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Stoned Soul Picnic

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Album Review

One of the 5th Dimension's finest all-around albums, Stoned Soul Picnic is not only home to the title tracks, but also to the hits "Sweet Blindness" and "California Soul." All three of these songs provide excellent examples of the band's sunny and buoyant appeal. Although the singers' awesome vocal gifts deserve all the credit they get, it's also important to realize the immense contributions from producer Bones Howe and vocal arranger Bob Alcivar. The group was far more than a black version of the Mamas & the Papas. There are also some excellent album cuts here, such as Jeff Companor's "It'll Never Be the Same Again," where Ron Townson's exquisite soul pipes get off an amazing solo around an excellent Motown-driven arrangement. If you're going to pick up one 5th Dimension album (aside from a greatest hits package), you'd be hard-pressed to find a better one than this.


Formed: 1966 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Fifth Dimension's unique sound lay somewhere between smooth, elegant soul and straightforward, adult-oriented pop, often with a distinct flower-power vibe. Although they appealed more to mainstream listeners than to a hip, hardcore R&B audience, they had a definite ear for contemporary trends; their selection of material helped kickstart the notable songwriting careers of Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro, and their biggest hit was a medley from the hippie musical Hair, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In."...
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Stoned Soul Picnic, The 5th Dimension
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