The Mamas & the Papas - Greatest Hits
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Product Description

The Mamas and the Papas had a sound that helped define a portion of the 1960s. Their breezy folk classics had a bit of San Francisco psychedelia woven in, and, despite the sweet harmonies, there was also a noticeably dark feel to some of their more popular work. "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday" both utilized enough minors to give them a spooky edge. Greatest Hits is an essential part of any audiophile's collection, especially if they don't have the original recordings that spawned the hits. "Dedicated to the One I Love" is almost ironic for its tenderness, considering the turmoil that rumbled through the band's interrelationships. While John and Michelle Phillips and Denny Doherty were all responsible for the success of the Mamas and the Papas, listening to this collection reveals that the late great Mama Cass was not only the heart but the soul of the band. Greatest Hits closes with her "Dream a Little Dream of Me," and serves as a touching tribute to Cass Elliot's talent. --Steve Gdula

Customer Reviews:

  • FIVE STARS.
    A REVIEWER CAN "ONLY" GIVE 5 STARS OR MORE TO THIS GROUP...THEY ARE THE BEACH BOYS BUT ON MORE AND BETTER DRUGS........THEY CAPTURE SADNESS YET RECKLESSNESS (WE'RE TALKIN' ABOUT A GUY HERE WHO KEPT DRINKIN AFTER A LIVER TRANSPLANT)...THE PAIN IN THIS GROUP IS ONLY MATCHED AND CHANNELED MAYBE BY THE SUFFERING OF THE DOORS (AND I DON'T JUST MEAN JIM)...THE HARMONYS ARE EVERYWHERE AND BRUTALLY ABUNDANT...THE MAMAS AND PAPAS DECLARE THEY ARE THE BEST NOT WITH THE BRASHNESS OF THE ROLLING STONES BUT WITH SUBTLETY...ALL THESE SONGS ARE GREAT...THESE ARE POPULAR PEOPLE YET THEY DREAM AND WANT TO BE NERDS THEY CAN NEVER BE....AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER GROUP LIKE THIS !...more info
  • perfect pitch? hardly!
    i own almost every m+p cd including this one. i have been replacing my albums with cds for the last twenty years and i agree with the other one star reviewer: how did this group get so popular? there are amazing sixties vocal groups that are obscure and yet ten times better than this quartet. the m+p tracks always sound like the vocals were done in one studio and the instrumentals were done in another and were combined during the mastering process and NO ONE realized that they were almost in different keys! i continued to buy m+p cds thinking someone would catch this and with the use of current technology a decent album would come of it. NOPE. mama cass boasted having perfect pitch (really?}. she also boasted how much better they were than their contemporaries and the band considered themselves "rock royalty". the last m+p cd i bought was over a decade ago. i refer to them now as the off-key quartet and only as a footnote in sixties history. for future generations who may think that all children of the sixties were fans of this band, there are at least some who weren't. they were AM radio fodder....more info
  • Mammas and Pappas - greatest hits
    We love this CD. What an awsome group! What great music!
    It arrived quickly and in perfect condition.
    ...more info
  • What was I thinking?
    I've listened to this two or three times since purchasing it and never in one sitting. A little bit if this band goes a long way. I've inserted four songs into my digital collection and that seems about right....more info
  • The best way to shop!
    It took Amazon just one second to find the CD I wanted, prompted me for a list of the best prices, one click to order and it came when promised just a few days later.

    Throughout, I was e-mailed on the progress of the transaction and delivery.

    Can't beat it!

    Steve H....more info
  • Nostalgia here I come
    As other reviewers have written: The music sent me back to the sixties, in my 1963 Plymouth Valiant, on Highway 101 driving from Los Angeles to Eugene, Oregon, listening to "California Dreaming." Couldn't get much better than that....more info
  • FANTASTIC !!!
    If you want GREAT memories of GREAT songs, this is the CD for you !!...more info
  • Recording Technology Has Come A Long Way
    This was the sound and recording technology of the 60's. i.e. a lot of "echo", over-dubbing, and a "wall-of-sound".

    'Sounds very dated by today's styles and standards. But that was the Mamas & the Papas back then.

    'And their voices were so good, so pure. It's ashamed today's technology couldn't wipe out all that "junk", so we could truly hear them sing....more info
  • folk
    if you like the sounds of this era and want the hear some classic folk music, this is great. wouldn't want to miss adding it to your collection....more info
  • The Mamas & the Papas - Greatest Hits
    Great Album and vendor shipped immediately and delivered in the shortest period of time. I will order from them again....more info
  • "California Dreamin'" Revisited
    What a bizarre afternoon. I was going along the foothills of my beloved Idaho, when my legs gave out on me. I fell down after what seemed like an eternity and landed yoga position into what seemed like a rabbit hole. I was a little dizzy, but I could see where I landed with the penetrating sunlight. Had I fallen into a prairie dog hole? There aren't any prairie dogs here, and the only ones I've ever seen are in Colorado. For that matter I've never seen rabbits here, either. So what gives? Amazingly, I got up and found myself no worse for wear. I felt a little foolish; for as I stood up and rubbed my knees, they were not even close to being broken. After a few wobbly steps, I went forward with my usual stride, and after a few feet I felt the pain melt away from my knees.

    Getting out of that hole wasn't easy, but seeing a set of tree roots, I took off my belt, threw it up until the buckle fastened to one of its sturdier lines, climbed up along the edge of the inner walls until I was high enough to reach another branch-like extension. Grabbing a hold of it, I climbed up until I could reach the rim at the top of the hole.

    To my surprise there was something completely different on the other side. As I pulled myself up, I was in a different neighborhood now. The streets were slanted by large, steep hills, and Victorian houses with bright rainbow colors flanked both sides of the street. I looked down, and it appeared without any evidence of metal, I had climbed out of a man hole while the nearest tree in sight was several yards away. At my near right was a girl sitting at what looked like a lemonade stand. She was wearing a Victorian-style dress, had long blonde hair, and wore a little lapel button that read "Alice" on it. On the front of her rustic, wobbly framed stand was a white sign with lettering that made me wince. With neon pink paint was written, "Electric Kool-Aide 10 Cents a Glass".

    "Would you like a glass?" she asked me. I hesitated. I was slacked for thirst, and realized I had left my water bottle back in the hole. "I could give you a free sample," she prodded, but I looked at a folded paper sign that she had on her stand where "Drink Me" was written in day-glo blue letters with an equally luminous smiley face drawn on it. Attached to the smile was painted a long, blue electrical chord that went to a mini picture of a wall outlet--same color. It was just below a large pitcher of that sugary red kiddie punch with half-melted ice cubes floating on top and sweat dripping along the outside of its volcanic shaped sides. In the front I noticed a familiar smiley face etched in its foundation. Except as I looked more closely, I noticed the smile wasn't a smile at all, but a grin turned terrible with eyebrows that gave the facial features a sinister appearance.

    `Where did you get that?' I asked in quiet horror. Seeing I was gazing at her pitcher, she replied, "My sister gave it to me. It's a joke. Don't you get it? It's like have a bad day. It's just supposed to be funny." I was partly relieved; for having thought I fell into a time warp, I now thought maybe the pitcher was taken from a Bon Jovi C.D. cover.

    `No thank you.' I said absently even as I swallowed with a dry throat. Just then I heard singing. Beautiful singing. Heavenly singing. I mean women and men making a siren's cry all around me. I was seduced by the sounds of harmonies that blended, but became more sonorous as it came near me. The sounds were coming from the left of where I first stood from the hole. Then at the top of the sidewalk to my left I saw two couples walking down the hill towards us. There was a tall guy with a furry, Russian hat and a pencil-thin moustache. Then there was a young woman next to him with thin, blonde hair wearing periwinkle in her long locks. Diagonally behind them was another couple. A man with an oval face and dark, Beatle-cut hair was just behind them with another woman beside him. I started to notice that I heard her voice most distinctively of the whole group. She was a large woman with long, dark hair. At first the sound came as a burst, but then it became more distinct. They were singing "California Dreamin,'" and I was indeed in San Francisco in what had to be 1966 or 1967. John, Cass, and Denny were alive and well, and Michelle was quite young and with them, singing along the way.

    I was enraptured as they came nearer to us. I felt a seductive wall-of-sound envelop me as I forgot my stiffness and my thirst. As they came toward us, they locked eyes with me, and I couldn't help but stare at them. They turned their eyes from me and looked at Alice, and, undoubtedly John, smiled at her and asked her for a glass to drink. He eyed me a little more warily, for it isn't polite to stare; I know this.

    With my mouth slightly agape, I blurted out, 'Do "Twelve-thirty"! Do "Twelve-thirty"!' "Do you mind?" John reproached me gently. "We need this stuff right now." 'Oh, sure,' I said feeling a little idiotic.

    "What's 'Twelve-thirty?'" It was Mama Cass who turned and asked me this. "I mean who's it by? Who sings that one?" I stumbled a little, feeling the hairs on my neck stand up as I realized that song hadn't been invented yet. `I don't know,' I blurted out stupidly. `I was hoping you might know it...It's my favorite song.'

    "Sing a few bars for us," said Denny. Between my nervous infatuation with the band and my dry throat, I croaked out the words in a nearly tuneless monotone.

    "Interesting concepts there," said John.
    "I think it needs a little work," offered Michelle in an off-hand way.

    "It's really your own song, isn't it?" asked John. I tried to speak, but John put his hand up to silence me. "It's all right," he said with a disconcerting smile. "We get that all the time." After a brief pause he added, "It's not bad; it just needs an extra verse or two." By then I admit I felt a little dizzy.

    "Will you be joining us?" Cass asked me lifting up a glass like she was giving a toast.

    `No, thank you,' to which when they looked at me curiously, `I'm a diabetic,' I lied to save face.

    As they slacked their thirst, they started to walk down the sidewalk. People were starting to do the same on both sides of the street as interest was picking up about their new visitors, who, if memory served me correctly, resided somewhere around L.A.

    I couldn't hear what they were saying as they left, but as they were talking, I heard Cass start to hum a lingering melody. After a few bars, I recognized it. It was "Dream a Little Dream of Me." As they walked, I noticed John started to wince at the sight of the nearby houses. It looked like they made his eyes hurt.

    I knew out of necessity I had to go back to the hole. Still, the timelessness of their music rushed back to me: "Monday, Monday," "I Saw Her Again," "Go Where You Want to Go," the ethereal "Look Through My Window," the idiosyncratic "Dancing Bear," and the funny, self-effacing, "Creeque Alley". Ah, I was so refreshed; maybe I didn't need a drink, after all, as a cool breeze came from the Bay to hit my sweaty face.

    Just before I left I saw another familiar face up the street. A little boy, looking no older than seven, had a round head with red hair and plastic, black rimmed glasses. "Come here, Mister; my lemonade doesn't have sugar. It has saccharine instead," he said confidently. I felt my thirst return, so I went across the street and a bit to the left to his lemonade stand. He had a similar set-up, but he had a yellowish-green figure on his banner that looked like Buddah and a caption that read in neon-green letters, "It's Bad Karma to Steal Lemonade."

    'What's it got in it?' I asked apprehensively.

    "Only the freshest lemons, water, and, of course, no sugar." He looked at me eagerly as he pushed up his glasses, and then added proudly, "I have a corner on the market for people who are on a diet."

    I paid just a nickel, which I fortunately had because I seldom carry cash, and I looked at the boy who had a huckster smile if there ever was one.

    "Would you like to buy my special of ten glasses for forty cents?" he asked smugly. I grimaced, and being a little tired of the displacement chided, 'You sure are a precocious little boy, aren't you?' The boy looked a little dour and a little hurt. After a little pause, he smiled again and said, "When I grow up I'm going to be a writer." After that offhand announcement, a lizard came out of nowhere and walked across the top of his lemonade stand. I was so startled, I nearly spilled my glass of lemonade. "I want to write because of people like you," he added without a trace of petulance. "I'm going to try to make this world a better place." I immediately regretted my calloused remark, and said amiably, 'Thanks for the offer, but no thanks.'

    After I drained the liquid down my parched throat, I felt friendly again. `Where did you get the gila monster?' I asked.

    "Oh, it's no gila monster. That there is my pet dragon." I smiled at him warmly, pleased that he seemed to at least have the imagination of someone his age. 'What's his name,' I asked, 'Puff?' and started to laugh. He looked down and a little perturbed like I had asked something he didn't understand. "He doesn't have a name--not yet."

    He readjusted his glasses, then asked, "What's your name, mister?"

    'You can call me J.P.' I said amiably.

    "Nice to meet you, Mister J.P. My name's Eddie."

    `Eddie?' I said stupidly.

    "Eddie--or you can call me `Metamorpho`, that`s my nickname."

    And just then, I was transfixed by the eyes of the dragon. For indeed that's just what the little lizard was. As his eyes glowed with a hot, red glare, I was hypnotized into a trance. After some spinning that made me feel more dizzy, I felt myself float...rise above the ground, and found myself suspended in the air. I found myself traveling, and instead of ending up on the warm, sunny footpath of the outdoor trail, I was transplanted to my computer monitor, where I just had to write down and tell you this incredible tale......more info
  • oldies but goodies
    Mama & Papa Greatest Hits is certainly one of the great band from the past. This take me back to the good old days. Would have rate this as a 5 stars, but the re-mastering sound quality wasn't the best. ...more info
  • Quick delivery saved the day.
    I was a little slow in ordering a birthday present for my brother. This CD came very quickly...so he was never the wiser. Very much appreciated... p.s. He loves every song on the CD....more info
  • the Mamas and the Papas
    We bought this CD for our young granddaughter who loved the song "Monday, Monday," which this disc contains. However, she really liked all the other songs included in the collection. Another fan for the Mamas and the Papas!!!!...more info
  • 5 dollars wasted
    I too wanted to hear the Sweet Harmony of The Momas and The Papas. The collection of songs aweome! Everyone of them a winner. Twist and Shout and Dancing in the street odd to my ears but but hey the rest of the Album brings back many memories. But alas I downloaded this Album as a MP3 and the playback is horrible all you hear is the lead vocal the harmonies are absent! The music plays faintly in the back ground and the lead vocal might as well be singing accaplla and all alone. I don't know what went wrong but Amazon is refunding my 5 bucks. I have downloaded music before on Amazon and this the first time I had a problem. And this one is a bummer. I looked forward to adding this to my Mp3 player. I will order the Album (CD) direct this time. ------All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray....:( 5 star album, 1 star download...more info
  • A Mostly Great Album
    This album had all of the songs I was looking for and some that I never heard of before. Well worth the price anyway....more info
  • The Mamas & the Papas - Greatest Hits
    As greatest hits albums go this is a good compilation of the music of the Mamas & the Papas. There were a couple of songs that could have been left off, ones that to my knowledge were never a greatest hit, in fact never reached the top 40. For example, Dancing Bear, Glad to be Unhappy, Safe in My Garden. All in all a great addition to my collection....more info
  • Timeless California 60s tunes
    The Momas and the Papas was one of the great Southern California bands that for a time routinely cranked out timeless tunes that resonated with young people of that time, and any time. Even today this music has an appeal to young people, as evidenced by the fact that my 12 year old daughter, here in 2006, admits that many of these songs are cooler and more fun than contemporary rock. Of course those of us who lived (or suffered) through the 60s will always love and remember many of these tunes, such as the classic "California Dreamin'" and "Go Where You Wanna Go."

    Alas, the band didn't last, ... internal conflicts eventually caused it to disband. But while it lasted, this was a great band with a distinctive, soothing sound that was able to touch the soul and does so even today.

    This is a great value that most rock afficianados will want and appreciate....more info
  • Disappointing
    I was looking forward to having this CD. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in it's content. I consider myself a fan, but there were too many songs that I didn't recognize. The CD was still worthwhile to me, for the songs that I loved those many years ago. Cass's voice is just a joy to hear. My recommendation to you is to read over the song listing before you buy. I evidently didn't pay too much attention to it after seeing the 4-5 songs I knew. ...more info
  • The Mamas and Papas-Greatest hits
    I forgot just how good this group was. At an age of 55 it made me feel like I was 25 again singing along with them. What beautiful harmonies. It is a wonderful CD....more info
  • Ahhh to bring back these memories ...
    This CD is the best thing since white bread....it brought back all those memories and feeling from thos way back then days --of MAMMA CASS and the harmonies of the MAMMAS AND THE PAPPAS !!!

    GREAT STUFF !!!!!

    All the tunes that I want to hear are on this and the sound is just wonderful !!.Better even than the original 33's !

    If you want to hear this type of music.....get this --because you will LOVE it ....more info
  • This is Beautiful Music!
    The Mamas and the Papas' music is something truly awe-inspiring. And most people find, when they sit down to write a review, that it's difficult to classify. Rather than shuffle it into some odd mix of a genre like "choral rock pop folk hippie jazz minstrel jump swing," it's much easier (and far more accurate) to just give it the title "beautiful music." Because that's what it is.

    For a single disc compilation, Greatest Hits is absolutely packed to the brim with wonderful material that sounds great without being dated. It's an album you can just pop into the player without bothering with programming or track-skipping; you'll want to play every track. Then start it over and play every track again. It's a wonderful CD with wonderful music that'll bring you hours of enjoyment.

    Highly recommended!...more info
  • Takes me right back!
    I was a very young teenager when the big hits were flowing from The Mamas and The Papas, and not alone does this great compilation bring all those back for me, but it introduces me to songs I had never heard performed by them. Their version of "Do You Wanna Dance" is beautiful, their "Dancin' In The Street" has a wonderful, tight rhythm section to underpin it; and the understated "My Girl" is so reminiscent of all the great hippie music that came from Frisco in the late sixties. The Mamas and The Papas created superb harmonies, they must have been so proud when listening to the final mixes. Now, with the great quality on this CD, we can hear subtleties that even they probably missed! ...more info
  • Great recording
    Great recording. Had all the songs on it I was looking for. Good sound, good service....more info
  • CD from Amazon
    CD arrived in excellent condition and within the expected time frame. No problems, no concerns....more info