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Fifth Dimension Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
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Having already pioneered folk-rock via their electrified versions of Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger songs such as "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn Turn Turn", the Byrds helped midwife yet another new musical form in 1966 on this, their third album. Influenced by Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, Jim McGuinn's atonal 12-string guitar on the suitably titled "Eight Miles High" was a psychedelic omen of things to come. Pointing in other new directions, too, are the prescient country-rock tune, "Mr. Spaceman", string-aided updates of folk evergreens "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "John Riley", and David Crosby's fusion-y "I See You" and "What's Happening?!?!" On this album, plenty. --Billy Altman
Top Customer Reviews
With its curious mix of smooth folk-pop ("Wild Mountain Thyme" & "John Riley"), straight R&B ("Hey Joe" & "Captain Soul"), new and now dated recording techniques ("2-4-2 Foxtrot"), political commentary ("I Come And Stand At Every Door"), drug references ("What's Happening! " and "5D") and brilliant innovation ("Eight Miles High" and "I See You"), this record perfectly captures the diverse influences swirling around the music scene in early 1966. And... while the end result now appears unfocused it clearly reflects the problem facing creative pop groups of the time: how to assimilate these new, untested and rapidly developing influences into any form of cohesive, commercially viable whole.
The Beatles did it much better with "Revolver" but the Byrds came an admirable second with "Fifth Dimension": more flawed, less polished and much less satisfying but, at the time, equally important in that it showed that a group previously filed under "mainstream pop" was no longer bound by its past or the expectations of its record buying public. Alongside Revolver's "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Love To You" and "I Want To Tell You", Fifth Dimension's "Eight Miles High" and the wonderful "I See You" sent a clear message that the music world was in the process of radical change. The impact of these tracks on fans expecting more of the same - i.e.Read more ›
"I see you", written by McGuinn and Crosby, is more of the same. It has an unusual time signature for rock plus flattened chords more evocative of jazz. Dissonant improvising guitar cuts right across at times. Not quite as memorable as "Eight Miles High" but still well worth having. This is the album on which Crosby emerges as a songwriter in his own right. "What's happening" on which his name features is limited melodically but has good guitar effects, making it the third psychedelic number on the album.
Whilst less obviously str.iking than "Eight Miles High" , "I come and stand at every door " pushes the ominous button to an even greater extent. Pete Seeger is, once again the inspiration for McGuinn. It's an adaptation of a poem by a Turkish poet on the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.Read more ›
Whilst less obviously striking than that freak-out, 'I Come And Stand At Every Door', is a moving adaptation of a poem by a Turkish poet Nâzım Hikmet on the bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that is perhaps the most morbid song in The Byrds' back catalogue. Just as impressive, but much less intense, is their early foray into country rock, the whimsical up-tempo 'Mr Spaceman'. Yet the album was made under trying circumstances, with the band scrambling to compensate for the loss of their main songwriter Gene Clark. In spite of that in the liner notes for this 1996 reissue David Fricke praises it for its occasionally “considerable beauty and great courage”.
However, Fricke isn’t shy about laying out its frailties either: he describes it as “awkward and scattered”, and believes it to be marred by “underwhelming filler”.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It blew me head off me shoulders, without a doubt one of the Byrds best albums.Published 14 months ago by Mr Roger Mitchell
Not the best Byrds album. Sometimes their diversity works against them. Having said that the Byrds do hold a special place in my heartPublished 19 months ago by G. Moore
A great collection of songs from one of the legendary American bands of the sixties, highlighting the great vocals of Roger McGuinn.Published on 25 Jan. 2014 by richard jones
This 1996 Sony edition of Fifth Dimension contains additional material, tacked on to the last track (17). Read morePublished on 2 Jun. 2010 by Acee White
Great catchy tunes of the fifth dimension. Need to sing along to on your Byrds trip. 1960s man. Far out!Published on 5 Nov. 2009 by James A. Murray