Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Up-Up And Away: The Definitive Collection
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Though they were the epitome of the MOR mainstream in the late '60s and early '70s, this hugely successful coed vocal quintet had the benefit of first-rate material. Drawing from the catalogues of such ace tunesmiths as Bu... more »
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Though they were the epitome of the MOR mainstream in the late '60s and early '70s, this hugely successful coed vocal quintet had the benefit of first-rate material. Drawing from the catalogues of such ace tunesmiths as Burt Bacharach, Jimmy Webb, and Laura Nyro, the group was a fixture on Top 40 radio (and network TV) with hits like "Up-Up and Away," "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Sweet Blindness," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," "Workin' On A Groovy Thing," "One Less Bell to Answer," "(Last Night) I Didn't Get to Sleep At All," and "If I Could Reach You." All of those and more are included on this 2 CD, 36-song package, which will pretty much tell you everything you need to know about the Fifth Dimension. --Scott Schinder
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Pleading the 5th
firstname.lastname@example.org | Northern California, USA | 02/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is about time the 5th Dimension received the kind of representation their music truly deserved. For years us die hard fans had to settle for the overly limited "Greatest Hits On Earth", or simply revert back to the old vinyl albums, worn as they now are.This collection features almost all of the 5th Dimension's singles (with the exception of "Harlem") as recorded by the original 5. It also features a few strong album cuts. The usual hits are all here, "Up-Up And Away", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Wedding Bell Blues", "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In", "One Less Bell To Answer", etc., but the real treat is in tracks which have recieved little, if any, play since back in the day. Songs like "Paper Cup", "The Girls' Song", "Flashback", and the medley "The Declaration/A Change Has Got To Come/People Gotta Be Free" are all very welcomed returns. As mentioned, some key tracks from albums are included here. Songs like "Learn How To Fly", "The Worst That Could Happen", "Black Patch", and even "Orange Air" probably could have been singles in thier own right. The album has a special treat for die hard 5th Dimension fans, it features "I'll Be Loving You Forever", the very first 5th Dimension single which has not been seen since it's ill-fated release.There are some songs I would have loved to have seen on this collection, such as the beautiful ballad "This Is Your Life", or the funk laden "Lovin' Stew", or the wonderful cover of the Eagles' "Best Of My Love", or perhaps edits of the live versions of "Stoney End" or "MacArthur Park", but for the most part, this is a collection to be thankful for. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the execs at Arista will find it within themselves to release the entire 5th Dimension catalog on cd, but for now, I'm thankful for this collection."
Take A Ride In Their Beautiful Balloon
Anthony Nasti | Staten Island, New York United States | 06/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always felt that the Fifth Dimension were gruesomely underrated. I always felt they were truly one of the greatest bands of the 1960s' as well as one of the best vocal groups ever. Yet, with the exception of an occasional appearance on an oldies station, their music goes virtually ignored.
Well, "Up-Up And Away: The Definitive Collection" may be the right tool to expose a new generation to the Fifth Dimension and their wonderful music. On these two disc are all of their classic recordings, from their biggest hits to a bevy of unknown tunes, some of which weren't even singles.
Disc 1 is from 1966 to 1970. This is when just began to blossom into a major force on the music scene. Between 1967 and 1969, they created a string of major hit records, which included "Go Where You Wanna Go", "Up Up And Away" and "Stoned Soul Picnic", all among the finest pop records of the decade. However, it was not until 1969 that the group made their mark on the music scene. Kicking off with the number one smashes"Wedding Bell Blues" and their best known song ever "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In", the group began a stunning streak of hits, continued by such hits as "Blowing Away" (a terribly underrated number and one of my favorites) and the Neil Sedaka - penned "Workin' On A Groovy Thing". Desparate for more, their next album was a rerelease of a 1967 flop, and is highlighted by such great numbers as "The Girls Song" and the Brooklyn Bridge hit "Worst That Could Happen' (superior to their version). Closing out the disc is their first single "I'll Be Lovin' You Forever".
Disc 2 kicks off with their 1970 smash, "One Less Bell To Answer". This single started a new trend for the group's sound. Rather than focus on the group's intricat harmonies, the majority of their subsequent singles (or at least the big hits), would feature Marilyn McCoo on lead vocals while the group did backup vocals. This would be most evident on songs like "If I Could Reach You", the beautiful cover of "Never My Love", and my favorite 5D song ever, "(Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All". But they still managed to create fine efforts as a group, as songs like "Save The Country", "Time And Love", "Black Patch" and "The Declaration/A Change Has Gotta Gome/People Gotta Be Free" (the latter highly controversial) rank among their finest work. I also really enjoyed "No Love In The Room", the last single by the original members (unfortuneatlely, their original ersion of Diana Ross's classic "Love Hangover" is absent).
The liner notes are beautiful, complete with track listing, info, rare photographs, and a host of other goodies. If you are into some great music for your listening pleasure, this cd will do the trick. Plus, they made someg reat tunes for summer."
Great Collection on a Great Group
James E. Bagley | Sanatoga, PA USA | 07/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For all of their hits in the `60s and `70s, the 5th Dimension were woefully under-represented on CD with only the eleven track Greatest Hits On Earth available for the longest time. When the folks at Arista finally woke up, it must have been with a clear head. Up-Up and Away is almost the definitive collection it claims to be. The two-disc, thirty- six track collection is neatly divided into two eras (1966-69 and 1970-75) covering two record labels (Soul City and Bell).Disc one (the `60s Soul City years) contains the stronger singles lineup. 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 the soaring title track 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. Every single on this disc grabs the listener and there isn't a dud in earshot until the final two tracks, Webb's bizarre Orange Air and the uncharacteristically rough Billy Davis-led I'll Be Loving You Forever (countless other album tracks would have been better choices for this disc).Disc two (the Bell era) opens with the 5th's biggest hit of the `70s, One Less Bell To Answer. This moving ballad 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, Never My Love, (Last Night) I Didn't Get To Sleep At All, and the stirring If I Could Reach You. Great performances all, but they sadly wasted the group's greatest strengths: their peerless harmonies and their adeptness at various musical styles (they weren't originally called the Versatiles for nothing!) The singles which featured the entire group during the `70s may not have been as prosperous at radio, but they have their moments, particularly the glorious Light Sings. This second disc alternates the McCoo ballads with the lesser-known group gems for maximum listening euphoria.The ample attention paid to the track selection and sequencing carries over to the packaging. Its booklet includes extensive track information, photos, and a comprehensive history of the 5th from their separate musical beginnings through the departure of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr and beyond. My only complaint (which keeps this collection from being "definitive") is the exclusion of the classic lineup's last chart single, Bill Wither's Harlem, which offered a taste of the 5th at their funkiest (a word rarely associated with the 5th). Still, Up-Up and Away is so strong that it was ALMOST worth the long wait and ultimately, exemplifies how a multi-disc anthology should be done."