Most widely know for his work in The Mamas And The Papas, John Phillips' debut solo album 'John Phillips (John The Wolfking of L.A.)' is a work that, for me, surpasses his previous band's output and showcases an amazing talent at the height of his creativity.
Phillips began work on the album at a crossroads in his life. The Mamas And The Papa had just split up, as had Phillips and his then wife Michelle, and this sense of dislocation is referenced in the albums lyrical content. The most abiding sentiments conveyed are those of world-weariness and melancholy, with Phillips casting himself as a lonely observer in this heavily populated world. Musically the record is for the most part laid back, mellow groove music incorporating elements of country, folk and rock 'n roll. The playing is first rate with Phillips being backed by the cream of session musicians (Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew), steel guitar player Orville "Red" Rhodes & Elvis Presley guitarist James Burton.
Released in 1970 and largely overlooked at time of release 'John Phillips (John The Wolfking of L.A.)' remains one of the earliest and indeed finest examples of the burgeoning 'country rock' movement of the time.
John Phillips website
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