John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.)

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John Phillips
(John, the Wolf King of L.A.)
John Phillips Wolfking of L.A..jpg
Studio album by
Released January 25, 1970
Genre Folk, country rock
Length 33:29
Label Dunhill
Producer Lou Adler
John Phillips chronology
John Phillips
(John, the Wolf King of L.A.)

Brewster McCloud
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Record Guide B+[2]

John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.) is the first solo recording by the Mamas & the Papas leader John Phillips. All songs were Phillips originals, dealing mostly with recent events in Phillips' life, including references to his new girlfriend Geneviève Waïte and longtime friend Ann Marshall ("April Anne"). The backing musicians included members of Wrecking Crew. Today the album receives favorable reviews from fans and critics alike.[3][4][5] The album was selected as one of ShortList's 50 Coolest Albums Ever.[6]

As Phillips was the backing singer in the Mamas and the Papas, with the other three serving as lead singers, the album mix tends to de-emphasize his lead vocals. Denny Doherty stated that, had the Mamas & the Papas performed this album, it would have been one of their finest, because of the strength of Phillips' songs.[7] The single "Mississippi" reached the US Billboard top 40. Phillips and the other members of the Mamas & the Papas were threatened with a lawsuit just as the album was released, discouraging the label from promoting the album.[8]

In 2006, the album was reissued by Varèse Sarabande with eight bonus tracks, also mostly Phillips originals.

Chart positions

Year Chart Position[9]
1970 The Billboard 200 181

Track listing

All songs written by John Phillips, except where noted.

  1. "April Anne" – 3:22
  2. "Topanga Canyon" – 3:53
  3. "Malibu People" – 3:41
  4. "Someone's Sleeping" – 2:46
  5. "Drum" – 3:36
  6. "Captain" – 3:25
  7. "Let It Bleed, Genevieve" – 2:53
  8. "Down the Beach" - 2:52
  9. "Mississippi" – 3:36
  10. "Holland Tunnel" – 3:41

2006 bonus tracks

  1. "Shady" - 3:48
  2. "Lonely Children" - 3:44
  3. "Lady Genevieve" - 4:30
  4. "Black Girl" (Traditional) - 3:29
  5. "The Frenchman" - 4:03
  6. "16mm Baby" (Matthew Reich) - 2:41
  7. "Larry, Joe, Hal and Me" - 2:25
  8. "Mississippi" [Single Version] - 3:07



  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: P". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via
  3. ^ "John the Wolfking of L.A.: John Phillips: Music". Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  4. ^ Sean Howe (2006-09-18). "John, the Wolfking of L.A. Review | Music Reviews and News". Retrieved 2011-08-28.
  5. ^ The Mojo Collection: 4th Edition. p. 207. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  6. ^ "The 50 Coolest Albums Ever". ShortList. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
  7. ^ Matthew Greenwald, album review, Allmusic. Retrieved 1-1-2008.
  8. ^ "Straight Shooter", a PBS documentary about the Mamas and the Papas from 1988; a statement by John Phillips.
  9. ^ "John Phillips (John, The Wolf King of L.A.) - John Phillips | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
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