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Very Best of The Fifth Dimension Import

46 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 16, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Between 1967 and 1973, the 5th Dimension enjoyed 29 U.S. hit singles on the Soul City and Bell labels. This compilation selects all of their Top 40 hits (bar two live tracks) and tops up the running order with five lesser hits. Top-notch material by Jimmy Webb, Laura Nyro, Neil Sedaka and Bacharach & David is rendered as exquisite harmony pop by the vocal group and their producer Bones Howe. Although "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" (from the musical "Hair") and Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues" were the chart-toppers, Webb's "Up, Up And Away" is the archetypal 5th Dimension sound. That the songs still sound remarkably fresh is due to the avoidance of formulaic writing, with no one writer or team being allowed to dominate. From the first hit, tellingly a cover of the Mamas & The Papas' "Go Where You Wanna Go," via material by Tony Macaulay, Sloan & Barri, and Ashford & Simpson, the quality never diminishes. Camden. 2005.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • ASIN: B000778J7C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,351 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Jim Bagley on March 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
It took awhile to get some decent 5th Dimension collections on cd. Now it can numb the mind trying to sort them out. The two-disc Up Up And Away: The Definitive Collection (using the same cover artwork as this single disc import set) has every hit but Harlem, yet also includes quite a few filler album tracks of varying quality.
This Very Best Of disc is a lot leaner (22 tracks instead of 36), but almost as hit-filled as Definitive. The initial hits Go Where You Wanna Go and Another Day, Another Heartache presented the 5th as folk-rock clones of the Mamas and the Papas. With the follow-up singles, the 5th created their own niche by frequently utilizing the exceptional songwriting talents of Jimmy Webb and Laura Nyro. Webb upped the emphasis on pure pop by providing the 5th with Up-Up And Away and Carpet Man. When the 5th moved on to the Nyro material like Stoned Soul Picnic and Sweet Blindness, a good deal of soul entered into the mix. By 1969, the 5th Dimension sound hit its apex as the Hair medley Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In and cover of Nyro's Wedding Bell Blues dominated the airwaves. Aside from the McCoo-led Wedding Bell Blues, these '60s singles were very much a group effort and a lesson in harmonic bliss.
The 5th's biggest hit of the '70s, the moving One Less Bell To Answer, was practically a solo Marilyn McCoo recording and signaled a strong change in direction for the group. Thereafter, all of their most successful singles would be easylistening McCoo-dominated numbers like Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes, (Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All, and the stirring If I Could Reach You.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J. Collins on July 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This import collection is an abbreviated version of Arista Records' "definitive" 5D collection, and even shares that release's cover illustrations. It's also one of two Import CDs called "The Very Best Of 5D," currently available at Amazon. (The other is priced slightly less than this one.) The selections here represent a little more than half of those on "The Definitive Collection," and they include the group's best known singles and album cuts. It even includes "On The Beach," which was unavailable on CD until a few years ago.
There's no question that this is first rate vocal Pop, and there's not a clinker in the set. The only reason that I can't call this a "5 star" album is the fact that this collection is one of many, and offers nothing unique. I should mention that due to the abundance of material and the budget price of this disc, it IS a better buy than Arista's "Encore Collection," "Master Hits" and even the 28 year old "Greatest Hits On Earth." There is a similarly titled Import collection ("The Best of 5D") available now which should be passed over for this larger (and much more reasonably priced) compilation.
Now that Arista has licensed 5D's first five albums for CD re-issue, it's easier than ever to skip over all the 5D hit collections and opt for the intact albums that spawned those hits. This CD is an excellent choice for casual 5D fans or Pop Vocal enthusiasts. If you find yourself playing one of these "best ofs" often, do yourself a favor and get the Buddha Records reissues while they are still available.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By douglas barton on October 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Let me state at the beginning that to this day I'm not certain what possessed me to purchase this disc. I certainly don't care for "golden-oldies" and I tend to think of my listening taste as being far to "hip" to enjoy what many consider to be MOR artists! But....
I stumbled upon the cd here at AOL and seeing the single disc available,as opposed to the two-cd collection, I was strangely drawn to it. Now, with hind-sight being 20/20, I am so thankfull that I did. At 22 songs and over seventy-one minutes worth of music it was certainly worth the investment. As for the music...well, most of it can and should speak for itself! The Fifth Dimension were able to release music that encompassed not only Soul but also R&B plus a little Vocalese as well. All of this tied together with a perfect 'Pop' sensibility. Take a look at the song selection and you'll see what I mean. Composers such as Bacharach/David, Jimmy Webb and Lauro Nyro plus more! For the most part each song is extremely well performed and the musicianship is first-rate.
My greatest fear, that this was going to be an exercise in nostalgia, was initially true but oddly enough the music has held up well under the demands of time.Why I'm surprised...who can say! The shear variety and different styles of music that the 5th Dimension were capable of creating is to this day still amazing! And as for the song "Love's Line's, Angle's and Rhymes", my personal favorite, a more sublime song I've rarely heard.
I don't make a point of recommending discs to total strangers but I can safely urge you to purchase this one. Wonderful melodies, singers who can actually harmonize and no drum machines! Come to think of it.....this is pretty "HIP"!
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