The Mamas & the Papas: Denny Doherty, John Phillips, Michelle Phillips, Cass Elliot .
Liner Note Author: Billy Altman.
Photographers: Guy Webster; Don Paulsen.
Though L.A. quartet the Mamas & the Papas were one of the quintessential 1960s folk-rock bands, they were unique even among their peers. For one thing, they were almost exclusively vocalists, a harmony group rather than a traditional rock "band," and most instrumental chores were left to hired hands. For another, they bore more of a '50s rock/pop influence than almost any of their contemporaries, though filtered through a more "modern" sensibility. These qualities quickly become apparent upon listening to the definitive two-disc anthology GOLD--the trademark thick, stacked harmonies and the unexpected prominence of doo-wop and girl-group pop in the stylistic template.
Amid the immensely joyful likes of "Do You Wanna Dance" and "Dancing in the Street," there are also strikingly melancholy tunes from the pen of Papa John Phillips, such as the hits "Monday, Monday" and "California Dreamin'." Here the sunny sound of the group provides the perfect foil for the wistful, bittersweet melodies and lyrics. From exultation to lamentation, the full spectrum of the Mamas & the Papas experience is here on GOLD.