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How The Beatles Broke Up The Mamas And The Papas

Vaseline 2 months ago

Cass Elliot loved John Lennon. Everything about him turned her on, proving once again the searing fire that The Beatles ignited in the music scene in the 1960s. Like many other bands, the Fab Four laid the foundation for innovation and experimentation in pop and rock music. However, many, like The Mamas and The Papas, found it challenging to follow the path to success that The Beatles illuminated.

As pioneers of the British Invasion, The Beatles not only introduced the mainstream appeal of rock and roll bands, but also contributed to the recognition of music as an innovative art form. Forging elements of classical music, traditional rock and pop, The Beatles paved the way, allowing various groups and artists to spread their wings and reap the rewards of pushing musical boundaries.

While some found success after such a journey, others were left behind, unable to keep up with the high standards of the Liverpool quartet. The Mamas and The Papas formed during the height of Beatlemania, which was a notoriously difficult time for any band wanting to gain recognition for anything remotely resembling the popular foursome.

The accompanying talent did not always pale in comparison to The Beatles, but Beatlemania overshadowed many who stepped into the light due to the relentless fixation on the cherished band. The Mamas and The Papas enjoyed considerable success during their two-and-a-half-year reign, but The Beatles’ ever-increasing artistry proved difficult to match, let alone keep up with.

According to John Phillips, this was a major contributor to the dissolution of The Mamas and The Papas. They were formed when they realized that impactful contemporary pop was possible, a trend sparked by The Beatles. However, this also resulted in them breaking up after the industry and their counterparts moved at a pace that was impossible for them.

After the group broke up in 1968, Phillips explained that “times had changed”. He claimed that “The Beatles showed the way” and that “music itself was moving toward a technological and compositional complexity that would leave many of us behind. It was difficult to keep going.” Although many, including the band members themselves, would cite irreparable internal disputes as the main reason for their breakup, The Beatles’ impact on their perceived lack of longevity is undeniable.

Interestingly, however, The Beatles did not completely overshadow the legacy of The Mamas and The Papas. In fact, working with the foursome in such a short time seems like a recipe for failure. The Mamas and The Papas, on the other hand, managed to shine through the internal and external conflicts, providing the soundtrack to a pivotal moment in time that many of us would continue to replay.

Listen below to The Mamas and The Papas’ famous ‘California Dreamin’, forever immortalized by its iconic integration into Wong Kar-wai’s dreamy Hong Kong masterpiece Chungking Express.

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