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4.2 out of 5 stars12
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 4 October 2010
Beginning with the melancholy Monday, Monday, taking in the autumnal California Dreamin`, the tender regret of Got a Feelin`, the rollicking, no-holds-barred cover of the Beatles` I Call Your Name, the joyously abandoned Go Where You Wanna Go and Somebody Groovy, a version of Dancing in the Street that won`t have you longing for Martha & the Vandellas, the strangely restless I Saw Her Again, the surging crescendos of Dedicated to the One I Love, their famous name-droppin` history lesson Creeque Alley, a surprisingly mellow Twist and Shout, the often overlooked but wonderful Twelve-Thirty, and Mama Cass`s soaringly confident Dream a Little Dream of Me - though sadly no It`s Getting Better - as well as many others, this compilation is just about perfect.
Musically it is perfect. The Mamas & Papas were perhaps taken a little for granted as hippy-drippy popsters back in the 60s when these timeless gems were recorded, but hearing them now they sound as fresh as they ever did - fresher, in fact - and great songs like California Dreamin`, or the strangely windswept Monday, Monday, sound as if they could have been written yesterday, so little have they dated. Even at their hippiest, with all the `yeahs` they loved to throw into the mix, the level of sheer musicianship is an ear-opener. They were a terrific group, with four very different voices complementing each other. The vocal arrangements of the songs alone are staggering. To think we went so wild about CS&N, for example, when we had these guys.
My only cavil is that this is a 2-CD set which, though it packs in 32 songs, only has an average running time of about 45 mins per disc. The compilers surely could have rounded each CD up to at least an hour, if not more. This is a disappointment, as there are other compilations of the group that give better value - though at the price quoted above, you will certainly not be wasting your money.
Still, it`s fairly well-packaged, with excellent sleeve-notes, a few good pics...
it`s just a shame there isn`t even more of the sun-and-shadow music of this now-exultant, now-pensive group.
I can`t bear not to give this a full 5 stars, as the contents are so wondrous, though I mentally dock a star for record company stinginess.
A last thought. What sets the group apart from so many others of the era is the air of melancholy in several of their songs, to which I`ve already alluded. Listen to Monday, Monday and hear one of the most original, memorable and beautiful songs of the sixties; also one of the saddest, bleakest and most haunting of any age.
These are songs that will never perish (many written/co-written by their resident genius John Phillips) sung by one of the great groups of their time.
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If this was just another compilation of the best tracks from the Mamas and the Papas it would be a bit predictable to say the least. But this is a compilation with a difference.
Those responsible for putting this release together have chosen to run through some of the highlights of the group from the first of the original albums to the last.
The tracks are in chronological order as they appeared on the original albums. Along they way we stop off to select a few tracks from each of the albums. This makes a good selection of 32 tracks spread over two discs.
If you want the complete albums this is not the set for you. Disc one gets off to a good start with ten of the original twelve tracks from the debut album "If you can believe your eyes and ears". This means there are two tracks missing. Then we go onto album two "The Mamas and the Papas" with just seven tracks leaving five tracks missing. Disc two begins album three "Deliver" which follows the same formula of just seven tracks with five missing. Then onto album four "The Papas and the Mamas" with another seven tracks leaving six tracks missing. At the end of disc two we get the first track from the next album "People like us" leaving eleven tracks missing.
However this compilation gives you a taster of each album and if you don't want all the albums but you do want a taste of each then this is perfect. It also acts as a step up from the average "Best of" album since it contains not just singles but other tracks.
This is an excellent compilation with good sound

If you want to get all the tracks and all the albums I recommend you go for "The complete anthology" four disc set.Complete Anthology That release has everything from the group and some selected solo tracks on disc four.
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on 2 June 2011
'Safe In My Garden' and 'My Girl' were two important reasons for me buying this particular compilation, as they are particular favourites of mine. All the fave raves are here of course, but those two tracks seem difficult to find on other compilations. Transport yourself back to Haight-Ashbury and stick some flowers in your hair!
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on 15 November 2015
A bit disappointed with the album content, but the hits the M&Ps had are terrific
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on 10 January 2016
The second DVD wont play on some devices. Great sound quality regardless
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on 13 December 2014
Okay but not great. The stereo mixes are not impressive
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on 11 April 2015
Earlier I had only a cheap greatest hits Mamas & The Papas CD from a no-name record label. It sounded terrible.
Recently I've bought the Gold double CD.
Wow, it sounds great on my near high-end audio system! I love also the song collection on this realese.
Summarized, a bargain. Buy it!
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on 14 July 2015
still sounds fresh..
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on 21 July 2014
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on 16 October 2015
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