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  • The music that appears in the film – released for the first time this week as part of a collector’s edition by Studio Canal and a vinyl box set by Universal – was written and produced by John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas.

    Finding himself without a soundtrack weeks from the film’s planned premiere in March 1976, Roeg turned to The Mamas and Papas songwriter. Phillips’ third wife , Genevieve Waite (a South African actor and model), had introduced him to Roeg in 1970, when the director was in LA to work on Performance .

  • How much preparation has gone into this show for you personally?
    A lot of work has gone in, you have to spend a lot of time rehearsing the harmonies, learning the lines and the choreography and then putting it all together. This show has so many songs in it and we almost all sing in all of them (apart from a few solos) so it has taken a lot of time, particularly on the music side. I spent a lot of time getting the harmonies right and learning the lyrics, and then we all had to spend time rehearsing together and getting that blend right, that the Mamas and Papas were so famous for.

    Recording of the Mamas and the Papas' second album ( titled (1966) and sometimes referred to as , whose names appear thus above the band's name on the cover) was interrupted when Phillips became indiscreet about her affair with of . An affair the previous year between Phillips and band mate had been forgiven; Doherty and John Phillips had reconciled and ostensibly written "" (1966) about the episode, although they later disagreed about how much Doherty contributed to the song. This time, Phillips was determined to fire his wife. After consulting their attorney and record label, he, Elliot, and Doherty served Michelle Phillips with a letter expelling her from the group on June 28, 1966. Michelle was rehired shortly thereafter, when the three original members concluded her replacement , who was a quick study and well regarded, lacked her predecessor's "stage charisma and grittier edge"; Michelle Phillips was reinstated on August 23, 1966.


    Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (CD)

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    The Best Of the Mamas and the Papas (CD)

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    The Mamas and the Papas – Complete Anthology (4 CDs)

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  • So, what's your favourite Mamas and Papas song now?
    Dedicated to the One I Love. It's the best mix of a ballad and a rock song!

the Mamas and the Papas - Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The group's appeal, however, has lingered, as reflected in its induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1997. There have been multiple reissues of their original four LPs, in widely varying quality (especially in America), culminating in 2001 with the release of All the Leaves Are Brown, a compilation of their complete 1960s studio recordings. The death of on March 18 of that year would seem to have ended any but the most exploitative reincarnations of the group -- in 2003, however, , who had toured with a version of "the Mamas & the Papas," premiered the autobiographical stage musical Dream a Little Dream of Me, in which he also starred, in New York. Astonishingly, given their two-and-a-half-year principal history, there have also been four books dealing with the group's history. Taken together, Papa John by (with Jim Jerome) and California Dreamin': The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas -- The Music, the Madness, the Magic by Michelle Phillips (both 1986) form a he-said/she-said account of events, with taking the prize for depth between the two of them. More recently, Doug Hall's The Mamas and the Papas: California Dreamin' was published, and in 2002 Matthew Greenwald's Go Where You Wanna Go: The Oral History of the Mamas and the Papas appeared. Reading any of them is a fascinating, eye-opening, and potentially disillusioning look behind the supposed idealism of the 1960s. ~ Bruce Eder