The Mamas & the Papas (album)

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The Mamas & the Papas
Studio album by The Mamas & the Papas
Released August 30, 1966
Recorded 1966
Genre Sunshine pop, folk rock, psychedelic pop
Length 31:07
Label Dunhill
Producer Lou Adler
The Mamas & the Papas chronology
If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
The Mamas & the Papas
Singles from The Mamas & the Papas
  1. "I Saw Her Again"
    Released: June 1966
  2. "Words of Love"
    Released: November 1966
  3. "Dancing in the Street"
    Released: 1966
  4. "Dancing Bear"
    Released: 1967

The Mamas & the Papas is the self-named second album by The Mamas & the Papas, released in 1966.[1]

It peaked at #4 in the US and #24 in the UK. The lead off single, "I Saw Her Again", peaked at #5 in the US and #11 in the UK. "Words of Love" was released as the second single in the US and peaked at #5. In the UK, it was released as a double A-side with "Dancing in the Street" (a cover of the 1964 hit by Martha and the Vandellas) and peaked at #47.

After it was discovered that group members Michelle Phillips and Denny Doherty were having an affair, tension in the band erupted and Michelle was fired from the group in June 1966. In July, a new singer was hired to replace her. Jill Gibson was producer Lou Adler's girlfriend at the time and was already a singer/songwriter who had performed on several Jan and Dean albums. She learned to sing Michelle's parts within three weeks while the band was in London, England. Who actually sang on this album is a matter of conjecture. Half of the album had already been recorded with Michelle, including the hit singles "I Saw Her Again" and "Words of Love", before she was fired from the group. Gibson went to work recording with Doherty, John Phillips and Cass Elliot, including dubbing over some of Michelle's completed vocals. By the end of August, Michelle was asked to rejoin the group and Gibson was let go. Michelle then recorded vocals on two new songs with the group and dubbed over some of Gibson's vocals.

During the discussion on this second album in the Matthew Greenwald's book Go Where You Wanna Go, Gibson claims she sang on ten of the songs. Adler states it was more like six, and Michelle adds that only engineer Bones Howe knows for sure who was on the final release, because she and Gibson both recorded many of the same songs, dubbing over each other's vocals. In all likelihood, a number of the songs on this album contain the voices of all five singers.

The photo already chosen for the album's cover featured Michelle Phillips prominently, so Dunhill had Gibson take a photo posed in exactly the same position as Michelle, and then superimposed the new photo over that of Phillips. However, the decision was then made to shoot an entirely new picture with the new line-up, and to also change the album's title to Crashon Screamon All Fall Down. Several thousand advance pressings of the album with this cover and title were sent out to radio stations and record distributors, but with the return of Michelle to the group just prior to the LP's general release, the original cover and eponymous title were quickly reinstated. Copies of the rare Crashon pressings are now highly sought after collectors items.

The album was first issued on CD in 1988 (MCAD-31043) and also appears in its entirety on All the Leaves are Brown, a retrospective compilation of the band's first four albums, with the single versions of "I Saw Her Again" and "Words of Love".

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link

Original track listing[edit]

All songs by John Phillips, unless otherwise noted.

Side one[edit]

  1. "No Salt on Her Tail" - 2:35
  2. "Trip, Stumble and Fall" (John Phillips, Michelle Gilliam) - 2:35
  3. "Dancing Bear" - 4:08
  4. "Words of Love" - 2:13
  5. "My Heart Stood Still" (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) - 1:43
  6. "Dancing in the Street" (Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson, Ivy Jo Hunter) - 3:00

Side two[edit]

  1. "I Saw Her Again" (Phillips, Denny Doherty) - 2:50
  2. "Strange Young Girls" - 2:45
  3. "I Can't Wait" - 2:40
  4. "Even If I Could" - 2:40
  5. "That Kind of Girl" - 2:20
  6. "Once Was a Time I Thought" - 0:58


Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1966 Billboard Pop Albums 4