Another great 1960s folk/pop group that I really enjoy is The Mamas & The Papas. They had great vocal arrangements, sublime harmonies and were a cohesive group.
My favorite song of theirs is “Dedicated to The One I Love” (1967). This haunting song echoes the pain of being separated from the one we love and worrying about their safety. I kept thinking of a couple with the girl in America and the man a soldier fighting in Vietnam. Unlike other songs where Cass has the lead, here Michelle Philips has the lead vocal. Her more delicate soprano voice was just perfect for this song.
My second favorite song is “California Dreamin’” (1965). It’s crazy to realize this group was only together for 3 years, yet left such a lasting legacy. The lyrics of the song, written by John Phillips and Michelle Phillips, express the narrator’s longing for the warmth of Los Angeles during a cold winter in New York City. The church referenced in the song is St. Patrick’s Cathedral which John and Michelle visited on that cold winter day. This song is associated with the California budding counterculture and hippie movement, but I don’t see that strong of a connection. I think it works best as a straight folk/pop song.
My third favorite song by this group is “Monday, Monday” (1966). Beautiful harmonies in this song.
I know it doesn’t relate to their music, but I must say that Michelle Philips was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen! Wow. Incidentally, Michelle is the last surviving member of the group who is still alive.