Thursday, May 28, 2015

The 5th Dimension: Up Up & Away / Magic Garden / Stoned Soul Picnic / Age Of Aquarius (with bonus tracks)

An amazing little package of classic late 60s 5th Dimenion – with the complete Up, Up And Away, Magic Garden, Stoned Soul Picnic and Age Of Aquarius LP, back-to-back on 2CDs – and bonus tracks, too! Up Up & Away is the fab first album – and as groovy a batch of pop soul harmonies as you'll ever hope to find! Jimmy Webb is already at the helm on this one – arranging and conducting the group with his heavenly 60s pop approach – all produced to perfection by the amazing Bones Howe! 

The record soars to the top with the hit "Up Up & Away", and features many other great numbers –lesser-known, but really wonderful gems like "California My Way", "Another Day Another Heartache", "Pattern People", "Rosecrans Blvd", "Learn How To Fly", and the group's great cover of Tim Hardin's "Misty Roses"! 

Magic Garden is also brilliant work – arguably their best! The reason for this is partly Jimmy Webb – who arranged and conducted the album, which is comprised entirely of his own work. Titles include the sublime "The Girls Song", a track that out-Bacharachs Burt himself – plus "Requiem 820 Latham", "The Worst That Could Happen", "Paper Cup", and "Carpet Man". CD also features 3 bonus tracks – "I'll Be Loving You Forever", "Train Keep On Movin", and "Too Poor To Die" – all by Willie Hutch! 

Stoned Soul Picnic is a great leap forward for the 5th Dimension – with a strongly soulful quality that moves past just pop, and which hits even deeper territory than before! Titles include the group's hit version of "Stoned Soul Picnic" – plus "California Soul", "Bobbie's Blues", "It's A Great Life", "Sweet Blindness", "Broken Wing Bird", "Good News", and "The Eleventh Song (What A Groovy Day)". 

Age Of Aquarius is one of their biggest albums ever, built around the group's hit version of "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In", and featuring some other psychedelic pop soul gems like "Sunshine Of Your Love", "Blowing Away", "The Hideaway", "The Winds of Heaven", and "Working On A Grooving Thing". Also includes the excellent "Wedding Bell Blues" – one of the greatest songs of all time! CD features 2 bonus tracks – "Chissa Se Tornera" and "East Of Java"!  ~ Dusty Groove

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