The Mamas & The Papas, Dunhill D-50010, 1966
Some bands, like The Rolling Stones, can last forever. Others, like The Mamas & The Papas tend to collapse like a flan in a cupboard just as soon as they form. Just a few months after the success of their first album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes And Ears, the group was rushed back into the studio to record it’s follow-up. Sophomore albums have a notorious reputation for being weak, usually because artists have all the time in the world to develop material for their first record, but then have next to no time to try to equal or better what was done over years of practicing and writing. Still, the Mamas & The Papas had the musical chops to try to pull it off.
They just didn’t have the personality traits to do so. Not that John & Michelle Phillips had anything close to a traditional marriage, but with Michelle going around in public with Gene Clarke of The Byrds, the rest of the group decided to fire her, just as Monday Monday was falling out of the op 40. Enter Jill Gibson, a show biz veteran and Michelle Phillips look alike was hired to be the new Mama. They even took a nice cover photo with the new lineup for the record. But a few recording and concert dates later, the group decided that things weren’t “right” with the New Jan (Jill in this case) and re-hired Michelle.
But it seems like Dunhill Records was in such a hurry to get the album out that they cut a few corners to do so. Rather than take a new group photo, they just used the old one they had and superimposed Michelle onto Jill, and voila! A sophomore album is born. Never mind the obvious color differences between Michelle and the rest of the group, or the fact that they spelled “Denny” as Dennie, Dunhill wasn’t going to spend time or money to slow this record from hitting the stores. And musically, it’s really great! We just have no idea who’s actually singing on it.
Cost: $2, $681 Remaining
$55 Spent, $1.77 per record