Go Where You Wanna Go — The Mamas and The Papas / The 5th Dimension

No Words, No Song
7 min readOct 1, 2022
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

“Go Where You Wanna Go” is one of pop music’s most pivotal songs — ironically because, at first, it was unsuccessful.

Written by “Papa” John Phillips, The Mamas and The Papas released “Go Where You Wanna Go” in 1965 but despite everyone involved feeling it was a great record, it went precisely nowhere in the charts. Sometimes there’s no accounting for taste.

It happens. You launch a product a little too early for the market and it bombs. Yet a few months or a couple of years later, someone else launches much the same product and builds a billion-dollar business on the back of it. Such are the vagaries of consumer behaviour.

“Go Where You Wanna Go” was certainly one of the earliest songs performed in a style we’d later come to see as the iconic sound of the late 1960s.

As well as being a great songwriter, John Phillips may well be one of the best vocal arrangers who ever set foot inside a recording studio. The lush, multi-layered vocal harmonies you hear on “Go Where You Wanna Go” are some of the best harmonies you’ll hear on any record since the invention of recorded music.

But at the time, John Phillips, genius though he was, was slightly too early to market with his product and nobody cared.



No Words, No Song

Without words, it’s just a nice tune. Add words — now you’ve got a song. And songs can change your world. I write about some that changed mine.