The original Mamas & Papas greatest-hits package had no liner notes or photos and sounded several generations (at least!) away from the the original '60s masters. So this new 20-track collection represents a major upgrade; includes California Dreamin'; Monday, Monday; I Call Your Name; Do You Wanna Dance; I Saw Her Again; You Baby; Dancing Bear; Words of Love; Look Through Any Window; Dancing in the Street; Dedicated to the One I Love; Creeque Alley; Glad to Be Unhappy; Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) , and more.
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