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If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (The Mamas and The Papas)

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iTunes Review

It’s high irony that this southern California singing group would become world-famous for their harmonies, considering that once this debut album was in the can the four members of the group were anything but harmonious with each other. Leader John Phillips rehearsed the group for months in the Virgin Islands before committing these carefully sculpted tunes to tape and the craftsmanship shows. Thanks in no small part to this well-received debut album that combined easy-flowing folk-rock with vocal arrangements more associated with doo-wop groups from the previous era, 1966 was a watershed year for AM pop radio. “California Dreaming” and “Monday, Monday” became immediate hits, while the group’s inventive approach to other well-known tunes such as “Spanish Harlem,” “Do You Wanna Dance” and “The ‘In’ Crowd” made them noted interpretive artists as well. A nightclub rendition of the Beatles’ “I Call Your Name,” P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri’s “You Baby” and several Phillips originals (“Somebody Groovy,” “Go Where You Wanna Go,” covered by the 5th Dimension) round things out in exemplary mid-60s form.

Customer Reviews

YOU CAN believe your eyes and EARS

I bought this album for $0.25 at a yard sale because the cover was cool... WELL, when I poped it on the turntable (yes, this was in the early 80's), put my headphones on, closed my eyes and was stunned. This was the best collection of harmonies that I had ever heard. I knew the songs mostly due to AM radio, but to listen to this debut LP was phemominal. GET IT, LISTEN, REPEAT!

The 60's Ethos

I some ways this is a perfect collection of feelings and attitudes that came to define the 1960s. These were four "hippies", but rather non-threatening ones, and they sang clever little longs that epitomized the California dream. Highly recommended for those interested.

All Time Favorite Album

My Very Favorite Album Ever. This album still sounds great 44 years after it was first released. This is the album to own if you are a fan of the Mamas and Papas. To have a debut album go to number 1 on the music chart says alot about the extraordinary talent of the songwriters and the amazing sound of these 4 gifted members of the Mamas and Papas. Every song on this album is outstanding. This album is just as great as any greatest hits album that they ever released. Every song is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Very rarely have I ever loved hearing an original album by any group or solo artist. The only other album that comes to mind is Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel. That was another truly magnificent album. You will never get tired of hearing "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears". You will want to hear this album over and over again. You will be so happy that you bought it. Do yourself a favor and buy this album by one of the greatest vocal groups of our time.


Formed: 1965 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The leading California-based vocal group of the '60s, the Mamas & the Papas epitomized the ethos of the mid- to late-'60s pop culture: live free, play free, and love free. Their music, built around radiant harmonies and a solid electric folk foundation, was gorgeous on its own terms, but a major part of its appeal lay in the easygoing southern California lifestyle it endorsed. The group's success was as extraordinary as it was brief, and onlookers may well wonder what went wrong with a performing...
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