Fifth Dimension (studio album) by The Byrds
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The Byrds bestography
The best album by The Byrds is The Notorious Byrd Brothers which is ranked number 797 in the list of all-time albums with a total rank score of 2,320.
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Fifth Dimension track list
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This album is rated in the top 3% of all albums on BestEverAlbums.com. This album has a Bayesian average rating of 78.3/100, a mean average of 78.1/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 78.5/100. The standard deviation for this album is 11.7.
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Here they introduce a trippy style of guitar playing that basically involves never letting the tones ring out and accelerating and slowing down in a fractal-like manner that has grown on me the - what is it? - four times I've come around listening to it. With "Mr. Spaceman" they show they can still as easily bust out their jangly folk/garage rock tunes even without covering Bob. On the rest of the tracks they stay true to their garage rock roots no matter how spacey their guitar solos become, which prevents them from becoming obnoxious like Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart; all I'll say to those who didn't take previous remark well is: you can't change a genre if you've diverted so much from it that you aren't in the genre anymore.
Eight Miles High. not much else
Excellent Psychedelic album. In my opinion, worth owning just for '5D' and 'Eight Miles High'. Has to be on any Psychedelic fans wish list if they don't already own it.
The Byrds continue to push the frontier of popular music forward with this release; this time mostly into psychedelia. The guitars are great. They're clean when they need to be and chaotic when they can be. I really admire the risks taken on this record. This is one of the most commercially successful bands of the 60s making music that they want to make. "I See You" and "What's Happening?" are two of my favorites for their almost hallucinogenic qualities. "Hey Joe" is a great take on the classic, not the best but still good. There are some misses like "I Come and Stand at Every Door" or "2-4-2 Fox Trot" but they're still enjoyable for their ambition.
This album's a mixed bag with very high points (8 miles high to be exact) and a slew of mediocre filler to compensate for the departure of Gene Clark - the main songwriter. So we'll take it track by track:
Eight Miles High and 5D are incredible songs that deserve reviews of their own and marked a pivotal point in psychedelic rock.
Mr. Spaceman is no throwaway - it's the Byrd's first foray mixing country with 60's rock, later blossoming into Sweetheart of the Rodeo with Gram Parsons. I See You and WhAt's HAppEninG?!?! are good tracks with sounds and themes built on in the next two albums. Captain Soul and 2-4-2 Fox Trot try out Stax and special effects to less noteworthy results.
There are 4 covers. Wild Mountain Thyme and John Riley are very good rock adaptations of traditional British songs, surpassing the Joan Baez versions. I Come And Stand At Every Door is a decent cover of the Pete Seeger adaptation. Hey Joe was "discovered" by David Crosby but the band refused to record; then The Leaves and Love made it a minor hit. This version is worse and my least favorite inclusion. Crosby should have included Psychodrama City instead.
Favorite Tracks: Eight Miles High, Mr. Spaceman & 5D (Fifth Dimension)
The first Byrds album after the official departure of Gene Clark. Fifth dimension, sees the band moving away from their folk/rock roots towards something more interesting. The first two thirds of the LP is brilliant, with, 5D, I see you, and, whats happening?, all very good, although, Mr. Spaceman, is a throwaway country rock number. Eight miles high, is off course a classic, and along with, Mr. Tambourine man, the bands most important single. The album though, starts to run out of steam towards the end with an okay cover of, hey Joe, a pointless instrumental, captain soul, and closing track, 2-4-2 Fox trot. Fifth dimension, is a very good album but it certainly isn't in the same class as the other heavyweights of 1966 (revolver, pet sounds, and, blonde on blonde), but is still an exciting leap forward for the Byrds.
I Come and Stand at Every Door, 5D, and Eight Miles High are great. It's a pioneering psychedelic rock album. It's inconsistent as heck, and the traditional covers are totally out of place compared to the ones on their other albums. There's enough substance to give it a few listens, and it's super short.
The first side is perfect. From the catchy "Mr. Spaceman" to the acid/psychedelic "I see you". Crosby's "What's happening" shows us his talent as a songwriter. Sise 2 is weaker, but starts with the highlight "Eight miles high", with it's amazing raga/jazzy solo. It's not their best album, but it's highly influential for the 1960s. It only peaked at number 24, but who cares anymore. This album is a cult status. A turning point for the band.
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