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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
19
Fifth Dimension
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 15 June 2016
LSD Byrds?!
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on 9 June 2015
It blew me head off me shoulders, without a doubt one of the Byrds best albums.
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on 21 March 2017
Great album when they started to believe in themselves
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on 25 January 2014
A great collection of songs from one of the legendary American bands of the sixties, highlighting the great vocals of Roger McGuinn.
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on 23 April 2015
First class music from a very influential band
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on 12 January 2015
Not the best Byrds album. Sometimes their diversity works against them. Having said that the Byrds do hold a special place in my heart
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on 8 December 2011
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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on 10 October 2015
Lovely album
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on 2 June 2010
This 1996 Sony edition of Fifth Dimension contains additional material, tacked on to the last track (17). After a few seconds pause, we hear Roger McGuinn and David Crosby in an 'open-ended' interview, cut to various lengths.

These were interview discs sent to radio stations to promote shows while an act was on tour, a not uncommon promotional tool during the 1960s. Curiously, AM Top 40 stations probably wouldn't have 'wasted time' with them, when they could've been airing hits and commercials; and 1966 was too early for FM progressive format radio. But thankfully, Columbia thought to provide it!

Open-ended vinyl interview discs (and this) contain only the artists' answers and the local DJ would 'ask' the questions from the script that accompanied the disc. Crosby and McGuinn are great mates on this and keen to speak about the 5D tracks.

If this is also included in the Byrds' boxed set, perhaps someone can mention it.
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on 5 May 2016
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”. The R&B instrumental ‘Captain Soul’, that grew out of an in-studio jam of Lee Dorsey's ‘Get Out of My Life, Woman’, is dismissed in one adjective (“vanilla”), and the album closer '2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song)', is just “one lightweight hook and two minutes of cockpit radio chatter”, that “smacked of deadline pressure and a thinned-out repertoire”. These weak spots mean Fifth Dimension isn’t anywhere near as good as The Beatles ground-breaking Revolver, to which it is sometimes, rather grandly, compared.

Notably, it is their first LP not to include any songs written by Bob Dylan, whose material had previously been a mainstay of their repertoire, and the original album is, by modern standards, quite short at just under half-an-hour. Here it comes with has six extra tracks to make it a more respectable length. But, it is debateable how much of a bonus it is to hear a much jazzier, faster instrumental version of folk standard ‘John Riley’, followed by 13 minutes of uncredited, and awkwardly edited, radio dialogue from McGuinn and guitarist David Crosby that sloppily takes it past the hour mark.
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