The Mamas & the Papas is the self-named second album by The Mamas & the Papas, released in 1966. It peaked at #4 in the US and #24 in the UK. The lead off single, "I Saw Her Again", peaked at #5 in the US and #11 in the UK. "Words of Love" was released as the second single in the US and peaked at #5. In the UK, it was released as a double A-side with "Dancing in the Street" (a cover of the 1964 hit by Martha and the Vandellas) and peaked at #47.
After it was discovered that group members Michelle Phillips and Denny Doherty were having an affair, tension in the band erupted and Michelle was fired from the group in June 1966. In July, a new singer was hired to replace her. Jill Gibson was producer Lou Adler's girlfriend at the time and was already a singer/songwriter who had performed on several Jan and Dean albums. She learned to sing Michelle's parts within three weeks while the band was in London, England. Who actually sang on this album is a matter of conjecture. Half of the album had already been recorded with Michelle, including the hit singles "I Saw Her Again" and "Words of Love", before she was fired from the group. Gibson went to work recording with Doherty, John Phillips and Cass Elliot, including dubbing over some of Michelle's completed vocals. By the end of August, Michelle was asked to rejoin the group and Gibson was let go. Michelle then recorded vocals on two new songs with the group and dubbed over some of Gibson's vocals.
During the discussion on this sophomore album in the Matthew Greenwald's book, "Go Where you Wanna Go", Gibson claims she sang on ten of the songs. Adler states it was more like six, and Michelle adds that only engineer Bones Howe knows for sure who was on the final release, because she and Gibson both recorded many of the same songs, dubbing over each other's vocals. In all likelihood, a number of the songs on this album contain the voices of all five singers.
The photo already chosen for the album's cover featured Michelle Phillips prominently, so Dunhill had Gibson take a photo posed in exactly the same position as Michelle, and then superimposed the new photo over that of Phillips. However, the decision was then made to shoot an entirely new picture with the new line-up, and to also change the album's title to Crashon Screamon All Fall Down. Several thousand advance pressings of the album with this cover and title were sent out to radio stations and record distributors, but with the return of Michelle to the group just prior to the LP's general release, the original cover and eponymous title were quickly reinstated. Copies of the rare Crashon... pressings are now highly sought after collectors items.
The album was first issued on CD in 1988 (MCAD-31043) and also appears in its entirety on All the Leaves are Brown, a retrospective compilation of the band's first four albums, with the single versions of "I Saw Her Again" and "Words of Love".
The Mamas & the Papas (credited as The Mama's and the Papa's on the debut album cover and sometimes shortened to Mamas & Papas) were an American/Canadian vocal group who came to prominence in the 1960s (Denny Doherty was from Canada). The group recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968 with a short reunion in 1971, releasing five albums and 11 Top 40 hit singles. They have sold nearly 40 million records worldwide.
Their signature sound was based on four-part male/female vocal harmonies arranged by John Phillips, the band's songwriter, who managed to "leave the folk music behind" and blend his writing with the new "beat" sound in an unprecedented mode.
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