‘I Saw Her Again’ by the Mama’s and the Papas
“I Saw Her Again” is a pop song recorded by the U.S. vocal group the Mamas & the Papas in 1966. Co-written by band members John Phillips and Denny Doherty, and peaked at number one on the RPM Canadian Singles Chart, number 11 on the UK Singles Chart, and number five on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in July 1966.One of three co-writes by the two male members of the group (the others being “Got a Feelin'” and “For the Love of Ivy”), “I Saw Her Again” was inspired by Doherty’s brief affair with Michelle Phillips, then married to John Phillips, which resulted in the brief expulsion of Michelle. While mixing the record, engineer Bones Howe inadvertently punched in the coda vocals too early. He then rewound the tape and inserted the vocals in their proper position. On playback, the mistaken early vocal could still be heard, making it sound as though Doherty repeated the first three words of the verse, singing “I saw her…I saw her again last night.” Producer Lou Adler liked the effect of the engineering error, and told Howe to leave it in the final mix. “That has to be a mistake. Nobody’s that clever,” Paul McCartney told the group. John Sebastian later mimicked the pattern in the Lovin’ Spoonful song, “Darling Be Home Soon.” Kenny Loggins’ “I’m Alright” repeated the theme in 1980.
Lou Adler has said that this song was specifically done to try and capture the flavor of what the Beatles had been doing, and that it was intentionally written to be a single