Montag, 29. November 2021

Mama Cass Elliot - Mama's Big Ones: The Best of Mama Cass (1970)

Best-known as one of the singers of the renowned '60s psychedelic pop outfit the Mamas & the Papas, Cass Elliot (or Mama Cass), was born Ellen Naomi Cohen on September 19, 1941, in Baltimore, MD, but grew up in Washington, D.C. It was during her senior year in high school that Elliot began singing (as well as acting), relocating to New York City by the early '60s and eventually touring in a production of The Music Man. With the folk music movement sweeping the nation around this time, Elliot formed the Big Three with other members Tim Rose and James Hendricks, issuing a few underappreciated albums (Live at the Recording Studio, The Big 3). The group eventually metamorphosized into the Mugwumps after Rose was replaced by a few other members, including Denny Doherty, but with only an obscure single to show for their hard work, the Mugwumps were kaput by 1964. To make a long story short, Elliot and Doherty eventually teamed up with the husband/wife team of John and Michelle Phillips, forming the Mamas & the Papas by the mid-'60s. Although the group would only remain together for a few short years, their impact on the rock music world was great, resulting in such classic hit singles as "California Dreamin'," "Monday Monday," and "I Saw Her Again," among others.

Upon the group's breakup in 1968, Elliot launched a solo career, issuing such albums as 1968's Dream a Little Dream of Me, 1969's Bubble Gum, Lemonade, & Something for Mama and Make Your Own Kind of Music, 1970's Mama's Big Ones, 1971's Dave Mason & Cass Elliot, 1972's The Road Is No Place for a Lady, and finally, 1973's Don't Call Me Mama Anymore. In addition, Elliot hosted two prime time TV specials of her own in 1969 and 1973, and appeared on numerous TV shows in the early '70s (including co-hosting The Tonight Show, as well as programs by Mike Douglas, Johnny Cash, Ed Sullivan, Carol Burnett, Tom Jones, and Red Skelton). But tragedy struck on July 29, 1974, as Elliot died from a heart attack in London during a sold-out, two-week engagement at the London Palladium. But Elliot's contributions to rock music didn't go unnoticed as the Mamas & the Papas were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 (with Elliot's only child, Owen, accepting the award at the ceremony for her late mother).

"Mama´s Big Ones" is a good compilation of Cass Elliott's hits, including "It's Getting Better" (#30), "Make Your Own Kind of Music" (#36), and "Dream a Little Dream of Me" (#12).

Cass Elliot's solo tenure with Dunhill Records, inaugurated in the spring of 1968, had proven contentious, the label insisting the onetime member of the Mamas & Papas be billed as Mama Cass and that she resume recording in the soft rock vein which had afforded the Mamas & Papas' success. Elliot would in 1971 claim that at Dunhill she had been "forced to be so bubble gum that I'd stick to the floor when I walked", and in fact Elliot's solo singles had been progressively less successful, Dunhill president Jay Lasker commenting after Elliot's sixth solo single stalled at #42 in early 1970 "'New World Coming' has gotten great airplay because it came along and expressed hope in the midst of despair. Unfortunately, it isn't selling all that well, so we're going back to an old theme. The message here - at least to us - is that 'the message record has had it'. [Now] Mama Cass is going to do love songs."

In fact it was announced in July 1970 that Elliot would depart Dunhill for RCA Records, the anthology "Mama's Big Ones" being issued in October 1970 as a final album owed by Elliot to Dunhill. "Mama's Big Ones" featured eight of Elliot's nine Dunhill single releases - omitting "California Earthquake" - and also the Mamas & Papas' hit "Words of Love" which featured Elliot as lead vocalist. "Mama's Big Ones" provided the album debut for the tracks "New World Coming", "A Song That Never Comes", "The Good Times Are Coming", "Don't Let the Good Life Pass You By" and "One Way Ticket" and "Ain’t Nobody Else Like You" which were all single releases (the last-named being the B-side of Elliot's version of "Easy Come Easy Go").

It's Getting Better 2:59
Dream A Little Dream Of Me 3:24
Make Your Own Kind Of Music 2:25
Words Of Love 2:13
New World Coming 2:11
Move In A Little Closer, Baby 2:38
One Way Ticket 2:49
The Good Times Are Coming 2:53
Easy Come, Easy Go 2:46
Don't Let The Good Life Pass You By 2:48
Ain't Nobody Else Like You 2:26
A Song That Never Comes 2:33

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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