I Saw Her Again (The Mamas and the Papas)


The Mamas and the Papas hit the British charts for the third time this year with ‘I Saw Her Again’, which was at its peak position of #11 during this week in 1966. It had also reached #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts in July. It also appeared on their self-titled second album, which was released during this month.

This was another rich, multi-layered slice of 'sunshine pop' from a group enjoying a brilliant breakthrough year. Things weren't so rosy behind the scenes, however. The lyrics (about a man's guilt over seeing a woman he shouldn't be seeing) were inspired by Denny Doherty's brief affair with Michelle Phillips, singer and wife of song co-writer John Phillips. She'd also had a recent affair with former Byrds man Gene Clark and she was expelled from the group for a few weeks, during the recording of their album. As a result of this, some of the songs on that album were sung by her temporary replacement, Jill Gibson. Weirdly, Michelle sang on this one. John later claimed that he slept with the other M&P singer (and Denny's best friend) Cass Elliott as an act of 'revenge' for Denny and Michelle's affair. It's hard to believe this group stayed together as long as they did.

The false start on the third verse was the result of an engineering mistake in the studio, but the producer Lou Adler liked it and left it in.

B-side: 'Even If I Could'
Recorded: April 1966
Released: June 1966
Highest chart position: #11 (UK), #5 (US)
Length: 3:10 (album), 2:50 (single)
Label: Dunhill (U.S.), RCA Victor (Europe)
Producer: Lou Adler