Cass on "People Like Us"

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Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby jcg » Sat May 08, 2010 7:05 pm

Does anyone know why Cass was so ridiculously under-used on this album? This was recorded right around the time that the scrumptious Cass Elliot album was recorded, so It couldn't be because her voice was, in any way, compromised. Could it be that John Phillips was getting some kind of petty revenge on her because Cass, in essence, instigated the band's demise? Of all the unanswered questions about this seminal group, this is the most enigmatic for me. Richard...anyone?
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby dunhill » Sun May 09, 2010 9:57 am

jcg wrote:Does anyone know why Cass was so ridiculously under-used on this album? This was recorded right around the time that the scrumptious Cass Elliot album was recorded, so It couldn't be because her voice was, in any way, compromised. Could it be that John Phillips was getting some kind of petty revenge on her because Cass, in essence, instigated the band's demise? Of all the unanswered questions about this seminal group, this is the most enigmatic for me. Richard...anyone?


I've seen a couple of interviews with John and he mentioned that Cass was having some health problems at the time this album was being recorded. Apparently Cass had a full-time nurse attending to her at the time, hence the credit to "Nurse Regina" on the back cover of the album.
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby pauliewood » Mon May 10, 2010 1:13 am

Also the possibility that John was looking to the future of the group at that point, as Cass was clearly well into her solo career. I recall a short story in Billboard at the time that John, Denny and Michelle were planning on recording without Cass. "People Like Us" has such lovely, laid-back arrangements. I wonder if anyone recalls (or possesses) the original Rolling Stone review..it was glowing (Rolling Stone has a revised review online). It would have been great to hear a full recording by John, Denny and Michelle. Two of my favorites from PLU are "Snowqueen of Texas" and "European Blueboy"..such gems!
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby jcg » Mon May 10, 2010 6:47 pm

A greatful thank you to everyone who's taken the time to respond!

I had read that Cass was ill during the recording and that "Nurse Regina" was omnipresent at the sessions, however, it seems that the time between "People" and the "Cass Elliot" album had to be very short - and as far as I'm concerned, Cass reached the pinnacle of her vocal prowess with that album and never looked back. It's very odd that she could snap back from whatever ailed her so dramatically in a matter of weeks or months. In any case, the possibility exists that she may have made the effort, at the very cusp of the next phase in her life, to whip herself into shape In order to seize the possibilities opening up before her. Also possible, is that she may have turned to unhealthy methods of coping with the forced reunion and that it affected her voice. In the end, I guess we'll probably never know. Unless Nurse Regina has gone on the record?
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby Rbcsoup » Tue May 11, 2010 7:42 am

Cass once said of PLU (I think it was her, if not one of the four)--something to the effect of that the album was recorded to satisfy contractual obligations and it sounds like it. They did it, never in the studio all-four at once. They also did it in really short order. I think it was all laid down within a few weeks in October of that year. Cass' head and heart were in SUCH other places that I think you can safely surmise that she did what she needed to do to put in an appearance. Some of her 'absence' can be chalked up to the finishing of the tapes too. Paul Surratt has often said that it would be mighty interesting to let Lou remix the album...

I think I have the original interview somewhere. My files will be reconstituted this summer (we're just finishing renovations) and I can try to find it. It would also be interesting to get Michelle's memories of it.

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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby jcg » Tue May 11, 2010 8:48 am

Thanks Richard.

First of all, the idea of letting Lou remix the album is inspired! Cass really needs to be more present in the mix. Not taking away from the other three, but for Cass to be so lost in the mix - it's like taking away the base of the skyscraper and still expecting the tower to stand!

One thing that really struck me about your reply is the very short time between the recording of "People" and "Cass Elliot". She had to have finished the last note from "People", grabbed a change of clothes and rushed over to RCA! Her recovery is almost supernatural, given the power in her voice on the latter album. Talk about mind over matter! Strangely enough, it adds to the mythology.

I thank you for your input and hope that one day you'll write that killer Cass illustrated biography we'd all love to read!
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby jcg » Fri May 21, 2010 4:46 pm

Just to add...

Just heard the remaster job done on this album for the Ms&Ps"Anthology" box set and it dramatically improves on the MCA release I was used to listening to. Although I stilll agree that a remix by Lou Adler would be phenomenal.
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby glennc » Sun May 30, 2010 9:44 am

I think it's quite possible as was said that Cass wasn't that interested in PLU-It sounds like none of them were head over heels about it. I loved the alternative version of No Dough (called Honeymoon) on John Phillips Jack O Diamonds. Right now I prefer it to the PLU version. Cass can be heard in a stronger way on the Honeymoon version. I wonder if the original mixes will ever surface as I heard that they were lost or something. I'm told that the Japanese reissue had a very different sound, but I have never heard it and it doesn't seem to be available anymore. I agree with you about the RCA debut- she definitely was in great voice and it is my second favorite Cass album after Dream A Little Dream. But, like most of you, I really like PLU- It's a fine album. It just didn't hold up against the first four and would have been great to have Cass stronger in it. I thought Michele sang very nicely on it.
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby dunhill » Sun May 30, 2010 8:29 pm

jcg wrote:Just to add...

Just heard the remaster job done on this album for the Ms&Ps"Anthology" box set and it dramatically improves on the MCA release I was used to listening to. Although I stilll agree that a remix by Lou Adler would be phenomenal.


The 24-bit Japanese remastered version sounds pretty nice, too!
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Re: Cass on "People Like Us"

Postby CassFanForLife » Mon May 31, 2010 7:59 am

Even though, I've only heard clips on youtube, and other places on internet, from PLU, it certainly is a definite departure of their earlier stuff, and if there ever is a CD that will become available of PLU, I will buy it...
Also, I'm in favor of Lou remixing...that would be brilliant . It also wouldn't hurt to have Leah's son Nathaniel , make a go of it, as he did a fine job on the CE/TRINPFAL CD combo.

Does anyone know if the M & P box set , the one that has ALL songs on it , I think it's called ALL THE LEAVESٌ ARE BROWN , is still availbale to order from wherever ? Maybe I could inquire at the record store where I've bought most of my Cass/Denny/M & P cd's...
Any help appreciated ...Thankyou !
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