And Then... Along Comes the Association is the debut studio album by the American sunshine pop band the Association, and was released on Valiant Records, in July 1966 (see 1966 in music). It became one of the top selling LPs in America, peaking at number five, and remains the Association's most successful album release, with the exception of their Greatest Hits compilation. The album's success was primarily credited to the inclusion of their two U.S. hits "Along Comes Mary" and "Cherish", which peaked at number seven and number two respectively on the Billboard Hot 100, and were among the most-played songs on AM radio in 1966.
The album was preceded by a few non-LP singles as the Association struggled to establish themselves a commercial presence. Moving from the Jubilee record label to Valiant Records, the group released a cover version of Bob Dylan's "One Too Many Mornings", which received attention from Curt Boettcher. Boettcher, who had previously worked with the folk rock group The GoldeBriars, and demoed "Along Comes Mary" with lead guitarist Jules Alexander, was brought in by the group to steer the Association in a pop rock musical direction. Aside from "Along Comes Mary", the sessions with Boettcher provided the band with the song's B-side, "Your Own Love", and two other tracks that are featured on the album "Remember" and "I'll Be Your Man". The Association yielded some of the instrumental playing on And Then... Along Comes the Association to top L.A. session musicians, including guitarist Mike Deasy (who would continue to play on other Association albums), bassist Jerry Scheff, and percussionists Jim Troxel and Toxey French.
And Then... Along Comes the Association saw the group experiment with luscious vocal harmonies that anticipated the musical textures of Bottecher's later groups the Millennium and Sagittarius. In addition, the album incorporated a wide-assortment of influences, including folk rock, psychedelia, Baroque pop, and remains a cornerstone of sunshine pop. Along with the hit singles "Along Comes Mary" and "Cherish", notable tracks on the album include the reflective "Enter the Young" and the Addrissi brothers' "Don't Blame It on Me". The partnership between the Association and Boettcher—while innovative and commercially successful—was cut short after Boettcher began to overreach his authority in the group's musical direction. For their sophomore effort, Renaissance, the Association recruited Jerry Yester to replace Boettcher as producer.