomore album in mono and third album The Mamas and the Papas Deliver in stereo. Both The Mamas and the Papas and Deliver are slated for release on September 24 in both vinyl and CD formats.
It would be difficult for any band to top a debut record that included the Grammy-winning No. 1 smash “Monday, Monday,” and the Top 5 hit – and future standard - “California Dreamin’” (not to mention “Go Where You Wanna Go,” “Straight Shooter” and “Got a Feelin’,” to boot!) but “Papa” John Phillips, “Mama” Cass Elliot, “Papa” Denny Doherty and “Mama” Michelle Phillips gave it their all with The Mamas and the Papas. For their second album, the Mamas and the Papas again relied on songwriter and arranger John Phillips who provided ten of the album’s twelve tracks either solo or in collaboration with Michelle or Denny. This even topped the prolific Phillips’ seven compositions on the debut LP. Of these ten songs, one was a breakout hit. “I Saw Her Again,” co-written by John and Denny, became another top five single. The buoyant song was recorded against a backdrop of tumult, having been inspired by Michelle’s affair with Denny. When John discovered the fling, Michelle was cast out of the group and replaced by Jill Gibson, though the switch was short-lived. (It’s still a subject of debate today as to which of Gibson’s vocal tracks, if any, remain on the final album.) “I Saw Her Again” was followed by another single drawn from the album which also made the Top 5: “Words of Love,” with Cass Elliot at her brassiest. “Words” was a double A-side with the LP’s cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ immortal “Dancing in the Street.” That side, however, only made it to No. 73. The Mamas and the Papas’ other cover version went back much further than “Dancing,” as the group tackled Rodgers and Hart’s immortal “My Heart Stood Still” from the 1927 musical A Connecticut Yankee. The album itself peaked at No. 4 in the U.S. and No. 24 in the U.K., continuing the group’s winning streak.
After the jump: a look at Deliver, plus track listings and pre-order links for both titles!
The Mamas and the Papas Deliver arrived just months later in 1967, again produced by Lou Adler on the Dunhill label and recorded at Los Angeles’ famed United Western Recorders. Deliver (its title inspired by Cass’ pregnancy!) included Phillips’ “Look Through My Window,” which had been released as a single to comparatively little success (No. 24 U.S.) just a couple of weeks after The Mamas and the Papas hit stores. It was one of eight tracks written or co-written by John Phillips on Deliver, but the first song to make a substantial impact outside of the album wasn’t Papa John’s. It was the group’s Michelle-led cover of “Dedicated to the One I Love,” first recorded in 1957 by the Five Royales and later successfully recorded by The Shirelles. Though eight months earlier Michelle had been fired from the group, she proved just how valuable she was with “Dedicated,” recorded at her own suggestion. It became the Mamas and the Papas’ fastest-selling single, peaking at No. 2 Pop. (It was kept from the top spot by The Turtles’ “Happy Together.”) No. 2 is also where Deliver resided on the Billboard albums chart. (More of the Monkees was the culprit that kept Deliver from topping that chart.) The album’s third single following “Look Through My Window” and “Dedicated” became another all-time favorite. John’s “Creeque Alley,” named for a side street in the Virgin Islands, recounted the band’s history in colorful terms. It name-checked Barry McGuire, The Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn and many others, and might be best remembered for its lyrics referring to Mama Cass’ growing girth. (Cass reportedly loved it.) “Creeque Alley” became the band’s sixth Top 5 hit in less than eighteen months. Deliver was rounded out by more from Motown (“My Girl”) and Rodgers and Hart (“Sing for Your Supper,” from The Boys from Syracuse) plus a nod to the Isley Brothers (“Twist and Shout”).
Both The Mamas and the Papas (mono) and Deliver (stereo) arrive on 180-gram vinyl (pressed at RTI) and CD from Sundazed on September 24. Alas, no bonus tracks have been included, but both albums have been newly remastered. You can order ‘em just below!
The Mamas and the Papas, The Mamas and the Papas: Mono Edition (Dunhill LP 50010, 1967 – reissued Sundazed, 2013 – LP / CD)
- No Salt on Her Tail
- Trip, Stumble and Fall
- Dancing Bear
- Words of Love
- My Heart Stood Still
- Dancing in the Street
- I Saw Her Again
- Strange Young Girls
- I Can’t Wait
- Even If I Could
- That Kind of Girl
- Once Was a Time I Thought
The Mamas and the Papas, The Mamas and the Papas Deliver: Stereo Edition (Dunhill LP 50014, 1967 – reissued Sundazed, 2013 – LP / CD)
- Dedicated to the One I Love
- My Girl
- Creeque Alley
- Sing for Your Supper
- Twist and Shout
- Free Advice
- Look Through My Window
- Boys and Girls Together
- String Man
- Did You Ever Want to Cry
- John’s Music Box
Chief Brody says
As much as I like the M&Ps, I've amazingly never owned either album in any format! It had been exclusively comps for me until I got the Sundazed "If You Can Believe" when it came out. I loved it. Very well done. I ordered both these new reissues as soon as I found out about them. Does anyone know who's doing the mastering? Didn't Bob Irwin do the last one? I'm too lazy to pull the disc out and check. 🙂
Jason Michael says
Bob Irwin did the first one, and I would assume he'll do these. The 1998 remaster of "If You Can Believe..." from MCA contains the stereo mix and is fairly well remastered by Erick Labson. It can often be found for about $5 and is worth it to compare the mono and stereo mixes.
Sundazed is reissuing Captain Beefheart's "Safe As Milk" in a mono edition September 24th as well. Looking forward to all these releases!
Chief Brody says
Thanks! I may have to look into that Labson remaster. I have some of his work, and he's generally pretty good. I ordered that "Safe As Milk" reissue too, a few days ago. I have the Buddha remaster from way back, and I was never terribly enthused about its SQ.
I understand that I Saw Her Again was about Michelle's affair with Gene Clark of the Byrds, not Denny, who co-wrote it. Apparently, this classic song was precipitated by John noticing that Michelle was signaling Gene from the stage of a M &P concert and was less than pleased.
Joe Marchese says
John Phillips confirmed the Michelle/Denny/John love triangle that inspired the song in the liner notes to 2004's box set THE COMPLETE ANTHOLOGY - but that's a great story nonetheless!
The Gene Clark incident was what got Michelle (temporarily) fired from the band and replaced by Jill Gibson.
"I Saw Her Again" was about the Michelle/Denny affair. John said many years later (either in his "Papa John" autobiography or an interview, I can't remember which) that part of the reason he wrote it was to torture Denny since Denny would have to sing it night after night and be reminded of what he did.
Does anyone know if there is any "vault" material on the Mamas & the Papas? It seems like every time we get reissues, there is no bonus material. Surely, the must have recorded more than just the album tracks.
I don't believe there is. I think the last few remaining unreleased tracks in the vaults were included on The Complete Anthology box set. (And there were only a couple.) They were actually scraping to find stuff to fill out that set (the Barry McGuire tracks, spoken bits from "A Gathering of Flowers," solo material, etc.)
I don't think M&P recorded much outside the album tracks. From what I have read over the years, John had a pretty clear idea of exactly what songs he wanted on each album and that's just what they recorded. I would love it if there were some more tracks sitting somewhere that could be released, but I really don't think there is.
Chief Brody says
In a way, the Mamas and Papas were Fleetwood Mac (in a member-dynamic sorta way) before Fleetwood Mac. God, take all the internal dissenion that existed during the two bands' primes and declines, and, man, you could invent a new power source with all that angst!!!
Owning the 2004 boxset, I'm wondering if these releases add anything new in terms of tracks (but it doesn't seem so) or any improvement in sound (the box sounded great)...
Chief Brody says
No bonus tracks, alas, but the SQ on the "If You Can Believe . . ." Sundazed reissue was phenomenal, IMO. Sundazed usually does excellent work, so I have high hopes for these upcoming two.
The Hammond organ intro on "No Salt on Her Tail" might be my favorite instance of that instrument in the entire folk-rock era.