It's been lost and found again and again, but finally, Pay, Pack and Follow, recorded in 1976 and 1977 as the second solo album by late Mamas and the Papas leader John Phillips, will see the light of day.
Some 20-odd years after Phillips who died last month of heart failure at age 65 misplaced the master tapes, the album, which features contributions from Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood, will be released on April 24, according to a publicist for the record.
The album was produced by Jagger and Richards. The former sings on five of the LP's nine cuts (he duets with Phillips on the song "She's Just 14"), while the latter plays acoustic or electric guitar on the entire album, according to Harvey Jay Goldberg, who did additional production work and mixed the album. Wood plays bass on four tracks, and Taylor, who had by then split from the Rolling Stones, plays guitar on three.
Therefore, Pay, Pack and Follow, which was recorded in New York, London and Montreux, Switzerland, has more in common with a down-and-dirty Stones record than a harmony-drenched Mamas and the Papas record. Other guests include Phillips' former wife and bandmate Michelle Phillips and "Late Show With David Letterman" keyboardist Paul Shaffer.
Before he died, Phillips elaborated for a press release on how the master tapes for the record managed to escape his grasp ... three times. "I was traveling on the QEII and somehow my luggage didn't get aboard," Phillips said in the release. The tapes apparently were stowed in another ship's cargo.
Two years later, according to Phillips, "a gentleman called asking if I was the John Phillips who had left seven reels of 24-track recording tape behind." Yet again, Phillips lost the tapes. They were later uncovered beneath a pile of refuse near Richards' country home in England.
Finally, a few years ago, Phillips received a call asking "if I was by any chance interested in some tapes that came to them by messenger with my return address attached. I had them FedEx the tapes, and from that moment on I slept with them under my bed."
Phillips released his first solo album, John, Wolf King of L.A., in 1970. In August, his final work, Phillips 66 a reference to the age he would been at the time will be released.
The track listing for Pay, Pack and Follow:
- "Mr. Blue"
- "She's Just 14"
- "Wilderness of Love"
- "Oh Virginia"
- "Sunset Boulevard"
- "Zulu Warrior"
- "Very Dread"