Fifth Dimensionby The Byrds
Although the Byrds' Fifth Dimension was wildly uneven, its high points were as innovative as any rock music being recorded in 1966. Immaculate folk-rock was still present in their superb arrangements of the traditional songs "Wild Mountain Thyme" and "John Riley." For the originals, they devised some of the first and best psychedelic rock, often drawing from the influence of Indian raga in the guitar arrangements. "Eight Miles High," with its astral lyrics, pumping bassline, and fractured guitar solo, was a Top 20 hit, and one of the greatest singles of the '60s. The minor hit title track and the country-rock-tinged "Mr. Spaceman" are among their best songs; "I See You" has great 12-string psychedelic guitar solos; and "I Come and Stand at Every Door" is an unusual and moving update of a traditional rock tune, with new lyrics pleading for peace in the nuclear age. At the same time, the R&B instrumental "Captain Soul" was a throwaway, "Hey Joe" not nearly as good as the versions by the Leaves or Jimi Hendrix, and "What's Happening?!?!" the earliest example of David Crosby's disagreeably vapid hippie ethos. These weak spots keep Fifth Dimension from attaining truly classic status. [The CD reissue has six notable bonus tracks, including the single version of the early psychedelic cut "Why" (the B-side to "Eight Miles High"), a significantly different alternate take of "Eight Miles High," "I Know My Rider" (with some fine Roger McGuinn 12-string workouts), and a much jazzier, faster instrumental version of "John Riley."]
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- Sbme Special Mkts.
Performance CreditsByrds Primary Artist
Chris Hillman Bass,Mandolin,Bass Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Gene Clark Harmonica,Tambourine,Vocals
Van Dyke Parks Keyboards
Michael Clarke Drums
David Crosby Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals
Roger McGuinn Banjo,Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Technical CreditsChris Hillman Composer
Joan Baez Composer
Bob Gibson Composer
Gene Clark Composer
Michael Clarke Composer
David Crosby Composer
Jim Dickson Producer
Roger McGuinn Composer
Allen Stanton Producer
Johnny Rogan Liner Notes,Song Notes
David Fricke Liner Notes
Bob Irwin Producer,Memorabilia,Photo Courtesy
Hope Chasin Packaging Manager
Francis McPeake Composer
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The Byrds plunged into psychedelic music on their third outing. By 1966 Gene Clark had left the band and Jim (Roger) McGuinn had begun to assert more control. His 12 string Rickenbacker electric guitar is all over the album and bonus tracks. This is the place to hear him cut loose. David Crosby begins to emerge with What's Happening, a preview of his woozy songwriting on the next couple albums. There is space rock (Eight Miles High, I See You), folk rock (Wild Mountain Thyme, John Riley), protest music (I Stand And Knock At Every Door) and a throwaway or two (Mr Spaceman). The band even is out in front of Pink Floyd; listen to the added tape sounds on The Lear Jet Song. Although there are a few flaws, this may be the highest The Byrds ever flew.
This album is excellent on its' own,even without bonus tracks! Our band used Captain Soul as our Break song for a while! The Lear Jet Song,Hey Joe Excellent Stuff!"We played their fast-paced version of Hey Joe as well!" Very nice vocal harmonies and slick guitar work! One side contrasts the other side,as more rock vs folksy-rock and it really works well. Probably their BEST if you are a fan of The BYRDS!
At this point the Byrds are topping themselves with every new release and this third album has some fantastic cuts. Among the bonus tracks we get the greatest bonus cut ever released: the alternative version of "Eight Miles High"! What an amazing song. This version of "8 miles high" is a little more jazzy, a little more spontaneous, and it manages to even improve on the classic version everyone knows from the original album. Highly recommended.
I like to collect all the CDs by The Byrds so I just had to get this one. I only liked a few songs on it though. In my opinion the best songs are... 1. 5D (Fifth Dimension), 3. Mr. Spaceman, 4. I See You, 7. Eight Miles High