885 Greatest Songs By Women: #7, The Mamas & The Papas - Dedicated to The One I Love (1967)

The vocally captivating "Mama Cass" Elliot was deservedly the female lead singer of the hall-of-fame, folk-rock group, The Mamas & The Papas, and it wasn't until late in their short career that the only surviving member of the quartet, Michelle Phillips, got her chance to grab the spotlight with a cover version of "Dedicated To The One I Love."

The group - who dreamt of California - rode this wonderful single from Deliver, their third album, to #2 in 1967. It became their next to last top ten hit. The only Mamas & The Papas record to chart higher was "Monday, Monday" that reached #1 in 1966.

"Dedicated To The One I Love" was originally recorded by the "5" Royales and written by group member Lowman Pauling with R&B record producer, Ralph Bass. They released a now dated but soulful doo-wop influenced arrangement in 1957 and again in 1961 when it went to #3.

The Shirelles also released it twice - first in 1959 and later in 1961 - and it too rose to #3 when given a second chance. I was never very fond of this more famous version of the two, yet group leader John Phillips must have found something special embedded into both of those releases that made him want to adapt the song for his outstanding vocal outfit.

Phillips was a very talented vocal arranger who was always full of unique ideas and "Dedicated To The One I Love" is no exception. When you add the virtuosity of the Wrecking Crew behind Phillips and his gifted mates there is no way this record could not have been a hit.

I was always a sucker for vocal harmonies, and the late 60s and early 70s Laurel Canyon sounds that included The Mamas & The Papas were no exception.