- Released: September 16, 2008
- Label: Rev-Ola
Living Blues - 11-12/00, p.90
"...Symphonically grandiose and intermittently pompous..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1283 stars out of 5
-- "[T]his set is like an illustrated storybook, best suited to a single sitting in an easy chair."
Mojo (Publisher) - 8/00, p.122
"...A stellar album that defines the 'Sunshine Pop' genre....Alternating between strong harmonies and gossamer whispers...the production was Bones Howe's finest hour."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.785 stars out of 5
-- "Long hailed as one of the most adventurous albums of the 60s, THE MAGIC GARDEN was the perfect marriage of The 5th Dimension's vocal talents with Jimmy Webb's writing and arranging..."
Uncut (magazine) - p.843 stars out of 5
-- "[A] curious MOR soul psychedelia-lite song cycle..."
- 2.The Magic Garden
- 3.Summer's Daughter
- 7.Carpet Man
- 8.Requiem 820 Latham
- 9.The Girl's Song
- 10.The Worst That Could Happen
- 11.Orange Air
- 12.Paper Cup
- 14.Ticket To Ride
The Fifth Dimension: Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence La Rue, Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson.
Additional personnel: Jimmy Webb (arranger, conductor); Johnny Rivers, Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborne, Mike Deasy, Tommy Tedesco, Dennis Budimir.
Producer: Bones Howe.
Reissue producer: Rob Santos.
Recorded at Sound Recorders Studio, Western Recorders & Studio 3, Hollywood, California between July 15 & November 11, 1967. Includes liner notes by Mike Ragogna.
Digitally remastered by Elliott Federman (2000, SAJE Sound, New York, New York).
Overlooked in its day (unlike most of the Dimension's early albums, this one didn't even crack the top 100), MAGIC GARDEN turns out to be one of the '60s great lost psychedelic pop/rock albums. Composer/arranger Jimmy Webb wrote just about every note here (the one exception is a cover of the Beatles "Ticket to Ride"), conceiving it as an interconnected song cycle, complete with prologue, epilogue, sound effects, and musical collages between the songs (think sitars - lots of them).
Webb was aiming for something along the lines of Brian Wilson's PET SOUNDS, and, while this is hardly a masterpiece on that level, it's evocative of that album, if only because Webb recorded it with the same L.A. session musicians. The obvious grabber here is the hit single "Carpet Man," which is as close to hard rock as Webb ever got. Other highlights include a lush version of "The Worst That Could Happen" (a hit a few months later for the Brooklyn Bridge), and "Paper Cup," an addictively catchy and period-perfect piece of psychedelic whimsy.