My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Fifth Dimension was recorded in the first half of 1966 and was released in July of the same year. The album was mostly recorded after the departure of main songwriter Gene Clark and the only songs that include Clark are the albums biggest hit “Eight Miles High” and the instrumental “Captain Soul”. The album is famous for its supposed references to LSD in the songs “5D” and “Eight Miles High”. The band claims the lyrics to the songs are about other topics (“5D” being a reference to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and “Eight Miles High” the cruising altitude of a commercial jet), but it is safe to say the titles were chosen because of their provocative nature.
What I think: I really enjoyed Mr. Tambourine Man and was really excited to hear this album. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. The music and the lyrics are actually pretty good on the album. My disappointment comes from the arraignment of the vocals. The whole album (with the exception of the Gene Clark song “Eight Miles High”) is missing those incredible harmonies that make The Byrds sound so special. I think it’s safe to say this album suffers from Clark’s departure.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? Yet again, this is an interesting pick for an album, because of it’s way of polarizing fans and critics. I thinks it’s a good album, but not as good as previous work. Ultimately, I think it belongs in this list for the influence it had on folk and folk-rock that followed (according to Wikipedia).
Rating (Out of 5):3.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (63/81)