The Liner/Sleeve Notes:
“there are thirty million Johns in the world today, but you’re the one I choose and I’d like to stay, play me a song; sing me a tune and I’ll be very quiet, I won’t leave the room, there are thirty million Johns in the world today, but there is only one John, the Wolfking of L.A.
So, John was a member of the Mamas and the Papas along with his ex-wife Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot – each of the four members released solo albums. This is John’s.
It opens with the song “April Anne” – which is a slower song, but a good way to open the album, as John is a good singer and the studio musicians are really great. After that comes the song “Topanga Canyon” – and as you can see on this album, a lot of the songs are about California. The song is definitely one of the good tracks on this album. Just for the chorus and musicianship. After that comes “Malibu People” – it’s another slow song, but John is so talented it doesn’t matter. It’s a fun song, and it’s a nice one to listen to. Then comes “Someone’s Sleeping” – it’s a good song, the song seems to just flow so easily and it’s pretty nice. The A-Side ends with the song “Drum” – it’s a nice way to end the A-Side, I can’t really complain much about it.
The B-Side opens with the ever so nice “Captain” – which has backing vocals provided by the Blossoms, and the song is pretty great. So is much of this album. I do love John’s singing, especially when he gets really loud. After that comes the song “Let it Bleed, Genevieve” (which was written for John’s then wife, Genevieve Waite – mother of actress Bijou Phillips) – it’s a rather good song, and a nice listening experience. Genevieve also wrote the liner notes for this album. “Down the Beach” follows next, which has a nice beat to it, and it’s a pretty nice song. John’s vocals are pretty nice, they’re nothing like his work in the Mamas and the Papas. Oh, then comes that really awkward and deep singing, that I guess is supposed to give off that jazzy feel, but it just weirds me out. Then John comes back and all is good in the universe. Then comes my favorite John Phillips song “Mississippi” – it’s everything about the song that makes it amazing, from the spoken word intro to the amazingly well performed chorus, nothing can ever ruin this song for me. “Down on the bayou, why you never know what you’re doing” – just so amazing. The album ends with the ever sweet “Holland Tunnel” it makes for an amazing way to end the album. The song is pretty great, John’s vocals are amazing.
A1 – April Anne
A2 – Topanga Canyon
A3 – Malibu People
A4 – Someone’s Sleeping
A5 – Drum
B1 – Captain
B2 – Let It Bleed, Genevieve
B3 – Down the Beach
B4 – Mississippi
B5 – Holland Tunnel
Studio Musicians & Other Album Credits:
Drums – Hal Blaine
Keyboards – Larry Knetchel
Bass – Joe Osborn
Guitar & Harmonica – John Phillips, David Cohen & Dr. Hord
Voices – Darlene Love, Jean King & Fanita James
Dobro & Lead Guitar – James Burton
Steel Guitar – Buddy Emmons & Red Rhodes
Fiddle – Gordon Terry
Engineer – Chuck Britz
Assisted by Winston Wong
Photography & Design – Tom Gundelfinger
Producer – Lou Adler
Other Albums I Own by John Phillips:
“Mississippi / April Anne”
Other Albums I Own that John Phillips Appears On:
The Mamas & The Papas – “California Dreamin’ / Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)”
The Mamas & The Papas – “Farewell to the First Golden Era”