Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Up Up & Away
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
J. Collins | 04/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the help of Johnny Rivers, the 5D cut their debut album with Soul City records some 35 years ago. Though 5D started as an R&B vocal act, they were passed over by Motown Records, which at the time was the only major label to host this type of material with a measure of success. Rivers' guidance wasn't flawless, and his desire to turn the group into a vocal powerhouse hit a few snags.This album bears witness to the triumphs and misfires of Rivers' influence on the group. The almost accidental inclusion of Jimmy Webbs' original songs were by no means a calculated choice...after all, there were two other single releases from this album before "Up Up and Away" made history for 5D.The material on this album is fairly standard Pop/Soul Fare by today's standards, but the sound (vocal and instrumental) is an oddball concoction that takes a little time to sink in with listeners. A few of the song covers bring almost inspirational performances out of this group of (then) unknowns: "Go Where You Wanna Go" gets a soul-intensive vocal workout that the Mamas and the Papas were simply incapable of achieving; Rivers' own "Poor Side of Town" is treated to a gorgeous (nearly a capella) performance that simply blows away Johnny's twangy/nasal original.Though there are a few middling performances on this record, it's refreshing to be able to HEAR the enthusiasm that members of the 5D felt, and you CAN hear it. Solo highlights include Marilyn on "Never Gonna Be The Same," and Billy on "Misty Roses" and "Rosecrans Blvd." And buried on side two is a classic performance ("Learn How To Fly") that should have earned 5D another gold single.The bonus tracks on this disc pre-date "Up Up...", and if you're familiar with "I'll Be Loving You..." from 5D's Definitive Collection, you'll be amply prepared for the other two R&B raveups that appear on this CD. They are solid, likeable tracks, but nothing exceptional in the musical field for that period.-Mic"
Flying, learning how to fly and chasing dreams...
yygsgsdrassil | Crossroads America | 05/01/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...the Buddah/Arista/BMG remasters. One can definitely hear the brilliant act the 5th D were developing in the opening stages of their career. All were talented singers in their own right--Flo, Marilyn, Ron and Billy could have easily had solo careers, but the sum of the individual parts were simply stunning vocalising. This is the 5th D's first, top selling, number one album during the so-called Summer of Love... One thing I've noticed is the irony of "Up, up and Away" and it's optimistic hearts in love against the lost, searching, restless and sad hearts of a number of tunes on the album--particularly "Which Way To Nowhere", "California My Way" "Rosecrans Blvd." The drama in Billy Davis's voice in "Which Way..." is simply heartbreaking. "Pattern People" with that intricate vocal weaving--is an emotional mix of lies, damn excuses and accusations, lovers angrily fighting to only get to the making up lovesessions, to fight again, to get to...The Summer of Love was as complex as any other season, it seems...The beautiful arrangement of "Poor Side of Town" should not be missed, period! The acapella is awesome. Anyway, overall, I am glad this is finally in CD, 'cause I've always loved the 5th...I can't wait to get the Buddah CDs of "Stoned Soul.." "The Age of Aquarius" and "Portrait"..I would be in California Soul heaven!"
It's the Jimmy Webb factor, of course!
Edward Walsh | Dublin, Ireland | 05/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The only Fifth Dimension albums that stand up consistently are this one and the Magic Garden. The magic ingredient is Jimmy Webb - otherwise they stray too far into bland MOR. Not all the songs are by JW but the arrangements take up all the tracks to a very high standard.
The ultimate highlight, apart from the obvious ones like "Up Up and Away" and "Go where you wanna go", has got to be "Rosecrans Boulevard". I venture to suggest that it is one of the best of JW's songs. I have found it circling in my mind over and over as I tried to grasp its intoxicating totality."