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Fifth Dimension Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (6 May 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Columbia Legacy
  • ASIN: B00000G60I
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,572 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 5D (Fifth Dimension)
  2. Wild Mountain Thyme
  3. Mr. Spaceman
  4. I See You
  5. What's Happening?
  6. I Come And Stand At Every Door
  7. Eight Miles High
  8. Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go)
  9. Captain Soul
  10. John Riley
  11. 2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song)
  12. Why
  13. I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider)
  14. Psychodrama City
  15. Eight Miles High
  16. Why
  17. John Riley

Product Description

Product Description

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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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Mr T VINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2006
Format: Audio CD
This really is one of those albums that changed everything. Before Sgt Peppers, before Piper at the Gates of Dawn there was Fifth Dimension. If you've heard "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr Tambourine Man" you could be mistaken for thinking the Byrds were purely a light folk, sing-along pop group. This album does have moments like that, most notably the title track, "Wild Mountain Tyne" and "John Riley", but there's much more besides. "Mr Space Man" provides the first hint that we're into uncharted territory. It's funny, and as the title suggests, a little spacey. Then "I See You" kicks in, and you know you're listening to a first-rate psychedelic album. The thing is with the Byrds, no matter how weird they get they always manage to keep it tuneful and accessible. This is especially true of "Eight Miles High" and "Why", both improvisation-based experimental pieces that still somehow manage retain the trade-mark Byrds harmonies. Beautiful and strange. I love it. And the RCA bonus tracks, well... what can I say. Some of the best music ever recorded, in my humble opinion. But don't take my word for it, read some of these other reviews...
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Format: Audio CD
Sitting in between "Mr Tambourine Man" & "Turn! Turn! Turn!" (albums through which the Byrds asserted and consolidated their position as international pop stars) and "Younger Than Yesterday" (an album which firmly established them as a "new-wave"/"progressive" West Coast band), "Fifth Dimension" captures them in major transition mode.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
Tour-de-Force. That's how I'd classify "Eight Miles High". This time the sounds that Jim McGuinn heard in his head were John Coltrane and Indian raga. A curious mixture to apply to a ballad on the subject of flying from a man who was reputedly scared of the same but maybe it was the release of "when we touch down".. An ominous bass guitar kicks it off followed by the McGuinn's 12 strings in psychedelic mode though the word "Psychedelic" wasn't even in the popular vocabulary yet. The song itself is one of the most unusual that Gene Clark has ever written; although he was the prime author there were also modifications from Crosby and McGuinn. It has almost an anthemic feel until the deliberately jazzy break where Mcguinn is in full improvisational mode. It may be one of the earliest freakouts on record even if it's of limited length. The influence of the single was enormous. Would the Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd have even existed without it?

"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.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This has to be one of the finest Byrds albums. The original line up without Gene Clark.It must be worth the purchase price just to listen to Wild Mountain Thyme, Eight Miles High, and the Lear Jet Song (such a fantastic track).
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Format: Audio CD
With electrified versions of Bob Dylan's 'Mr Tambourine Man' and Pete Seeger's 'Turn! Turn! Turn!', The Byrds were pioneers of folk-rock. With the most famous song on this transitional third album - the innovative hit single 'Eight Miles High' - .they helped create yet another new musical form: psychedelic rock. Illuminated by vocalist Jim McGuinn's recurring 12-string guitar solo, it was inspired by the Indian classical music of sitar player Ravi Shankar and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Many radio stations in the U.S. banned the record, believing the title to be a reference to recreational drug use. (Though the band straightfaced maintained the song's lyrics just pertained to the approximate altitude that commercial airliners fly at).

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”.
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