FOR COMPLETIST'S ONLY: OLD AUDIO
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 12/15/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This set will indeed take you back in time, but, unfortunately, not due to the music: It sounds like it's coming out of an AM radio, as it was released fifteen years ago, and has never been remastered.
If you are seeking the best reproduction of the TM&P's sound, serious consideration should be given to the remastered, 2001 2-disc set All the Leaves Are Brown: The Golden Era Collection.
"Era" contains the complete first four TM&P's LP's, plus the non-LP single, "Glad To Be Unhappy" in excellent remastered sound. "Era" is also superior in sound to the MCA "Greatest Hits" single disc CD released in 1998.
This disc should only be purchased if the more obscure tracks and studio dialog justifies the expense of this additional set.
Chillin' with John, Denny, Michelle, & Cass
Kelly L. Norman | Plymouth, MI United States | 02/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, these discs really take me back to when girlfriends Cass and Michelle, and my men Denny and John, were so much a part of my life. I remember their gig (on the portable record player) at my dad's party the day he made journeyman electrician at Fords . And I remember kicking it with them in my room, using Crayolas to stand in for their physical selves.But mostly I remember standing over our console stereo, enthralled by the melodies coming out as the "Dunhill" label spun around and around. At four and five, I preferred "Dancing Bear", the song about a kid dreaming of far away places and animals, to "Monday Monday", But I did like the harmonies. On this collection, it's easy to appreciate the beauty, and in some cases complication, of the Mamas & the Papas' harmonies . One of my favorites musically is "Once Was a Time I Thought"; especially since you hear the group put the final touches on the recording. It seems they haven't overdubbed this accapella full of fifths and sixths, yet it sounds like a whole choir full of people is singing, not just four. Other arrangements on songs like "No Salt On Her Tail" are often unpredictable and refreshing. Hearing the voices of the band and the history from the Big Three and Mugwumps is delightful, with one caveat. These folks wear their hearts on their sleeves, as anyone who has heard "I Saw Her Again" can attest to. They court each other, warn each other, build each other up, and finally, in Creeque Alley, vilify each other in song. I for one can't listen to the line "No one's getting fat except Mama Cass" without squirming. Still, I would highly recommend this collection of songs. They provide some beautiful melodies, and the history of one of the most important American pop bands of the '60s.I should know. They lived on our stereo."
Mamas and Papas - and Big Three, Mugwumps, & others
J. L LaRegina | New Jersey | 07/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you own no Mamas and Papas music, you have three options:
1. Buy SIXTEEN OF THEIR GREATEST HITS, the Mamas and Papas C.D. comprising all the popular songs you would expect.
2. As the Mamas and Papas released only five studio albums, just get all of them. In fact, leave PEOPLE LIKE US, which after splitting the quartet reunited to make due to contractual obligation, for last. You can decide to own it should the four true Mamas and Papas albums, IF YOU CAN BELIEVE YOUR EYES AND EARS; DELIVER; THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS; and THE PAPAS AND THE MAMAS, please you. (Okay, there is also a Mamas and Papas concert L.P., and you can hold off on that one until you feel you gotta have it.)
3. Pick up CREEQUE ALLEY.
Providing all the songs the Mamas and Papas hits C.D. offers as well as several outstanding album tracks proves just the start with CREEQUE ALLEY. This two-disc collection's greatest appeal is its inclusion of songs Mamas and Papas members John Phillips, Cass Elliot, Michelle Phillips and Denny Doherty recorded either as solo artists or with other groups. With the Cass Elliot folk trio Big Three's "Winken Blinken and Nod;" John Phillips' raucous "Mississippi;" Michelle Phillips' country tune "Achin' Kind;" and Elliot's solo songs "California Earthquake" and "Make Your Own Kind of Music," CREEQUE ALLEY may leave you seeking out more than just other Mamas and Papas records.
The CREEQUE ALLEY booklet includes individual pictures of the Mamas and Papas members. Oddly, the photo captions name each individual by his or her proper name except Cass Elliot's, which identifies her simply as "Mama Cass."
If it's just the Mamas and Papas you want, go with the first or second suggestion. CREEQUE ALLEY will whet your appetite for pre- and post-Mamas and Papas music the quartet's members gave us."