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California Dreamin' 1

California Dreamin'
"California Dreamin'"
Single by The Mamas & the Papas

from the album If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears

Released November 1965

Format Vinyl record (7") 45 RPM

Recorded 1965

Genre Pop rock, folk rock

Length 2:42

Label Dunhill Records

Writer(s) John Phillips, Michelle Phillips

Producer Lou Adler

The Mamas & the Papas singles chronology

"Go Where You Wanna "California "Monday,


Go" Dreamin'" Monday"
(1965) (1965) (1966)

"California Dreamin'" is a popular song by The Mamas & the Papas, first released in 1965. The song is #89 in
Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1] The lyrics of the song are about a man in a cold winter
landscape longing for the warmth of California.

History
According to John Phillips in a Bravo documentary, and Michelle Phillips in an NPR piece, the song was written in
1963 while they were living in New York. He dreamed about the song and woke her up to help him write it. At the
time, the Phillipses were members of the folk group The New Journeymen which evolved into The Mamas & the
Papas.
They earned their first record contract after being introduced to Lou Adler, the head of Dunhill Records, by the
singer Barry McGuire. In thanks to Adler, they sang the backing vocals to "California Dreamin'" on McGuire's
album This Precious Time. The Mamas and the Papas then recorded their own version, using the same instrumental
backing track to which they added new vocals[2] and an alto flute solo by Bud Shank. McGuire's original vocal can
be briefly heard on the left channel at the beginning of the record, having not been completely wiped.[3] The single
was released in late 1965 but it was not an immediate breakthrough. After gaining little attention in Los Angeles
upon its release, Michelle Phillips remembers that it took a radio station in Boston to break the song nationwide.[4]
By early 1966, the song peaked at #4 and stayed on the charts for 17 weeks.
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Cover versions
Some high profile artists who have covered this song include R.E.M., The Beach Boys, America (two versions), Wes
Montgomery, Dead Artist Syndrome, José Feliciano (B-side on his 1968 hit single Light My Fire), The Carpenters,
the Four Tops, Bobby Womack, Queen Latifah, The Seekers, George Benson, Hugh Masekela, Eddie Hazel, Raquel
Welch, Benn Jordan, Jack Frost, and John Phillips without The Mamas & the Papas. House cover versions have been
released by DJ Sammy and Royal Gigolos. The John Mayer Trio covered "California Dreamin'" on the June 4, 2009
episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. A more uptempo version was recorded by the Japanese punk
band Hi-Standard as was the cover by the band Seven Faces. Their "California Dreamin'" EP was released on Fat
Wreck Chords in 1996. In 2004 Lutricia McNeal released her cover of the song[5] [6] on her album titled Soulsister
Ambassador.
The Beach Boys recorded a second version of "California Dreamin'" in 1986 for their greatest hits compilation Made
in U.S.A.. It was produced by Terry Melcher and featured Roger McGuinn from The Byrds on 12-string guitar and
John Phillips on saxophone. Michelle Phillips and McGuinn appear in the video. Denny Doherty was on the East
coast and declined; Cass Elliot had died in 1974. This version of the song was referenced in the lyrics to The Dead
Milkmen's 1988 novelty hit "Punk Rock Girl".

Use in media
The song is used repeatedly in the 1994 Wong Kar-wai film Chungking Express, in which a character played by
singer Faye Wong obsessively listens to it. The original song by The Mamas & the Papas was also used in the
soundtrack on the Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning film Forrest Gump. A version by the band The Bald
Eagles was used for the remake of the movie The Hills Have Eyes.
"California Dreamin'", as covered by Bobby Womack (1968), features prominently in 2009 British film Fish Tank
by Andrea Arnold, where the main character Mia dances to it and uses it as her audition piece. The collection CD on
which the song appears also plays a role, and is "The Best of Bobby Womack" (2008), on which "California
Dreamin'" appears on track 17, as Mia requests at her audition.
The song was also used in the South Park episode 201.
In the British time travelling sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart, one of the main characters, Phoebe, sang this song,
thinking it had been written by her husband, Gary Sparrow. (Gary Sparrow travels from the 1990s to the 1940s and
claims to writes songs, which are actually songs from popular bands or singers, such as "Yesterday" by The Beatles,
"Imagine" by John Lennon and "Back to You" by Brett Anderson.)

References
[1] "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" (http:/ / www. rollingstone. com/ news/ story/ 11028260/ the_rs_500_greatest_songs_of_all_time/
1). Rolling Stone. . Retrieved June 2, 2007.
[2] Show 33 - Revolt of the Fat Angel: American musicians respond to the British invaders. [Part 1] : UNT Digital Library (http:/ / digital.
library. unt. edu/ ark:/ 67531/ metadc19792/ m1/ )
[3] Rock Family Trees, BBC, interview with McGuire, 1999. McGuire's original harmonica solo can also just be made out under the flute solo.
[4] NPR : California Dreamin', Present at the Creation (http:/ / www. npr. org/ programs/ morning/ features/ patc/ californiadreamin/ index. html)
[5] "Lutricia McNeal - California Dreaming on YouTube" (http:/ / www. youtube. com/ watch?v=PW5BxGWa3ZY). 2010-12-06. . Retrieved
2010-12-10.
[6] "Lutricia McNeal - California Dreaming lyrics" (http:/ / lyricblog. blogspot. com/ 2010/ 12/ lutricia-mcneal-california-dreaming. html).
2010-12-06. . Retrieved 2010-12-11.
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External links
• NPR's "Present at the Creation" segment on the origins of the song (http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/
features/patc/californiadreamin/)
• Technical article describing how California Dreamin' was originally mixed (http://mixonline.com/mag/
audio_mamas_papas_california/)
• Facts and discussion about the song (http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2016)
Article Sources and Contributors 4

Article Sources and Contributors


California Dreamin'  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=420885796  Contributors: *drew, 1exec1, 23pokrzywa, AbsoluteDann, Acegikmoq, AjAldous, Ajd, Albrozdude,
Aldejerph, Andrewlp1991, Atlasvan, Aurigas, Autiger, Avengerx, Baseball Bugs, Biruitorul, Black Falcon, Bobo192, Bobsmith84, Bonalaw, Bravogolfhotel, Brwombat, Bseker, Carptrash,
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Idosedthekoolaid, Impasse, Indopug, InnocuousPseudonym, Interiot, Invitamia, J 1982, J.T., JamesBWatson, JavelinTiger, JaymanJohn, Jayteecork, Jmsofia, Jochen Kiene, John Cardinal, Juryen,
KingGerbille, KingMorpheus, Klow, Kwiki, Labalius, Lyght, M30W, MHS1976, Malik Shabazz, Manbemel, Mareino, Marius01, Marnanel, Masaruemoto, Matchups, Matthew Fennell, Mattisse,
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