"All the original material plus nice bonus cuts. Very clear sound. Great price."
Still good music
NorthernR | 02/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Still good music. Enjoyed hearing the hits again, the filler is interesting to see where the group was going artistically. Good addition to the "oldie" collection."
The Byrds Moving Faster than the speed of light
H. James Baier | New Jersey | 06/21/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
If you don't look back and put this album in perspective it might be difficult to recognize how important and ground breaking the Byrds were. In 1966 The Rolling Stones were just breaking away from R&B covers, the Who- were not in this country, Jimi Hendrix was backing up the Isley Brothers, the Beach Boys had just released Pet Sounds and the Beatles- well they were in a league of their own but the Byrds with the Fifth Dimensions it was obvious that they weren't just folk music played loud. The cover only shows four Byrds: McQuinn, Crosby, Hillman and Clarke but Gene Clark's 8 Miles High was the track that created controversy - we know now that it is isn't the drug sung that some people thought it was and other people wished it was. It's about flying to London. David Crosby delivers three great songs: I See You ,What's Happening and Why. Roger McQuinn takes charge with the Fifth Dimension, Mr. Spaceman, Hey Joe, 2-4-2 Fox Trot (the Lear Jet Song). The Byrds playing is sharp, crisp and innovative. Their trademark tightly knit harmonies surround electric guitars that were just starting to really distort. It's almost the Summer of Love a year early but it's clearly an important American band hitting its creative stride.
The Byrds chart a new course
Tom | Rochester, NY United States | 06/27/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Byrds were never a band to rest on their laurels. Gene Clark, who had left the group in March of 1966, had been an integral part of the folk-rock sound of their first two albums, Mr. Tambourine Man (June, 1965) and Turn, Turn, Turn (December, 1965). When the remaining quartet of Jim (later Roger) McGuinn (lead guitar), David Crosby (rhythm guitar), Chris Hillman (bass guitar), Michael Clarke (drums), and producer, Allen Stanton, entered Columbia's recording studios in April, 1966, they would continue the trend they and Clark began with the recording of "Eight Miles High," in January of exploring new musical styles.
The resulting album, "Fifth Dimension," was a diverse collection, confusing to both critics and fans alike who expected more of the same folk-rock genre of the previous albums. "Fifth Dimension" was released in July, 1966 and peaked at #24 on the US charts. With Clark gone, Crosby emerged as a creative force in the band, contributing songs and musical styles which stretched the boundaries of the top 40 radio-friendly Byrds; jazz rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, and country rock. Due to its lack of cohesiveness and consistency, Fifth Dimension is often considered to be the weakest of the group's first five albums. With the exception of "Eight Miles High," Side Two is definitely overpowered by the much stronger Side One. But it was precisely because of their turn from folk-rock to experimentation with new forms on Fifth Dimension that led to the Byrds' finest works, Younger Than Yesterday and The Notorious Byrd Brothers.
1. 5D (Fifth Dimension)- One of my favorite McGuinn Byrds tunes with a couple of wonderful chorus harmonies that build to a nice twelve-string and organ (Van Dyke Parks) interplay at the end. Released as a single.
2. Wild Mountain Thyme - A traditional folk tune that could have easily appeared on the first two albums. Stanton provides some very nice string arrangements which nicely complement Mcguinn's Rickenbacker.
3. Mr. Spaceman - A novelty song performed in a vaguely country style. McGuinn would go on to write several additional songs for the Byrds which addressed alien life and space travel. Released as a single.
4. I See You - A driving McGuinn/Crosby rock tune with some of the same ragged Rickenbacker used on "Eight Miles High."
5. What's Happening - Crosby steps out with this wonderfully innovative song with McGuinn doing a nice imitation of the sitar on his twelve-string. The first Byrds song written solely by Crosby.
6. I Come And Stand At Every Door - An anti-war poem put to a traditional folk melody.
1. Eight Miles High - Released as a single prior to the recording of the rest of the album. Gene Clark's swan song, co-authored by McGuinn and Crosby. Credited as being the first psychedelic rock song. McGuinn does some trailblazing guitar work patterned after John Coltrane and Ravi Shankar. Banned from many radio stations for its suspected references to hallucinogens, "Eight Miles High" is generally considered to be one of the greatest singles of the 60s.
2. Hey Joe - Crosby explored the blues prior to the Byrds with "Jack of Diamonds" and "Brotherhood of the Blues." "Hey Joe" is played far too frantically and pales next to Jimi Hendrix's well-known, much slower version. Crosby would later achieve success with a blues-style ballad with "Long Time Gone" on the album, Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
3. Captain Soul - The Byrds recorded this soul-inspired instrumental to placate drummer Clarke. Considered a throwaway by most fans. That's former-Byrd, Gene Clark, adding the harmonica.
4. John Riley - Another traditional folk song that could have fit on Mr. Tambourine Man or Turn, Turn, Turn. Stanton added strings just as on "Wild Mountain Thyme." An unremarkable recording.
5. 2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song) - A novelty song with sounds of a Lear jet crew preparing for takeoff mixed with a simple melody. Very cool at the time but it doesn't hold up at all forty-five years later.
This Sony Legacy reissue includes six tracts not released on the original album.
1. Why - Released as the B-side of "Eight Miles High" with another version of the song included on the following album, Younger Than Yesterday. McGuinn gives a nice sitar-mimicking solo.
2. I Know My Rider - An unremarkable arrangment of a traditional blues song.
3. Psychodrama City - Crosby can't resist a dig at the departed Clark.
4. Eight Miles High - The raw-sounding, December 1965, RCA Studios version. Thankfully, Columbia refused to release this less-polished attempt and insisted the Byrds re-record it.
5. Why - An unpolished version of the song recorded with "Eight Miles High" at RCA in 12/65.
6. John Riley - A jazzed-up instrumental of the John Riley melody."