The Mamas and the Papas were an American folk rock vocal group recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968. The group was a defining force in the music scene of the counterculture of the 1960s. The group was composed of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips (born Holly Gilliam). Their sound was based on vocal harmonies arranged by John Phillips, the songwriter, musician, and leader of the group who adapted folk to the new beat style of the early 1960s.
The Mamas and the Papas released five studio albums and 17 singles over four years, six of which made the Billboard top 10 and have sold close to 40 million records worldwide. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 for its contributions to the music industry. The band reunited briefly to record the album People Like Us in 1971 but had ceased touring and performing by that time. Here are all of The Mamas & The Papas’ albums ranked.
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5. People Like Us (1971)
“I think the music on this album is more joyous than ever, and is an integral chapter in the history of the group. There are so many differences on this album from the group’s previous albums, particularly the first three albums. John Phillips produced the album, not Lou Adler. It contains all original songs, not one remake. The musicians are different than the musicians on the previous albums. It was recorded at a different studio. With the previous albums, the sound of Denny and Cass were dominant as lead vocalists. On this album it is more Denny and Michelle. Cass is more of an element in the overall group sound, and gets no solo lead like on the other albums.”
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4. Papas & Mamas (1968)
“Released in ’68, possibly the greatest classic rock year of all, this album was at best a mixed effort. Head Papa John Phillips, wife Michelle, lead vocalist Denny Doherty and super-talented Cass Elliot, still warbled patented four-part harmonies that were especially incongruous to tracks trying to rock heavily, like “Gemini Childe.””
3. Deliver (11967)
“”Deliver” is the 3rd studio album released by the Mamas and Papas in the spring of 1967 and went all the way to Number 2 on the BillBoard Best Album chart. Even though “Deliver” isn’t as perfect as their debut album (“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears”) or as experimental as their mostly original second album, self-titled “The Mamas and the Papas”, it still has several wonderful songs and served to continue the Mamas and Papas reign as the “Royal Family of Pop”.”
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2. The Mamas & the Papas (1966)
“t’s impossible to believe but true, that the Mamas and the Papas second album has been out of print for years now and a welcome relief to have it back in print. The Mamas and the Papas hit like lightning in early 1966 immediately becoming the top American group and practically a living incarnation of that happy, joyful time when the pop music explosion set off by the Beatles was reaching an incredible creative climax.”
1.If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966)
‘No single group flashed faster to the top nor created more hype than the fabled the Mamas and the Papas. From their initial burst onto the scene with “California Dreaming” to their final efforts with “For The Love Of Ivy”, they created a new, exciting, and melodramatic form of vocal harmonies into the folk-rock mainstream. The album featured here was their freshman effort, and it is indeed a classic, containing wall to wall hits with “Monday Monday”, “I Call Your Name”, “Go Where You Wanna Go”, and of course, “California Dreaming”.”