Top 10 Mamas And The Papas Songs

The Mamas and The Papas Songs

Photo: ABC Television [Public domain]

For a  musical group that only recorded together for a period of less than four years, The Mamas and The Papas created a long lasting legacy of music that defined a new era of music in the mid to late 1960’s. Our Top 10 Mamas And The Papas Songs list defines a band that crossed the genres of folk, pop and rock into grooving musical nuggets filled with luscious harmonies. The Beatles influenced so many groups in the mid-1960s and beyond. John Phillips took his folk music that he had been writing and created a sound influenced by The Beatles Into his own original sound that would influence many others. That sound was shaped by the vocal arrangements  and beautiful harmonies created by John Phillips, his wife Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot.

The Mamas & Papas debut album was released in 1966. The album was entitled If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears. The band released their sophomore album The Mamas & the Papas later on that same here. In 1967, The Mamas & Papas released the album The Mamas & Papas Deliver. The group would release one more record in 1968 before they broke up entitled The Papas and The Mamas. However, it would prove to be not the last Mamas and Papas album of original material released. The group would reform one more time in 1971. That year they  released the album People Like Us.

Our top 10 Mamas and the Papas songs list will take a look back at that brief period in the 1960s when The Mamas and the Papas became one of the biggest musical acts in rock and roll.

# 10 – Straight Shooter

We open up our top 10 Mamas & the Papas songs list with a great track released on the band’s debut album in 1966. The song was written by John Phillips. This rocking song received new life recently when it was placed in the trailer to Quentin Tarantino’s new film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s a fabulous way to open up our top 10 Mamas & the Papas songs list.

# 9 – Look Through My Window

This emotionally heartfelt song written by John Phillips was a window into his personal life and his romantic troubles with Michelle Phillips. The song was released on the band’s album The Mamas & The Papas Deliver. The album was released in 1966. It was the band’s third album. “Look Through My Window,” was released as as single. It was a top 30 hit in the United States for the band.

# 8 – Twelve Thirty

A little piano, a hi hat and an incredible vocal harmony open up this marvelous song by The Mamas & The Papas. The song “Twelve Thirty,” was released on the album Papas & Mamas. A genius title by a genius band. How could you not love this stuff?

# 7 – Go Where You Wanna Go

Continuing with our top 10 Mamas & the Papas songs list we turn to the band’s first ever released single “Go Where you Wanna Go.” The song was written by John Phillips in response to his wife Michelle’s affair. The song was released in 1965. The 5th Dimension recorded it a few years later and had a huge hit with the song reaching the US Billboard Top 20.

# 6 – Glad To Be Unhappy

The Mamas and the Papas song “Glad To Be Unhappy,” was released as a single in between albums. The song was released by the band while they were still working on their fourth album. “Glad To Be Unhappy,” is a musical standard written by the famed songwriting duo of Rodgers & Hart.

# 5 – Words Of Love

While The Mamas & Papas had a series of hits of standard songs written by other songwriters “Words of Love,” was an original Mamas & Papas song written by John Phillips. The song featured an amazing lead vocal by Cass Elliot that fans fell in love with. The song was released on the album The Mamas & the Papas. “Words of Love,” was a big hit for the band reaching number 5 on the US Billboard top 100. In a year in which The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and so many more acts were having huge years dominating the charts, The Mamas & Papas held their own ground magnificently.

# 4 – Creeque Alley

“Creeque Alley” is one of the most original and creative songs the Mamas and the Papas ever released. The song was written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips. The song is basically about the origins of the band. “Creeque Alley” was released on the band’s third album entitled The Mamas & the Papas Deliver or more often sometimes referred to as just Deliver. The album and single were both released in 1967. “Creeque Alley”  was a top 10 hit for the band peaking at the number 5 position on the US Billboard Hot 100 in the year 1967.

# 3 – I Saw Her Again Last Night

If ever the sound of the 1960s should be represented in the perfect pop song it would be from The Mamas & the Papas great single “I Saw Her Again Last Night.”  Once again, supposably the song was written about Michelle Phillips multiple affairs. The song was a huge hit for the band reaching the top 10 on the Billboard top 100.

# 2 – Monday, Monday

The next two spots on our top 10 Mamas & the Papas songs list belong to the band two biggest hits of their career. The legendary song “Monday, Monday,” was released on the band’s debut album. “Monday, Monday,” was the opening track on the record. “Monday, Monday,” was released as the third single from the album. It would become the band’s only number one hit single of their career. The song was written by John Phillips.

# 1 – California Dreaming

Our choice for the number one song on our top 10 Mamas and the Papas songs list is the spectacular song “California Dreaming.” It may not have been their highest chart-topping success, but in the end it has become the most famous song the band has ever released. It is also one of the most famous songs from the 1960s. With its haunting but beautiful melody and incredible production,”California Dreaming,” is one of the greatest rock and roll pop songs of all time. The song was written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips.

Updated March 8, 2021

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