The Mamas & the Papas (credited as The Mama's and the Papa's on the debut album cover and sometimes shortened to Mamas and Papas) were an American vocal group of the 1960s. The group recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968 with a short reunion in 1971, releasing five albums and 11 Top 40 hit singles. They have sold nearly 100 million records worldwide.
Their signature sound was based on four-part male/female vocal harmonies arranged by John Phillips, the band's songwriter.
The band's first single, "Go Where You Wanna Go", was released in 1965, failing to chart. However, the second single, "California Dreamin'", was released later in 1965 and quickly peaked at number 4 in the US, while in the UK, it peaked at number 23. The band's debut album, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears,” was released in early 1966 and became the band's only number 1 album on the Billboard 200. The third and final single from their debut was "Monday, Monday", which became the band's only US number 1 hit. The song brought the band international success when it peaked at number 3 in the UK Singles Chart.
Their second, self-titled album was released in 1966. . It peaked at number four in the US and number 24 in the UK. The lead off single, "I Saw Her Again", peaked at number five in the US and number eleven in the UK. "Words of Love" was released as the second single in the US and peaked at number five in the US. In the UK, it was released as a double a-side with "Dancing in the Street" and peaked at number 47. Dancing in the Street was released as the third and final single in the US and peaked at number 75.
The band then recorded its third album, “Deliver.” The album charted second in Billboard's "Top Pop" albums for 1967. Three of the album's singles ranked in the "Pop Singles" chart: "Dedicated to the One I Love" at #2, "Creeque Alley" at #5, and "Look Through My Window" at #24.
“The Papas & the Mamas,” their fourth album, was released in 1968. The first single "12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)" peaked at number 20 in the US, but failed to chart in the UK.
The band released their final album “People Like Us” in 1971. The only single, "Step Out", peaked at number 81 in the US and failed to chart in the UK. With the failure of the lead single, the album failed to chart in the UK and became the first album of the band's not to chart in the top 20 on the Billboard 200, peaking at number 84.
After the failure, the band officially split, with each member embarking on solo careers.