If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears is the debut album by the Mamas and the Papas (written as The Mama's and the Papa's [sic]), released in 1966. The stereo mix of the album is included in its entirety on All the Leaves are Brown (2001), a two-CD retrospective compilation of the band's first four albums and various singles, as well as on The Mamas & the Papas Complete Anthology (2004), a four-CD box-set collection released in the UK. The mono mix of the album was remastered and reissued on vinyl by Sundazed Records in 2010, and on CD the following year. It is the band's only album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. In 2003, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears was ranked number 127 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, with its rank rising to number 112 in the 2012 revision.Wikipedia
Most 60's groups had three choices: copy the beatles, copy the beach boys, or sexually abuse minors. These guys changed the game and did all three- Four stars!
Great music, awful band/album name. This is their debut, and it features their two most enduring hits. Both "Monday, Monday" and "California Dreamin" are certified bangers. "California Dreamin" will always remind me of Chungking Express. Aside from these two songs, I enjoyed the rest but not much stood out to me. Their whole bit is the layered vocal harmonies, and that alone isn't enough to carry an album. But there's a nice variety to the songs, and I like how the lead vocalist would change for different songs. I would definitely put this over one or both of the Kinks albums we've heard from the same era, but not too much higher honestly. On a positive note, they sound like Scooby-Doo music to me. Favorite tracks: California Dreamin, Monday Monday, Somebody Groovy, You Baby. Album art: A funny picture to be sure. It almost seems like it would be a cheesy comedy album. I don't know much about the band's composition, but I appreciate that the men and women are sharing the spotlight. 4/5
“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears” by The Mamas and the Papas (1966) Any album that contains three megahits (‘Monday, Monday”, “Go Where You Wanna Go”, and “California Dreamin’”) is worth a serious listen. And after 55 years, “Monday, Monday” and “California Dreamin’” still hold their own as superlatively listenable songs, evoking reverie and wistfulness in the hearts those who listen to them, even if they’ve never heard them before. Stepping back and reviewing the entire album, it is clear why this is the case. The four members of this singing quartet had backgrounds in the folk vocal ensemble revival of the early 1960s (Journeymen, Mugwumps, Big 3), which singer/songwriter John Phillips harnessed into a powerful blend. It goes way beyond “Hootenanny” and “Shindig!” His arrangements were inspired. Some of the flaws are indicative of the age—unfortunate static in the right channel on the intro to “Monday, Monday”; too much separation in the stereo mix; gimmicky and dated syncopation; limited instrumental colorings; the improper use of the apostrophe on the cover text (okay, that’s a bit picky). But there are no songs on this record that are truly ‘clunkers’. John Phillips has superb arranging skills. Harmony. Harmony. Harmony. A number of folk purists might have been disappointed to hear jazz chords in the vocals, but these are probably the same people who turned against Bob Dylan when he went electric at the July 1965 Newport Folk Festival. In fact, The Mamas and the Papas were propelling popular music in the direction it was destined to go, and commercial folk was dying. The forward-looking eclecticism of this record is part of its genius. Vocal performances on the album are legendary. The unison pairings (J. Phillips/Doherty and Elliot/M. Phillips) are very tight, and the slightly rapid vibrato of all four singers, while too sparingly utilized, is remarkably synchronized. Denny Doherty has fine voice, singing lead on both “Monday, Monday” and “California Dreamin’”. But here he lacks a soulful embrace of the meaning of what he was singing. He famously said of “Monday, Monday” that “it was a dumb fuckin’ song about a day of the week.” Boy, did he miss the point. Michelle Phillips brings a sweet (albeit not powerful) soprano to the blend. But the star vocalist in this quartet is, of course, Cass Elliot. At home as a contralto, she has great range and power that place her as one of the greatest female vocalists in pop/rock history. I suspect that the stereo mix on the album was deliberately intended to be dramatically different from the mono mix of the 45 rpm single and AM radio airplay. In any case, a serious listener today needs to studiously ignore the exaggerated separation. It’s altogether a fine work of art, standing as a monument to the soul of the sixties. 4/5
Cass was in love with Denny. But Denny was in love with Michelle. And Michelle was married to John. As for John… well you can look him up yourself but he was a seriously troubled individual… Yet despite - or because of? - these tensions (I Saw Her Again was written after the discovery of Denny and Michelle’s affair) the quartet made some exquisite sounding records many of which feature here. Despite the gorgeous four part harmonies and seeming uplifting music, the lyrics often hint at something darker - California Dreamin’ sounds like summer but is really a man in a freezing church thinking of leaving his partner - adding layers of depth and nuance. At times the group fall back on perfectly serviceable if a little underwhelming covers of recent soul and pop hits but really hit their stride with their own punchy compositions - Monday, Monday, Go Where You Wanna Go and Straight Shooter are perfect sixties tracks. Their career was astonishingly brief, recording and performing together for just four years, but left a catalogue of era defining music. As for whether they made a classic album during that time - probably not and this isn’t one - but it’s pretty damn good. Sit back and feel the vibe.
Too LA faux hippie for my SF tastes. The only boring act at Monterey, but kudos for putting it together. Is this going to be 1001 white people? Just checking.
Seemed a little conservative at the start for a mid-late 60s album. Got some beach boys vibes to it. Love how a lot of the songs have harmonies based on vocals.
Another album that for me at first was difficult to rate on merit vs nostalgia. My parents had this album from the time I was born so putting it on was a bit of a personal time machine :) - but also the songs at first play (in decades) have such an overly sweet and dated sound to them that I found myself a little bored. However I did play it again last night through headphones and more-fully appreciated how awesome those vocal harmonies are. Since the mix was probably done on an old 4 track for most songs the 3 or 4 part harmonies are exclusively in the left-channel which makes them blend so perfectly I often can't even figure out how they create those parts. Also when you start listening to the lyrics they're nowhere near as "sweet" as maybe they wanted you to think :D - these guys may have had as much interpersonal drama as Fleetwood Mac did nearly a decade later. The two all-time music classics of "Monday Monday" and "California Dreamin" are so ubiquitous (commercials, tv shows, etc) and justifiably so but "Go Where You Wanna Go" and "Straight Shooter" are every bit as catchy. Gotta give this its proper due even if it's not something I'd ordinarily listen to - these are perfectly constructed pop songs absolutely "of the time" but with melodies (and harmonies) this good it's a keeper. 8/10 4 stars
Vous l'avez probablement noté dans un coin de votre feuille ou de votre document Word mais j'étais bel et bien en train de ratisser les feuilles mortes du jardin de ma famille d'accueil lorsque j'écoutais cet album. Vous savez aussi que Robert a fixé à aujourd'hui la date limite à laquelle je dois écrire la totalité de mes critiques d'albums générés et ainsi rattraper le retard que j'avais accumulé. En cas de non respect de ce délai, il était prévu que Norbert Episode me rende visite (vous avez fait sa connaissance dans mes reviews de Black Sabbath, d'Animal Collective et de Kiss). Et justement, alors que je ratissais les feuilles du jardin, il m'arrivait d'apercevoir les phares d'une voiture roder autour de la maison. Je brandissais de temps en temps mon enceinte JBL pour signaler que j'allais être à jour d'une minute à l'autre. Au bout de quelques heures, les phares en question arrêtèrent de passer et me voilà désormais parfaitement à la page et disposé à recevoir le prochain album.
The big hits are great, some good tunes and some stinkers. I l aways listen to the greatest hits and I see why.
This album is the worst thing Papa John Phillips ever did
Sing-songy, lite folk/pop, I guess this was the safe bet for office parties in the 60s if you weren't cool enough for Hendrix.
9/10 when my dad still lived in virginia w/ me, whenevr he had the radio on during car rides it was almost always a station playin 60s or 70s music. (usually 60s i think? also at one point a beatles channel was made and u kno he ate that shit up.) so basically whenever i hear radio-friendly 60s music i get kinda warm n fuzzy inside. this album is already gorgeous and filled with amazing melodies so when u add on the fact that a few songs from this got played on that 60s station its kinda like. oh damn.
I really loved this album. "California Dreamin" was one of my favorites, of course, and "Monday, Monday".
I love the mamas and the papas and this album I hadn't listened to by itself and it had some greats on it, but even the songs I hadn't heard were great. Just some great upbeat songs
Love. Listening to them always brings visions of a carefree summer in late 60s southern California.
Really enjoyed. Perfect classic kinda of music I look for. Would love to have physical.
So many good songs! Good for summer listening.
i only know california dreamin but after listening, this is my favorite album so far.
Great album, fab songs, beautiful harmonies
Awesome, very chill songs, nothing too heavy, really a good omage to the time periods music.
Sounds of its time but still resonates today. Every once in a while I hear California Dreamin' used in a show or movie and it always hits super hard. Their harmonies are really powerful. Excellent album.
Plays like a greatest hits. There’s not a bad track.
Pues muy bueno. Con Monday, Monday, California Dreamin' and Spanish Harlem. Además de otras canciones que he añadido a mis favoritas. Un 5 en toda regla.
Rock sesentero. Dos megahits absolutos. Un 5, claro.
i didnt hate it
Rock sesentero. Dos megahits absolutos. Un 5, claro.
FUCKING BANGERS, love the mama and the papas
Classic album with some great songs. True 5 star talent.
Ik vind dit geweldige muziek! Leuke melodietjes, goede zang, relaxt, gewoonweg genieten!! Dit album zit vol met grote hits, maar ook een paar minder bekende nummers. Mijn favoriet is en blijft "California Dreamin'". *****
Don’t really have much to say other than it’s just a super solid album. Every song suits a particular mood and they all stick out as unique and recognisable. Plus it has California dreamin on which is one of my favourite songs of all time so it’s hard not to give it 5 stars
Classic album. Non-stop timeless songs. I would say: best debut album ever and should be in any in top 10 of any best of list.
Wonderful, lovely harmonies, soul spirit music.
Still got it
Just great swinging music
Mamas AND papas? In this economy??
love this one. reminds me of the younger me in love with going to the city as a province girl + the musicals i dream of
I knew a lot of these songs, but this isn't a greatest hits collection. Talk about a great debut album! I'm pretty sure I've listened to this album before somewhere along the way, but didn't realize it was the debut. The Mama's and the Papa's music has such a nice effect on my psyche. There's something sweet and yet wistful in those songs that never fail to draw me in. Really special!
With delectable harmonies and a groovy 60s sound, this one really got to me. I knew I loved California Dreamin' and Monday, Monday. But I had 6 or 7 other favorites by my third listen. The vocals on The "In" Crowd give me chills on chills on chills. Excellent!
I was familiar with so many of these tracks from a “best of” album that I have listened to many many times. For the rest of the tracks, I very much enjoyed then too! I dig the harmonies and how their vocal tones blend.
This was a really great listen for the day. All four times. It was kind of surprising to me that I had never heard all of this album. What a joy it was! I loved their original songs like "Go Where You Wanna Go" and "Somebody Groovy," and I really loved their versions of "The 'In' Crowd" and "Spanish Harlem." There is no other song like "California Dreamin'" and it was perfect to have "Monday, Monday" as the first thing I listened to on a Monday morning. Their splendid harmonies gave good vibrations to the whole day.
Wish it was longer
This is genius. I love these guys so much.
I really love this album. Mama Cass had some pipes on her. Go Where You Want to Go is such a great song and shows off Cass.
The mamas and the papas were one of my dad's favorite bands. I got to listen to this stuff in my teens. Coming back to it now is nostalgic. There sound is smoothe melody with meaning. Good stuff
I was a little hesitant at first, but frankly, great vocal performances, Californian flair, and counterculture folk was all I needed.
sweet album. didn't sound like a guy who would have sex with his daughter.
Yes, yes and thrice yes. This is a good album, and my life is better for having listened to it. Yours will be too.
I've long been a fan of the The Mamas and the Papas. My parents were fans so I grew up listening to them, and eventually became a fan in my own right. That said, I've only ever owned a greatest hits album, so a few of these songs were new to me. I was familiar with other bands' versions of "You Baby" and "Do You Wanna Dance," so it was fun to hear their take on them. It’s actually mind-blowing to me that this was their debut album. They weren’t new to making music, but it’s still crazy that they were this good from the start.
A corner stone of American music history. 5/5.
Some of the best vocal harmonies I've ever heard.
such great chill vibes. just want to lay in the sun listening to this one 💚
This album is so good it makes me want to surreptitiously break into a policeman's house so that I can clean his fish tank, replace his soaps and towels, and slowly buy him larger and larger stuffed animals at a pace that he never quite notices.
So many songs we know and love, all on one album.
This is a good example of a disc that serves as time capsule. Released in 1966 it had folkish songs, beautiful harmonies and lyrics that frequently had an underlying melancholy. But it also incorporated rock, pop and soul. The well-known singles (California Dreaming and Monday, Monday) have achieved classic status, but the rest of the album almost is at the same standard. The production is impeccable, and the studio musicians are almost all from The Wrecking Crew, which says all one needs to know.
Each track evolves into it's own character while maintaining a dark and solemn theme throughout the album. It's haunting, it's beautiful, it's lonesome, it's wholesome.
Very cool. Outside of my normal music taste but I could appreciate the quality of the music and the good vibes.
Enjoy the Classics!
When men & women can be truly harmonizing, it's magic! Even in the naivest format here. But what's the matter anymore when masculinity & feminity can be together peacefully? Fav track: California Dreamin'
So mellow, beautiful.
Sort of like the Beatles. Covered a few of their songs. A lot of famous ones too that I didn’t know where by them
Harmonies are on point but you can tell it’s a bit dated. I’ll give it a 4 just because California dreaming is such a classic
I love it
Harmonias vocais excelentes. Muito diferente do que esperava. Destaque para as clássicas California Dreamin' e Spanish Harlem
Jävligt nära en 5a "for the record".
holds up nicely
Vocal harmonies abound in this very 60s sound. California Dreamin’ is a classic
Några av dessa låtar ligger redan i min mer aktiva playlist. Så snarare 4,5!
I love California Dreaming. Some good old Hippie Music.
Good feel good album with great harmonies and fun songs
just what you'd expect
Great vocal harmonies and songs that were stuck in my head all day.
Less than timeless, but extra credit for the excellent production - sounds great for early '66.
Nice hippy vibing album.
Happy vibes. I'd have been a great hippie.
so lilting it would almost be hilarious for someone to walk in while you’re listening to it. fav track: i call your name
pretty cool but a little too folky for my liking
one of the most influential groups of the 60s. although some of their music doesn’t feel as good now 60 years later, this album is honestly great and each song is unique but has consistency and style. something about the harmonies they make together, ooohhh :)))
ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN
Lovely sunny harmonies, classic pop. Fave track - "California Dreaming" - one of my absolute fave karaoke tracks because it's really easy to encourage everyone to sing along, whether it's singing the main lyrics, or the harmonies... 😍
Some classics here
A few of my favorites on this
Definitely a band I've always heard but never came into my consciousness.
I’m a sucker for some good 60’s California psych.
Beach boys, but more "meet me at the doo-op" vibes. Only like 35 min long so quick sweet lil album
Quelque classique california dreamin, monday monday. L’album s’ecoute bine et fait partie de son temps4*
Pretty good. Beetles like
I truly enjoyed it. Classic 60s pop with great harmonies and catchy songs. Perfect length as well. I would check out more of their work for sure.
Álbum bonito, aunque el género no es mi predilecto, lo tolero en moods muy particulares. Es música que sí me suena ya avejentada, pero no tiene que ser algo negativo eso. La voz de Michelle Phillips sí muy bonita, y pues el hitazo "California Dreamin'" <3. Otras fav fueron "I Call Your Name" y "Hey Girl". No es un álbum al que regresaría en su totalidad. 7.5/10
Stereo baby! Classic stuff, sounds from a bygone era.