The Mamas & the Papas

Creeque Alley

Composed by John Phillips / Michelle Phillips

Song Review by

During the first year of the Mamas & the Papas' success, producer Lou Adler had grown extremely close to the group members, especially John and Michelle Phillips. During the course of many conversations, the Phillipses attempted to explain to Adler the tangled web(s) that were the origins of the group, and from which other incarnations they had evolved from. To set the record straight for Adler (and to get another original song written, which was indeed becoming something scarce), John and Michelle decided to tell the group's story in the form of a tone poem. The result is a charming piece of modern pop art, cast in a breezy folk-pop motif with a slight country-blues flavor. Dropping names left and right (McGuinn and McGuire, Sebastian and the Spoonful, among others), the Phillipses told the group's rags-to-riches story from the Mugwumps and the Journeymen through their woodshedding in the Virgin Islands (where the street Creeque Alley actually was, and where they worked for "Duffy"). Group members are not spared either, hence the hook line "Nobody's getting fat except Mama Cass." Although Michelle was reluctant to present that to Cass Elliott, Elliott's reply is evident in her vocal performance, where she sings the phrase loud and proud. The fact that the song title is not contained in the lyrics may have been a reason for the record not being a bigger hit. But, buoyed by the group's immense popularity at the time of release, along with the Monterey Pop Festival -- and, of course, the quality of the song and record -- the group enjoyed yet another Top Ten hit.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1967 MCA
No Image 1968 Dunhill Compact Classics
16 of Their Greatest Hits 1969 MCA 3:49
A Gathering of Flowers: The Anthology of the Mamas & the Papas 1971 Real Gone Music 4:37
No Image 1973
No Image 1980 MFP
Hits of Gold 1981 MCA 3:47
No Image 1987 MCA
The Ultimate Collection 1988 Geffen / MCA / Universal 3:45
Classic Rock: 1967 - Shakin' All Over 1989
Various Artists
No Image 1990 MCA
Sullivan Years: The Mod Sound 1990
Various Artists
Creeque Alley: The History of the Mamas and the Papas 1991 Geffen 3:49
No Image 1991 Rhino
Daydream 1992 BMG / Ariola
AM Gold: The Late '60s 1992
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:48
Very Best of the Mamas & the Papas [Universal] 1996 Polygram / PolyGram
Beautiful Thing 1996
Original Soundtrack
MCA / UMC (Universal Catalogue) 3:48
No Image 1997
Various Artists
Rhino/Warner Bros.
California Dreamin': Live in Concert 1998 Prism Entertainment 4:23
Greatest Hits 1998 MCA 3:51
Great: Live 1998 Goldies
Dick Bartley Presents Collector's Essentials on the Radio, Vol. 3 1998
Various Artists
Varèse Vintage / Varese
Before They Were the Mamas & the Papas...The Magic Circle 1999 Varèse Vintage / Varese 3:52
Best of the Mamas & the Papas: 20th Century Masters 1999 MCA / Polydor 3:50
Universal Masters Collection: Classic 1999 Polydor / Universal 3:50
The Mamas & the Papas: Magic Collection 2000 3:53
All the Leaves Are Brown: The Golden Era Collection 2001 MCA 3:43
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:48
16 Greatest Hits 2002 Brilliant 4:07
California Dreamin': The Best of the Mamas & the Papas [Polydor] 2002 Polygram / Universal/Polygram
Born to Be Wild [Music Club] 2002
Various Artists
The Folk Years: Reason to Believe 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
The Folk Years [Box Set] 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
No Image 2003 Ryko Distribution
California Dreamin: Mamas & Papas Live 2003 Arena
Solo Lo Mejor De 2004 Bmp
Psychedelic Chemistry, Vol. 1 [2 Disc] 2004
Various Artists
Pazzazz 3:54
Psychedelia, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Pazzazz 3:54
Complete Anthology 2005 Universal/MCA 3:48
Gold 2005 DGC / Geffen / UMC (Universal Catalogue) 3:51
Dreamin' Live 2005 Legacy 3:51
California Dreamin': The Songs of the Mamas & the Papas 2005 Hip-O
California Dreamin [Falcon] 2005 Falcon / Membran
Sounds of the '60s [Pazzazz] 2006
Various Artists
Pazzazz 3:54
California Dreamin': The Best of the Mamas & the Papas [Universal TV] 2006 Universal Music TV 3:46
California Dreamin' [DFP] 2006 Lt Series 3:53
Colour Collection 2007 Universal 3:50
California Dreaming: 40 of the Finest West Coast Classics 2007
Various Artists
WEA 3:47
Summer of Love: Hits of 1967 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Summer of Love: Gold 2007
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:48
Fab Gear: Classic Flower Power Pop from the Summer of Love 2007
Various Artists
UMVD 3:44
Flower Power [Time Life Box] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:47
Flower Power: Light My Fire 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:48
Originals 2008 Music Brokers 3:52
Best of the Mamas & the Papas: Green Series 2008 Universal International
No Image 2009 Universal Music 3:50
Classic 2009 Spectrum/MCA / Universal 3:51
Sixties: Collected 2010
Various Artists
USM 3:50
The Complete Singles: 50th Anniversary Collection 2016 Razor & Tie / Real Gone Music 3:50
Greatest Hits [Universal] Universal Distribution
Sixties Collection, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Going For A Song 3:51
The 60's Collection
Various Artists
Going For A Song 3:51
The Very Best of the Mamas and the Papas [Pickwick] Pickwick 3:50
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