The Papas & The Mamas

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The Papas & The Mamas
Cover - papas and mamas.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1968
GenreFolk rock, rock, psychedelic rock
ProducerLou Adler
The Mamas and the Papas chronology
The Mamas & The Papas Deliver
The Papas & The Mamas
People Like Us
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars [1]
Rolling Stone(favourable) [2]

The Papas & The Mamas is the fourth studio album by the American folk rock vocal group The Mamas and the Papas. Released in 1968, it was the final album together before the group temporarily broke up before a brief 1971 reunion.

Unlike previous studio-recorded albums, The Papas & The Mamas was recorded at the home of John and Michelle Phillips, although with the same production team as on previous albums. Their original studio, Western Recorders, switched to Solid State technology, and Phillips and Adler purchased the analog board they had done their previous recordings with, and installed it in their new studio. In retrospect, Adler has said that the recording space was not well made, and the sound quality was not well-suited for a vocal group like The Mamas & The Papas.

With the exception of the very successful cover version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (which is not representative of the rest of the album), the album's subject matter is often downbeat and world-weary, most notably in the lyrical content of "Safe in My Garden", "Mansions", "Too Late" and "Rooms".

There are few love songs and it is also more experimental - the Hendrix-like guitar textures of "Gemini Childe" being one example.

All the material was new upon release with the exception of "Twelve Thirty", which had been released as a single in August 1967 as "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)".

The song "Meditation Mama" featured the first lead vocal ever on a Mamas and the Papas track by John Phillips. All four members of the band contribute lead as well as backing vocals on this album.

The vocals for "For the Love of Ivy" reportedly took one month to record.

Although it was the first album from the group not to peak in the top ten, it was a commercial success upon its release, becoming the band's fourth and last top 20 album in America and producing two hit singles (one of which, "Dream a Little Dream of Me", would begin Cass Elliot's solo career).

This album is included in its entirety on All the Leaves Are Brown, a retrospective compilation of the band's first four albums and various singles.

"Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" features during a pivotal scene in Quentin Tarantino's 2019 film Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by John Phillips, unless otherwise noted.

Side one
  1. "The Right Somebody to Love" (Jack Yellen, Lew Pollack) (Originally performed by Shirley Temple in the film Captain January) - 0:43
  2. "Safe in My Garden" - 3:15
  3. "Meditation Mama (Transcendental Woman Travels)" (J. Phillips, Lou Adler) - 4:25
  4. "For the Love of Ivy" (J. Phillips, Denny Doherty) - 3:45
  5. "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt, Gus Kahn) - 3:17
  6. "Mansions" - 3:47
Side two
  1. "Gemini Childe" - 4:07
  2. "Nothing's Too Good for My Little Girl" (Ned Wynn) - 3:09
  3. "Too Late" - 4:10
  4. "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" - 3:26
  5. "Rooms" - 2:52
  6. "Midnight Voyage" - 3:13


Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1968 Billboard Pop Albums 15


  1. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Allmusic review". Retrieved 2012-09-28.
  2. ^ "The Mamas & The Papas: The Papas & the Mamas : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". 1968-07-06. Archived from the original on 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2012-09-28.