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The Mamas & the Papas - Greatest Hits Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 509 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 10, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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.

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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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 10, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B0000062XS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (509 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jay L. Rudko on January 31, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Anyone who listened to top-40 radio in the 60's has to remember the first time they heard "California Dreamin'". The haunting lyrics and the tight, clear harmonies had a folkish sound that was clearly ahead of its time. When their music finally became available on CD, the textures became more apparent and the true artistic content was more clearly defined. On this disc, which was carefully remastered from the original analog tapes, the Mamas and the Papas are finally heard at their best. While there was clearly not enough room for all their great songs, all of their major hits are included, including my favorite, "I Saw Her Again"... complete with Denny's goof that became a feature of the song. The voices are clearer and lyrics more understandable, and the instrumental backup, which was somewhat unconventional in itself, is clearer as well. Being the fan that I was since the first hearing, I have to rate this 5 stars... a real winner in both music and technical quality.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember that when music changed from the 60s sound to disco, I heard the song "Monday Monday" being played on a radio station and I became teary eyed. Mama Cass was still alive so, it wasn't as though I was grieving for a band that could never be reassembled. Rather, I was grieving for a contemporary music style that would never be recaptured. In the sixties, there was the San Francisco sound and then, there was the more laid back sound from Southern California exemplfied by the Mamas & the Papas. Monday Monday was so evocative to me because that song epitomised this sound which was now relegated to the status of "oldies but goodies." Of course, "Monday Monday" and the equally laid back "California Dreaming" sre included on this cd, as well as the lively "Go Where You Wanna Go" (My favorite song on the cd). Another Favorite is the beautiful arrangement of the Shirelles standard "Dedicated to the One I Love" (Gosh!! weren't the Shirelles great too!!??). All in all, there are 20 well selected hits and I think you will love this collection. Now that a second band member, John Phillips, has died, it is time to revisit this group of my fond memories.
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Format: Audio CD
This is an OK compilation, but if you are looking for the most up-to-date mastering of these classic hits, spend the extra dollars and purchase the 2001 2-disc All the Leaves Are Brown: The Golden Era Collection over this 1998 single-disc package.

The vocals are much more up-front in that edition (although this disc is a big improvement over "Creeque Alley", which sounds like an old AM radio).

"GOLDEN ERA" also delivers the complete content of TM&TP's first four LP's, plus the non-LP single "Glad To Be Unhappy".

2/06 UPDATE: Universal, in their infinite wisdom, has killed the 52-track "ERA" set and replaced it with a 2CD, 33-track "Gold"-series disc. The audio masters are the same, they just whacked out almost half the songs.

Try to find a used "Era" disc, either here on Amazon or on ebay: It's worth the search to have the complete M&P catalog.

It's also worth not buying the "Gold" set, and lining Universal's pockets, for a sub-standard version.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are searching for the definitive M&P collection, keep looking... this is not it.
This compilation boasts that it is digitally remastered. However, the instrumentals are crisp and sadly to the fore, on most tracks the vocals have been muddied and diminished.. Cass would have not been amused.
Regrettably my cassette tape of the M&P purchased in 1969 puts this assemblage to shame.
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By dante on October 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This compilation is very poorly remastered. The sound is very compressed and strident. there is no bass presence. To hear a glorious remastered sound, listen to "16 greatest hits from original master tapes" released in 1985.
Remastering can achieve great results. For example, The beatles, stones, who, byrds etc.... all benefitted tremendously over the years with their remastered catalog. The mamas and papas were served extremely well the first time around. Too bad Steve Hoffman didn't work on the subsequent expanded output of mama and papa cds (including the sterile sounding "all the leaves are brown").
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Format: Audio CD
'The Mamas and the Papas' had a sound all their own, a unique kind of Southern California blend, a harmony of at times melancholy beauty. They had one great singer, Mama Cass, whose 'Dream a Little Dream of me' is perhaps the closest thing they ever produced to a really great 'solo'. Their signature song and one of the unforgettable sixties song is 'California Dreaming'. It seemed to express a certain haunting longing , the longing for a place which then represented to many Americans, California, the golden land of escape and new home.

John Phillips who like Mama Cass is no longer with us was the arranger, director who really made the 'Mamas and Papas' into such a great group.

It is strange even then their sound evoked a certain feeling of 'nostalgia' but four decades later the jump of initial joy hearing them brings is truly complemented by the sense of a world long gone.
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