1966 Mamas and Papas – Look Through My Window
John Phillips, his second wife Michelle Phillips, and Denny Doherty had been members of an assortment of folk groups in 1964 and 1965. They teamed up with Cass Elliot and formed the Magic Cyrcle. It didn’t take too long to ditch that name; based on the names members of Hell’s Angels called themselves, they renamed the group The Mamas and The Papas.
Barry McGuire arranged an audition for the group with Lou Adler, and they signed a five-year contract for two albums a year with Dunhill Records.
Their first single in 1965 failed to chart, but the next two singles off their first album reached #1 and #4 on the Hot 100.
Work began on their second album, but Michelle’s affair with Gene Clark of the Byrds led to her being fired and replaced by Jill Gibson. John wrote the song I Saw Her Again Last Night about the affair and the single reached #5 on the Hot 100.
Michelle returned to the band two months after they fired her, and they toured the East Coast before starting work on their third album.
Cass was still single, but pregnant with her daughter. At that time, revealing the pregnancy in public was unthinkable, so the band did their best to hide the secret. As an in-joke, they called the album Deliver.
John wrote the first single for the album when John and Michelle were in a trial separation. Unknown to each other at the time, they were each living in New York City, not too far from each other.
Expectations were high for the single after the group’s previous successes. Things did not work out well.
The single actually peaked at only #24 in the US in 1966 and it failed to even reach the top forty in the UK (where it stalled at #53).
This so spooked John that he insisted their next single be another release from their second album. Words of Love returned the group to the top five on the Hot 100, but again missed the top forty in the UK.
It turns out that John totally misjudged their third album’s potential: the next single from Deliver, Dedicated To The One I Love, reached #2 in both the US and the UK.
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