Sunday, July 16, 2006

67. The Mamas And The Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears (1966)

Track Listing

1. Monday Monday
2. Straight Shooter
3. Got A Feelin'
4. I Call Your Name
5. Do You Wanna Dance
6. Go Where You Wanna Go
7. California Dreamin'
8. Spanish Harlem
9. Somebody Groovy
10. Hey Girl
11. You Baby
12. In Crowd


Ok, this is a crap album. I was never a big Mamas and the Papas fan, and this just isn't helping. Of course the whole album isn't terrible, there's actually 3 good songs here. So get this album and delete everything but track 6, 7 and 12 (although for 12 you'd be better off with the Brian Ferry cover) and you'll be fine. Well, sometimes you might want to listen to Monday Monday. The 1001 Albums book praises this album's covers as great versions. They lie. Never heard a worse version of Do You Wanna Dance or Spanish Harlem, it's just cheesy and in a very bad way.

Because, you know, there's retro and retro and these guys are the bad kind. It's just mediocre really, again their fucking harmonics are loved and such, but they are shit, if you compare them to The Beach Boys in Pet Sounds or even to the much earlier Everly Brothers. The only song you can listen to happily here is Go Where You Wanna Go, which benifited from being in an advert on TV, but it hasn't been as murdered by over-exposure as California Dreamin' (And this version is better than the decrepit Beach Boys one) or Monday Monday.

Basically, if you have any sense of taste, steer clear (except for a couple of songs, heh). It just annoys the shit out of me, this album does. And yes, I understand how important it was and so on, how it sounded fresh at the time, but remember that this blog only represents my own personal opinion. So there, bitches!

If you are out of your mind you can stream it from Napster (best option as it's cheap) or buy it from Amazon UK or US. But don't.

Track Highlights

1. Go Where You Wanna Go
2. California Dreamin'
3. In Crowd
4. Death, Murder, Kill, Rage (Hidden Track)

Final Grade



Mama Cass did not die choking on a ham sandwich, I repeat did not die choking on a ham sandwich. Although it is probably one of the funniest urban legends around. *giggle*

From Wiki:

In interviews, former band members confide that their recording sessions (and lifestyles) were usually heavily drug-laden, with large reserves of marijuana and other popular '60s drugs on hand. They even admit that their young children, also usually present at recording sessions, openly witnessed their drug activities.

The breakup of The Mamas & the Papas can be likened to that of Camelot: as infidelity destroyed King Arthur's kingdom, so did it tear apart the four members of the band. John Phillips had married Michelle Gilliam back on December 31, 1962, long before the formation of the band. Early on in the band's history, when they were still "The Magic Circle", Michelle and Doherty began an affair in 1965. They were able to keep it secret from the other two band members for quite some time. During a trip to Mexico, Denny revealed his affair to Elliot, who was furious (since she was secretly in love with Doherty). Soon afterwards, John Phillips caught Michelle and Doherty in the act and moved out of the house.

John could not stand to live with Michelle afterwards and so moved back in with Doherty. At this point Michelle fled into the arms of Gene Clark of The Byrds (friends and rivals of The Mamas & the Papas). After one concert where Michelle blew kisses to front-row-seated Clark, John said he could not stand to perform with Michelle any longer. Consulting both their attorney Abe Somer as well as their label Dunhill Records, the band then drafted a formal statement kicking Michelle out of the group in June 1966.

Now, that's interesting!


Anonymous said...

I don't particularly hate this album but i thought you'd get some amusement that if you type "shit sandwich" a favorite term of yours, into the search bar this album shows up with arc of a diver despite you never using the term in this review! (probably because of your mention of the infamous ham sandwich and a use of the word shit). Anyway it amused me....

Francisco Silva said...

Hehe, The Bee Gees also show up. Adequate :)

Anonymous said...

Michelle Phillips was so friggin HOT!

Glad she's only one in the group still alive!