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#127 - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (The Mamas & the Papas)

by 14783513 |

Cover of "If You Can Believe Your Eyes & ... Before I listened to this album, I thought The Mamas & the Papas had a really long, incredibly successful career. Since they formed (and soon after dissolved) in the 60s, over 40 million copies of their albums have been sold - that's a huge feat! Still, they had a short-lived career spanning only about 3 years without turmoil (including an affair, and various other issues).  According to Wikipedia, they recorded from 1965 to 1968, released five albums and had 11 Top 40 hit singles. If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears was the debut album of The Mamas & the Papas, released in March 1966, was a new sound for the time. Denny Doherty and John Phillips, formed the group with John's then-wife, Michelle, and the last member to join the group, Cass Elliot (which you may know as Mama Cass). Its so interesting that this had a new sound in the 60s because to me, The Mamas & the Papas are such an image of that time period, and when I hear their music, I think of the 60s. Simple music, four person musical groups, nothing too controversial - at least not by our standards now. The album has the classic sound that most recordings have from the 60s - a fuzzy warmth to the entire sound, with some pretty heavy reverb on the vocals. Like I said, to me it is characteristically 60s, especially since it starts with "Monday, Monday", which I remember hearing as a kid listening to the easy rock station in my home town. In fact, there are quite a few tracks on this album that I've heard, including "Straight Shooter", "Go Where You Wanna Go" and "Spanish Harlem". And of course, the song that most people will know, without a doubt, is "California Dreamin'". Listening to this album just makes me think of hippies and flowers and long straight hair. And that makes sense, because I think that's a pretty good description of The Mamas & the Papas at the time, am I right? Here's a fun fact before I finish up: Michelle Phillips was also the mother of Shannen Doherty's character on the oh-so-famous TV series from the 90s, Beverley Hills, 90210. When I saw the album art for this record, I thought I recognized her from somewhere, but I never would have figured it out if I didn't ask Google. Check out this album for a great blast from the past. It'll make you feel like a flower child. [youtube]

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