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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mamas and Papas 2nd Album is Back - In Mono!, 16 Oct 2013
This review is from: Mamas & Papas (Audio CD)
Praise be - The Mamas & The Papas 2nd album is reissued on CD and Vinyl album! Plus, it's the Mono master , which has never been on CD. The Mamas & The Papas in Mono sound a bit different than in stereo. You hear a fuller group sound on the Mono version, as the stereo has the vocals seperated on different sides of the speakers. This newly remastered original Mono version sounds just amazing. The opening song, NO SALT ON HER TAIL, is one of the greatest tracks that they ever recorded. With Denny's lead, and strong support from Cass, you hear that classic M&P blend . Ethereal, heavenly, majestic can only describe the sound of this album opener. It should have been the new single when the album was released in September 1966. On this Mono version, the vocals are more pronounced , with the strings/orchestration more in the background than in the stereo version. For more historical value , Ray Manzarek of The Doors plays organ on this song. This album features more original material than the first album, and that is one reason why I think it is pure Mamas & Papas. The 2nd track is just as strong, and another major hit singles contender that never was, TRIP, STUMBLE AND FALL co-written by John & Michelle. The harmonies & interplay are as complex and as beautiful as could be , with layer upon layer adding vocals. Lyrically, it offers advice on both relationships or drugs. Another of their greatest songs. DANCING BEAR features a beautiful Denny lead vocal, on a folk type tune, with flutes, strumming acoustic guitar and Michelle & Cass' backgrounds. It would be released as a single, minus the flute solos over a year later in late 1967. WORDS OF LOVE would be the first hit single to feature Cass on lead, a 2 minute showstopper of a tune with Cass out front of a honky tonk arrangement and a Top 5 hit. MY HEART STOOD STILL illustrates how the group could take an old Rodgers & Hart song, change it and sing their souls out, all in less than 2 minutes. DANCING IN THE STREET ends Side 1 with Cass on lead as the band jams. It's one of the best examples of how the studio musicians, dubbed The Wrecking Crew excelled at playing . The opening guitar licks, with Cass coming in with " Calling out around the world are you ready for a brand new beat " was another call out for everyone to join in . The Mamas & The Papas were inclusive, and their music made everyone feel included, from kids to hipsters to adults. And dig that solo keyboard on this track, as Cass & Denny play around in their Mugwump language as the band jams on. Martha Reeves herself has said that Cass and the group did an amazing version from her original. That is high praise.

Side 2 begins with their 3rd hit single, I SAW HER AGAIN, co-written by John & Denny . This is the single version which does not contain the orchestration break solo. Another Top 5 hit, this song is also famous for being written about the love triangle of John, Michelle & Denny , as well as the mistake that was left in when Denny sang " I saw her, I saw her again last night ". STRANGE YOUNG GIRLS is the most psych oriented track the group ever did. John's trippy lyrics of " walking the strip, sweet soft and placid " which Denny sings, then Cass has the next line of " offering their youth on the altar of acid " is the most unique thing in their catalog. With Cass & Denny each alternating singing lines , it's taken at a slow pace and accentuated to another level by electric violin! An amazing atmospheric song both lyrically and vocally . I CAN'T WAIT is the first to feature a lead by John with Cass and a solid Dunhill folk-rock backing. It's good but clearly not the strongest song here. EVEN IF I COULD is John's 2nd lead vocal, beautifully played on 12 string guitars & keyboards out front. On the Mono version here, the response background vocals are missing on the first verse, which is on the stereo version. It's one of the more noticeable differences here. THAT KIND OF GIRL features a John & Denny co-lead vocal with some biting lyrics, and some great electric guitar. One of the hardest rockers the group ever did, and very cool ending with the fuzz guitars and vocal refrain of " She's one of those girls ". The closer , ONCE WAS A TIME I THOUGHT , illustrates how disciplined & diverse the group could be. Lasting one minute, the group sings together with spare accompaniment , sounding out both folk & jazz influences. Mamas & Papas albums always had superb sequencing, and this album is their 2nd masterpiece.

This new reissue has excellent sound, as well as beautiful packaging. Even if you have the previous version in Stereo that MCA issued on CD in 1987, you'll still want to own this version. The cover is nearly as famous as the hits and is faithfully restored, though the back cover of the digipac case now features song titles. The inside of the CD features the original back cover, minus the song publishers, and 1 page liner notes. The vinyl does not have the liner notes. There is not an interview with Michelle Phillips nor the original producer Lou Adler. I don't know why Sundazed does not go that further step with personal remembrances from the artists who made the music. Since this is a new , more complete restoration of this classic, and actually now historic album, it is incomplete not having quotes from Michelle at the very least. While other reissue labels like Real Gone Music and Light In The Attic are doing complete restorations of music, packaging and interviews with the artists themselves, Sundazed does not go that extra step. It's a missed opportunity. I'd rather read what Michelle Phillips or Lou Adler has to say about the making of this album than just a one panel synopsis of this important album and group. Otherwise, this is an excellent reissue of this most beloved album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tHE SOUNDS OF 1966., 17 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Mamas & Papas [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Now for one of the sounds of the mid 60s.The group were with us for just over two years;yet produced a large volume of work.This is one of those albums and it sounds as fresh today as it did back awesome buy on vinyl.
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