The Mamas and the Papas – If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (1966)
When I look at this album cover, I think of a friend of mine that teaches English and plays in the Kingston Symphony. The reasons are two-fold:
1) According to the album cover, the band is The Mama’s and the Papa’s – the wincing caused by this misuse of apostrophes is audible!
2) I picked up this CD at the Kingston Symphony’s annual Vinyl Records Sale.
On Day 1 of the sale, ALL records/CDs were $3 each. I thought, sounds good, I’ll check it out.
I felt like a bit of a hayseed at this year’s sale, my list of rookie mistakes was lengthy. A sample:
a) I arrived AT the 4 p.m. start time
b) Much like Alicia Silverstone’s character in Clueless, I did a lap of the warehouse before committing to a location. By the time I got my bearings, thousands of albums had been pulled from the shelves. While I was pleased that a $9 investment yielded this, Blues Breakers, and Vivid, better planning could have resulted in a more bountiful crop.
Next year, I’ll line up with the 100+ other collectors in advance. Providing the layout doesn’t change, I’ve got a visual map of where to find the different genres/mediums.
I’ll also bring a milk crate (the business card of a grizzled veteran collector), commit the remaining 1001 list to memory, and the second the doors open, frantically pull records/tapes/CDs from the shelves, only pausing to inspect them after the first 15 minute flurry. It’s almost too easy!
Two quotes summarize my feelings here:
1) “Yeah I’d fight for you.”
– Bryan Adams, Everything I Do
Let’s not get carried away and say “yeah I’d lie/walk the wire/die for” this record. But would I battle my fellow record show patrons again for a shot at this on vinyl? As BA would hoarsely sing, Yeah.
2) “(this album and Rubber Soul) both had an unusual feeling of being on the creative cusp white being instantly familiar.”
– The liner notes of If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (IYCBYEAE)
Now if you can believe your auditory/visual senses when I say this, I think this album is actually stronger than Rubber Soul.
On IYCBYEAE, lots of highlights could be, well, highlighted but I don’t want to obfuscate the main takeaway message (any more so than by using such lengthy acronyms and $5 words like obfuscate).
Which is to say, IYCBYEAE sounded great in ’66 & will continue to sound great, long after it celebrates anniversary #50 next year.