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The Ultimate 5th Dimension

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Album Review

The 5th Dimension were just about the most successful harmony group of the 1960s and The Ultimate 5th Dimension is easily the most comprehensive single-disc collection on the market. It documents the heyday of the group, mostly their late-'60s tenure with Johnny Rivers' Soul City label and a few tracks from their '70s stay at Bell, and it focuses on their singles — their hit singles, that is. Each of the 20 songs here (the 21st track is a previously unreleased song, "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye") was a Top 35 hit or better. "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" and "Wedding Bell Blues" were their number one smashes; they also had four more Top Ten hits. Even more importantly, they had so many great songs. Their sunny harmonies and lush arrangements gave songs like Laura Nyro's "Sweet Blindness," Jimmy Webb's "Paper Cup," and Neil Sedaka's "Workin' on a Groovy Thing" a light, happy feel that makes them the very definition of "good-time oldies." The disc features liner notes with new interviews with original members of the 5th Dimension, rare photos, and improved sound and is compiled by the group's producer, Bones Howe. This collection is a perfect introduction to the group and should be on every pop music fan's wish list. Even if you already have all their first five albums (which Buddha so graciously reissued before going belly-up and BMG Heritage has kept in print), you will want this disc, since it distills their career into about an hour or so of pure, heavenly gold.

Customer Reviews

The Classiest Group from the 60's & 70's

This album has excellent renditions of their masterpieces - well known and more obscure. The Bacharach-like "The Girl's Song" is a particular standout. Not to mention Love's Lines, Angles & Rhymes, and the popular One Less Bell, Puppet Man, Stoned Soul and others. I forgot how much I missed this group!

The Ultimate 5th Dimension

Wonderful collection of hits and album favorites from one of the most overlooked groups of the groove/soft R&B era. If you grew up watching the Apollo missions and Viet Nam on TV every night, you know where I'm coming from. The 5th Dimension fits right in for lovers of the Jackson 5, Dionne Warwick - even the Carpenters - in delivering that late 60's / early 70's middle class, suburban sound with a modicum of groove.

Marilyn McCoo's voice is one of the greatest ever! Her smooth, pretty tones span the edges of emotional soul with gentle adult contemporary grace, and she always sings on-pitch (a rarity today without computer aid)! Billy Davis, Jr. balances her with his raw (but controlled) manpower to put the top layers on this quintet.

"Age Of Aquarius" is absolutely haunting and unforgettable. "Worst That Could Happen / Wedding Bell Blues" is the epitome of a he-said, she-said love "tragedy." "The Girl's Song" offers the obligatory Bacharach contribution (could we have had such great music without him?), while covers of "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye" and "Never My Love" round out a complete sonic meal.

I'm just a grown-up, middle-class white kid, but the 5th Dimension sang an indelible part of the soundtrack to my life. And I love 'em for it!

Fifth Dimension

I've Ben a fan of the Fifth Dimension since the 60s, this CD is a compilation of their best recordings and I love it. Highly recommend it


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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