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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expanded Edition of PEOPLE LIKE US is Perfection
The fifth and final album by The Mamas and The Papas receives the royal treatment that it deserves. Previously released in the US by MCA, then in Japan , PEOPLE LIKE US gets it's due by the UK label, Now Sounds. There is a lot of history behind this album, but suffice to say, that the group made a very good album, which we are lucky to have. This edition has a beautiful...
Published 23 months ago by gassy goon

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does NOT contain single version of 'Mississippi'
If you are purchasing this CD for the single version of John Phillips 'Mississippi' you'll be sorely disappointed. The bonus track is theh stereo album version and is quite different from the hit 45. As of this writing the 45 version has yet to see the light of day from the master tape. - Steve Goddard
Published 18 months ago by Steve Goddard


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expanded Edition of PEOPLE LIKE US is Perfection, 20 Sep 2012
This review is from: People Like Us (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
The fifth and final album by The Mamas and The Papas receives the royal treatment that it deserves. Previously released in the US by MCA, then in Japan , PEOPLE LIKE US gets it's due by the UK label, Now Sounds. There is a lot of history behind this album, but suffice to say, that the group made a very good album, which we are lucky to have. This edition has a beautiful photo-filled booklet, with illuminating and informative liner notes that add to the luster of the music. The booklet states it is from the original master tapes. Having listened to the vinyl album since I bought it in 1973, and the US MCA CD, I do notice more clarity , especially with the instrumentation on this reissue. 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. It may have been her health at the time, in addition to John's role as producer and mixer of the album. It was 1971, not 1966 or 1967, so gone are the " yeahs " and the " ba-dah-ba-dah-da-dahs ". It is more of a laid back feel, and it was a new decade. Plus, the group was apart for 3 full years, which was a lifetime back then. John came up with some great songs, and Michelle contributed one also. Every song on this album is melodic, hummable and memorable. These songs and melodies have stuck in my head for nearly 40 years now, which certainly constitutes a good song.

This edition is an example of how a reissue should be done. It took a label that is not MCA, who owns their catalog of classics to do a fitting and proper job that The Mamas and The Papas deserve. It is absolutely the best packaging reissue of any studio Mamas and Papas album. Even the debut album, the influential, #1 album IF YOU CAN BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS, has not gotten the stately treatment that it is owed, even by Sundazed Music , which should have done a much better job. Now Sounds really got this reissue right in every way. The bonus tracks have all been featured before on the reissues of John Phillips albums, with almost all being solo John songs.

The 12 original songs on the album start with PEOPLE LIKE US, which features a beautiful group sung vocal with fitting lines like " lassos of love twirling around us, a magical space in the city that surrounds us ". PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY features John & Denny with Cass on this fast paced song. SNOWQUEEN OF TEXAS is very catchy, with Michelle on lead. SHOOTING STAR really percolates with a group vocal, and intricate background chants that are somewhat comparable to those " di-di-di's " on I SAW HER AGAIN LAST NIGHT. STEP OUT is a ballad that features Denny on lead, and was the only single released from the album. Denny would include it in his one-man show " DREAM A LITTLE DREAM " and Leah Kunkel, Cass' sister also recorded it. Side One of the original album ends with LADY GENEVIEVE. To see and hear an example how talented John Phillips was for vocal arranging, compare the group's version to his spare solo version that is a bonus track. The Mamas and The Papas version of LADY GENEVIEVE is beautiful, with complicated, intricate background vocals weaving in and out, with a jazz influence. They still had it, and LADY GENEVIEVE is this album's MEDITATION MAMA for it's unique, hypnotic feel . Both songs are among the most unique and different sounding songs the group ever did.

Side Two gets even better with NO DOUGH, a real jewel on this album with Denny on lead, and more call and response lines from Michelle and Cass. EUROPEAN BLUEBOY is very different with steel drums, more of a World Music sound , not unlike what John would do on his solo song, ZULU WARRIOR in 1977. PEARL features Denny, Cass & Michelle each trading lines in a song John wrote as a tribute to Janis Joplin. I WANNA BE A STAR is Michelle's solo, just as she was about to start her acting career, with Denny singing counterpoint . The final songs feature amazing group vocals with GRASSHOPPER being a marvelous group blend , which illustrates that Michelle was still a muse for John even though they were now divorced. The last song, BLUEBERRIES FOR BREAKFAST is a buoyant , vibrant song lyrically and melodically. It ends with a laugh from Cass in response to a line from Denny. This song shows the group's still-close harmonies. It would have made an excellent single, as it is a perfect Mamas and Papas song.

This album is probably the most debated about album that The Mamas and The Papas made. It is the time to be re-examined and start a conversation about. I love this album. Every song is memorable. It can be heard with fresh ears, as none of the songs are played on oldies radio like their classics are. It is the flip-side of the hits, with what should-have-been hits. It also fits nicely with the 3 albums that preceded it within the year: John's JOHN PHILLIPS [ WOLFKING OF L.A. ], Denny's WATCHA GONNA DO, and DAVE MASON AND CASS ELLIOT. It was a fervent period for solo projects. The fact that their label, ABC/Dunhill wanted an album from the group so badly that they were going to sue them, you'd think that the label would have issued more singles. STEP OUT being the first single was not the best choice. Every slow song that was a single that Dunhill issued even in the group's prime years didn't do well chart-wise, except for DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME, which they launched as Cass' first single. Much better hit potential would have been had with the more upbeat SHOOTING STAR, BLUEBERRIES FOR BREAKFAST, NO DOUGH and PEARL. SHOOTING STAR would be featured on a CD issued by the UK magazine UNCUT in the 2000's as a track to be appreciated anew. For a label that released four greatest hits albums and a live album of the group after they broke up , it would have made more sense to go further with PEOPLE LIKE US. But then again, the factors of making the album and the group coming back together just for this album, Cass having established being a hit solo artist and entertainer, and signed to RCA....no one really wanted to carry it further. Viewed in the context of the other group's of the late 60's who were still making albums in 1971, such as the different line-ups of Jefferson Airplane, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Rascals and The Association, who were all in transition, or close to breaking up, The Mamas and The Papas certainly came up with the goods. PEOPLE LIKE US was a re-start after 1968's THE PAPAS AND THE MAMAS, which showed much progression from the established sound of IF YOU CAN BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS, THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS, and DELIVER. It was a very good finish to the group, and one listen to that final song, BLUEBERRIES FOR BREAKFAST is testament to the group ending on a high note. This album is pure enjoyment that we are very fortunate to have The Mamas and The Papas give the world.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "People Like Us" is for People Like Us!, 31 Oct 2002
By 
Barbara E. Hunteman "barbe4" (Wauwatosa, WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: People Like Us (Audio CD)
The Mamas & the Papas' John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips, were one of the most musically literate groups on the pop scene in the mid-sixties. Their sophisticated harmonies set them apart from any other group.
Vocal-arranger genius, John Phillips' and the big 'n brassy, Cass Elliot's voices aren't as prominent on this Mamas and Papas' fifth album, originally released towards the end of 1971. Normally, the mellow tunefulness of Cass Elliot's peerless alto eclipses Michelle Phillips' pure soprano, but on the "People Like Us" CD, it seems to be just the reverse. I actually prefer it this way.
Denny Doherty's celestial voice is featured on "Step Out." I absolutely love this song and think it's a masterpiece. It is Denny Doherty at his best! Michelle compliments Denny's clear and rich lead vocal with her angelic harmony. I agree with other reviewers that "Step Out" should have shot to the top of the charts when it was released as a single. Denny had just finished writing tunes and singing on his great solo 1971 album, "Watcha Gonna Do," -- with his beautiful "Waiting for a Song" LP (Cass and Michelle on background vocals here) still three years in the future.
Doherty currently sings "Step Out" -- and stars in -- his play, which he co-created with director, Paul Ledoux, entitled "Dream a Little Dream, the Nearly True Story of the Mamas and the Papas." The show played to packed houses in Canada and will probably be coming to the states soon.
No money? No problem. In "No Dough," you distinctly hear Denny and Michelle echoing each other, having the perfect, romantic honeymoon in bed. I love this number. ".....Pass the chips, you have salt on your lips....."
Cass Elliot and Denny have nice solos on the gem, "Pearl," And the bouncy, "Pacific Coast Highway" is the ultimate song for cruisin'!
Michelle's sweet soprano highlights "Snowqueen of Texas" which brims with melody, and the group's harmonies on "Grasshopper," along with the CD's title track, "People Like Us," are luminous.
John Phillips produced the "People Like Us" album and wrote all the songs, with the exception of Michelle Phillips' clever, self-penned, "I Wanna Be a Star." John Phillips' lyrics are slightly weaker on this album, but the melodies shine. And as the Mamas & the Papas weren't really together in 1971, the passion normally present in the group's vocals seems lacking in some numbers, but that was also what was in vogue in the early '70s.
I do miss the sound of "Chunga," John Phillips' 12-string guitar on this CD. So did Denny. He plays a 12-string in his play, and also on his "Watcha Gonna Do" album. "Watcha Gonna Do" features some fine guitar work, too, from Denny's friend singer-songwriter, Eddy Fischer, currently of Robin and Eddy fame, the duo whom Denny occasionally performs and records with now.
Yet "People Like Us" is a relaxing and pretty album. By the time the final tune comes around, lyrics like:
"Blueberries for Breakfast
Love in the Afternoon
Butterflies in My Trousers
Under the August Moon" - (John Phillips) ....seem quite charming to me :-)
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE REAL "PEOPLE LIKE US" ALBUM !, 29 Jun 2011
This review is from: People Like Us (Audio CD)
Beware of the CD of the same title, wich is no more than another "best of" without any interest (except the title song !).
But this original album, that I've got in vinyl just after its release, is for me something that I listen to with the same pleasure than in the early 70'S, even if the critics of that time was not too good ! Shame on them and excuse my bad english !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's The Mamas & Papas........, 26 Jun 2013
By 
Phillip Loades "Coach Driver" (Gateshead Tyne & Wear.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: People Like Us (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
Yet again a great CD...........John Phillips, Cass Elliot, Denny Doherty and of course Michelle Phillips doing what they do best, a very nice album.........
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: People Like Us (Audio CD)
you need to be a fan but if not give them a listen it may not be your thing but you certainly cannot say that Mama Cass did not have a great voice-pity she died so young.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Replacement of my old vinyl records, 6 Jan 2013
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This review is from: People Like Us (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
I knew I'd love the CDs mentioned. I have them on vinyl and wanted them on CD
Thanks very much
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5.0 out of 5 stars Their swan song, 24 Dec 2012
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This review is from: People Like Us (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
Finally an appreciation of The Mamas and the Papas' swan song. Excellent remastering, extensive liner notes plus a couple of bonus tracks from John Phillips' Wolfking of LA.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Aug 2014
By 
Domenick DeTommaso Jr. (Bronx, New York United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: People Like Us (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
Simply perfect, very happy with CD, very happy with purchase.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Does NOT contain single version of 'Mississippi', 4 Mar 2013
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This review is from: People Like Us (Deluxe Expanded Edition) (Audio CD)
If you are purchasing this CD for the single version of John Phillips 'Mississippi' you'll be sorely disappointed. The bonus track is theh stereo album version and is quite different from the hit 45. As of this writing the 45 version has yet to see the light of day from the master tape. - Steve Goddard
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mamas & Papas CD, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: People Like Us (Audio CD)
What can I say about this product I love the Mamas & Papas a favorite group when I was a young lad, delivery good, product top class I would but from this supplier again.
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