Cherise Spins: The Mama’s and the Papa’s– If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

I was a really awful baby.

No, I’m pretty sure my mother would admit it.  I was really colicky. I honestly don’t know how she didn’t throw my wailing ass out the window, but that’s her story to share.

So naturally, in attempts to calm my newborn self down (what did I really have to cry about, anyway?) My mom tried playing some calming music. Lore has it that the Mama’s and the Papa’s Greatest Hits was a go-to.

It didn’t work. I was still colicky AF.

But perhaps what it did do, was shape my taste in music. The Mama’s and the Papa’s may not have calmed me down then, but they sure as hell do now. They also have this ability to lift my spirits, no matter what kind of day I’m having.

Part of it is definitely the harmonies. In fact, most of it probably is. How can you deny it?  But I’ve also developed an appreciation for a lot of the songwriting (much of it done by John Philips). He wasn’t Bob Dylan, but for a 60’s folk-pop group he wrote a few tunes that could make someone feel more than just wanting to dance (Check out Got a Feel’n for instance).

The Mama’s and the Papa’s are synonymous with mid-1960’s flower power, which is what got me into them when I was in middle school. The whole era fascinated me. I felt like that’s where I truly belonged. I felt like I was born in the wrong time. Sometimes I still do. But listening to these guys, along with many other artists, put me in a little time machine. Giving me a glimpse into moments and feelings in time.

“If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears” is the group’s first studio album and included two of their most famous hits “California Dreamin’” and “Monday Monday.” However, there are a few other gems on here that I just love.

Favourite tunes (besides the obvious):
“Got a Feelin’’
“Go Where You Wanna Go”
“Spanish Harlem.”

I haven’t seen a lot of Mama’s and the Papa’s on vinyl in local shops. So when I found this copy at a local bookstore a few years back, I knew I had to grab it. If I ever come across any others, I’d do the same.

If you’re into goosebump-inducing harmonies or getting into 60’s folk-pop, the Mama’s and the Papa’s are a must.

Or if you just want to feel happier after an awful day or dance around your apartment, they’re great for that too.

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Cherise is the co-host of the Strange Grooves podcast. She started collecting vinyl back in high school, but her love of classic rock and AM Radio hits goes back long before that. When she’s not listening to music, Cherise is the Associate Editor of Huddle Today, an online business publication that covers Atlantic Canada. She’s previously worked for CBC New Brunswick, The Canadian Press and the Telegraph-Journal, among other great publications.

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