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||Prologue||The 5th Dimension||1:23||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Magic Garden||The 5th Dimension||2:48||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Summer's Daughter||The 5th Dimension||3:02||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Dreams/Pax/Nepenthe||The 5th Dimension||3:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Carpet Man||The 5th Dimension||3:16||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Ticket to Ride||The 5th Dimension||4:02||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Requiem: 8:20 Latham||The 5th Dimension||4:26||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Girls' Song||The 5th Dimension||4:09||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Worst That Could Happen||The 5th Dimension||2:36||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Orange Air||The 5th Dimension||2:38||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Paper Cup||The 5th Dimension||2:48||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Epilogue||The 5th Dimension||0:56||$0.99||View In iTunes|
This record did contain the small hits "Paper Cup" and "Carpet Man," but the group, or more likely arranger/conductor Jim Webb, was probably shooting for something a bit higher than the Top 40. Aside from a misfired cover of the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride," Webb wrote everything on this album, which — with between-track segues, lyrics expounding dreams and possibility, and dense orchestral settings — seemed to be aiming for a song cycle of sorts. It's not Pet Sounds, however, or even Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle. It's overambitious MOR pop-soul with mild psychedelic colors, and a bit ludicrous, though not unattractive due to the typically conscientious harmonies. "Orange Air" is probably the group's best shot at pseudo-psychedelia; "The Girls' Song," on much firmer MOR territory, was done much better by Jackie DeShannon; and "The Worst That Could Happen," Webb at his most disagreeably sentimental, was covered for a huge hit by the Brooklyn Bridge about a year later. A recent biography of cult singer/songwriter Nick Drake, by the way, revealed that this album, along with such estimable underground classics as Love's Forever Changes and Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, was a special favorite of his because of its combination of rock and orchestration. That means it might suddenly become a lot harder to find in the dollar bins, although many of those copies will probably find their way right back there after Drake fans play it once or twice. [The album was also reissued by Soul City under the title The Worst That Could Happen.]
This has been one of my favorites since 1967. Yes, it may be a tad pretentious. I am the same age as Jimmy Webb and this was an early showcase of his talent. "Ticket to Ride" does not belong but the rest of the album does. This was followed by another classic (in my book), "A Tramp Shining" by Richard Harris. (Yes, Macarthur Park was a great song.) I guess that I am some sort of weird because this and "Renaissance" by the Association are consistently two of my favorites. Try them!
The Magic Garden
What is not to like? 5th Dimension Harmonies Orchestration NICE arrangements Jimmy Webb melodies One of my favorites for 35 years!
Childhhood memories are sometimes golden
I was 16 when the Magic Garden album hit the market. During the 1960s popular music took on a very unique and different sound as rock 'n roll begin to define itself and branch into new genres. The first cut on side two of the vinyl was Requiem 8:20 Latham, a beautifully crafted song that I experienced on my first stereo component system. Though the 5th Dimension was considered as the first African American group that sounded much like the Mammas and Pappas every once and awhile a song selection on their albums contained beautifully crafted orchestration which kept the 5th Dimension unique in their style. Though I'm glad to see iTunes catalog this particular album by the 5th Dimension I sure hope that more of their other albums become available so that young listeners can enjoy similar songs of beauty and style. Interestingly enough my young niece of age 25 who had never heard of the 5th Dimension fell in love with the Requiem piece and seeks to hear more. I do too.
Formed: 1966 in Los Angeles, CA
Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s