The Fifth Dimension: Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, Lamonte
McLemore, Ron Townson (vocals).
Additional personnel: Tommy Tedesco, Dennis Budimir, Mike Deasy, Bill Fulton (guitar); The Bill Holman Strings & Brass (strings, brass); Larry Knetchel, Jimmy Rowles, Pete Jolly (keyboards); Joe Osborne (bass); Hal Blaine (drums, percussion); Larry Bunker (congas, mallets, percussion); Milt Holland (percussion).
Recorded at Wally Heider Studios & Studio 3 Inc., Hollywood, California; United Recording, Las Vegas, Nevada. Includes liner notes by Mike Ragogna.
Producer: Bones Howe.
Reissue producer: Rob Santos.
Digitally remastered by Elliott Federman (2000, SAJE Sound, New York, New York).
The 5th Dimension's fourth album almost plays like a Greatest Hits collection. Beside the title smash from the Broadway musical HAIR, hits from THE AGE OF AQUARIUS include two obligatory Laura Nyro songs: the infectious "Blowing Away," and the perhaps deliberately ironic (given its counterculture context) "Wedding Bell Blues," plus the almost Nyro-worthy "Working On a Groovy Thing," by Neil Sedaka.
The rest of the album is the group's usual high gloss L.A. pop/rock. Highlights include a cover of the Everly Brothers' "Let It Be Me" that achieves a near-Phil Spector-like grandeur, and a re-working of Mary Hopkin's "Those Were the Days." The latter adds a soul feel to the vaguely eastern European strains of the original; it's like hearing an R&B band at a bar mitzvah--in a good way. There's also a great Latin rocker, "Dontcha Hear Me Callin' to Ya," which suggests that the group was aware of Santana, and a cover of Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" that is truly, though perhaps unintentionally, psychedelic.