1 JUNE 1966
This all-time great song had been written in 1963 by John Phillips and first recorded by Barry McGuire - with the Mamas and the Papas singing backup - as an album track in 1965. The legendary Wrecking Crew provided the music. The Mamas and the Papas rerecorded their own lead vocals (and a new flute solo) over the original recording and released it as a single in late 1965. It was a slow burner, and initially tanked before reaching #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March. The amount of time it spent in the charts made it the joint #1 best-selling US single of the year (tied with 'The Ballad of the Green Berets'). Talk about two ends of the spectrum!
The song became a classic anthem of the counterculture and the growing west-coast hippy movement.
B-side: 'Somebody Groovy'
Released: 8 December 1965
Highest chart position: #23 (UK), #4 (US)
Recorded: 4 November 1965, Western Recorders, Hollywood, California
Label: Dunhill Records
Producer: Lou Adler