A treasury and a place to meet people of all ages with various interests from all over the World
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)  (Read 1418 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1519
Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« on: September 19, 2012, 05:50:15 AM »

The third Byrds' album, Fifth Dimension, was released in July 1966 (shortly before Revolver) and could be considered as a founder of psychedelia along with the Yardbirds' Roger The Engineer. The album was recorded almost entirely without Gene Clark, who left the band because of his fear of flying. Clark had been the main songwriter of the group, so Roger McGuinn and David Crosby had to fill the gap (Chris Hillman started to shine in the next album). Let's see the result...



5D (Fifth Dimension). In this album McGuinn started to write songs about his passion for space science, and this title track is an example. The lyrics are interesting, I especially like the line "I will remember the place that is now, that has ended before the beginning". The tune is a folk ballad rather than a psychedelic song, though. It's a pleasant and well performed song if a bit monotonous. It ends with a tasteful guitar and organ combination.

Wild Mountain Thyme. A traditional song arranged by the band. A nice folk tune, with great singing and some unusual orchestration for the time.

Mr. Spaceman. Another McGuinn's song, this time an upbeat tune. I dig the guitar solo. Fine song despite not being very innovative.

I See You. At this point noone that hadn't listened to the record may believe me that it is a founder of psychedelia. Well, in this song some psychedelic bits can be heard, from the dreamy singing to the confusing lead guitar to the intricate drumming. I can hear some claves as well. Very good and quite innovative song, written by McGuinn and Crosby.

What's Happening?!?!. This time a Crosby's song. The melody is simple and repetitive, but the psychedelic guitar playing gives a special ambient. I like when David sings almost as he's laughing.

I Come And Stand At Every Door. This is an example of how special the Byrds were, who could transform such a simple protest song into a pastoral experience. Love this.

Eight Miles High. Not only the highest point of the album, but probably the best song ever released under the name of the Byrds. It was released as a single some months before the album, and it's a serious candidate for being the first psychedelic song ever recorded. Several elements to be analysed here. The intro is awesome, with that dense bass and that random guitar playing that is said to be inspired by Coltrane (I've also read that the keyboard solo in the Zombies' "She's Not There" was another influence). The ascending and extending vocals take you that high. The guitar solo in the middle and the end continues playing with randomness. The drumming is also very innovative: Mike Clarke is never mentioned among the greatest drummers, but he clearly defined a style in the 60's. The song was initially written by Gene Clark (how strange he wrote a song with this title, having fear of flying) but it was refined by McGuinn and Crosby.

Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go). The famous song that was covered by several artists in the 60's. This version is not as wild as the one by the Leaves or as memorable as Jimi Hendrix's rendition. But it's interesting how Crosby sings it. Not sure if the cowbell was a good addition.

Captain Soul. A weak instrumental. It has some good bass and harmonica playing, though.

John Riley. Another traditional orchestrated folk song. Good harmonies and good song.

2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song). Time for the joke-song that closes the Byrds' album. Another weak instrumental (well, they just sing "go 'n' ride the lear jet, baby" all the time and there's some backing talk). The "jet" sound actually sounds more like a vacuum cleaner (and probably it was). At least it keeps the experimental spirit of the record.

So this is an innovative and historically relevant album with a really outstanding song that turns the record from "good" to "very good". The experimentation in this album led to really great results in their next work.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 12:41:13 PM by Hombre_de_ningun_lugar »
Logged
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

ibanez_ax

  • Getting Better
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 652
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2012, 08:36:43 PM »

Thanks for another well thought out review of this great band, Hombre.
Logged
What, is he dead?  Sit you down, father.  Rest you.

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1519
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 10:27:37 PM »

Thanks for another well thought out review of this great band, Hombre.

Thanks George, and you're welcome.
Logged
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

tkitna

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 6983
  • I'm a Moondog,,,,,are you?
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 11:53:16 PM »

I'll get my review together in a few days.

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1519
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 03:22:06 AM »

I'll get my review together in a few days.

I'll be expecting for it.
Logged
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

tkitna

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 6983
  • I'm a Moondog,,,,,are you?
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 11:58:43 PM »

Dont hate me Hombre. I've been busy as heck. I'll get this up in the next couple days. I promise.

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1519
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 01:03:55 AM »

Dont hate me Hombre. I've been busy as heck. I'll get this up in the next couple days. I promise.

Hey, don't worry, take your time, don't hurry... :)
Logged
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

tkitna

  • That Means a Lot
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 6983
  • I'm a Moondog,,,,,are you?
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 11:49:26 AM »

1. 5D (Fifth Dimension) - A typical Byrds folk song with that plodding shuffle. Harmonies are alright and the song is somewhat off beat which gives it some character. I like the sound of the bass, and the rest is done in a pretty sloppy manner which is a Byrds trademark in my opinion. An inoffensive opener.

2. Wild Mountain Thyme - Love the harmonies here. Hard to explain this song. I think it plays out as a slower version of ‘Turn Turn Turn’. Nice guitar tone as usual. Softer, comforting song.

3. Mr. Spaceman - One of the big hits. I love the rapping, folk sound. The band singing about psychedelic stuff, but in their folk style. Love the walking bass all over the song. Rhythm guitar is awesome. Good song.

4. I See You - One of my favorites off the record. Love the beat. Great harmonies and out of control guitar playing in spots. Whenever I hear this one, its branded in my brain for at least a couple days. Awesome song.

5. Whats Happening - Lol. I sing this to my wife all the time. “I don’t know who you think you are”. She hates it. The guitar makes this one. The background lead with its bending note is the staple. This song is what I like about the album. Its as if they want to go psychedelic, but the folk has to much of a hold on them. it’s a nice balance to me.

6. I Come And Stand At Every Door - A slow tune that just kind of  drags along. I always wish for some background harmonies earlier on when I hear this one. When they do come, its only one other singing and its not full enough. Its not an awful song, but its one of the weaker ones on the record.

7. Eight Miles High - Probably in my top 50 songs of all time. I’ll never forget watching Jim Keltner playing this one on the drums at a C,S,N&Y concert. Love the bass, drums (especially the ride) and the out of control guitar solo’s. Brilliant song.

8. Hey Joe(Where You Gonna Go) - What would an album be without this song on it. I like this version, but I also like the versions from Love, Hendrix, and the Leaves too. Its just a good song, and the Byrds keep it at a pretty quick pace.

9. Captain Soul - Good old fashioned, rock/blues 4/4 right here. Love the guitar and bass tones. Has some nice harmonica playing too. Great tune. Oh its an instrumental too.

10. John Riley - Another one of my favorites. It has some haunting vocals in my opinion. Nice straight ahead song, but has some great melodies. The bass is nice once again. I don’t know why, but I have always seriously dug the little drum fill at about the 2:03 mark. Love this song.

11. 2-4-2 Fox Trot The Lear Jet - The beginning always reminded me of the Tasmanian Devil on Looney Tunes. It keeps with the background noises and repeats itself throughout. It stays with the psych theme, but it’s a weak ending for a great album.


Sorry for the delay Hombre. I’ve been knee deep in work and time with our church and drum playing for awhile now. New sanctuary just opened so I should have some spare time now. As I’ve said before, this is my favorite from the band, but I don’t have all the others to compare. Its an easy album to just throw on and let play from start to finish. Great stuff.

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

  • A Thousand Pages
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1519
Re: Microscope: Fifth Dimension (The Byrds)
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 03:16:06 PM »

1. 5D (Fifth Dimension) - A typical Byrds folk song with that plodding shuffle. Harmonies are alright and the song is somewhat off beat which gives it some character. I like the sound of the bass, and the rest is done in a pretty sloppy manner which is a Byrds trademark in my opinion. An inoffensive opener.

2. Wild Mountain Thyme - Love the harmonies here. Hard to explain this song. I think it plays out as a slower version of ‘Turn Turn Turn’. Nice guitar tone as usual. Softer, comforting song.

3. Mr. Spaceman - One of the big hits. I love the rapping, folk sound. The band singing about psychedelic stuff, but in their folk style. Love the walking bass all over the song. Rhythm guitar is awesome. Good song.

4. I See You - One of my favorites off the record. Love the beat. Great harmonies and out of control guitar playing in spots. Whenever I hear this one, its branded in my brain for at least a couple days. Awesome song.

5. Whats Happening - Lol. I sing this to my wife all the time. “I don’t know who you think you are”. She hates it. The guitar makes this one. The background lead with its bending note is the staple. This song is what I like about the album. Its as if they want to go psychedelic, but the folk has to much of a hold on them. it’s a nice balance to me.

6. I Come And Stand At Every Door - A slow tune that just kind of  drags along. I always wish for some background harmonies earlier on when I hear this one. When they do come, its only one other singing and its not full enough. Its not an awful song, but its one of the weaker ones on the record.

7. Eight Miles High - Probably in my top 50 songs of all time. I’ll never forget watching Jim Keltner playing this one on the drums at a C,S,N&Y concert. Love the bass, drums (especially the ride) and the out of control guitar solo’s. Brilliant song.

8. Hey Joe(Where You Gonna Go) - What would an album be without this song on it. I like this version, but I also like the versions from Love, Hendrix, and the Leaves too. Its just a good song, and the Byrds keep it at a pretty quick pace.

9. Captain Soul - Good old fashioned, rock/blues 4/4 right here. Love the guitar and bass tones. Has some nice harmonica playing too. Great tune. Oh its an instrumental too.

10. John Riley - Another one of my favorites. It has some haunting vocals in my opinion. Nice straight ahead song, but has some great melodies. The bass is nice once again. I don’t know why, but I have always seriously dug the little drum fill at about the 2:03 mark. Love this song.

11. 2-4-2 Fox Trot The Lear Jet - The beginning always reminded me of the Tasmanian Devil on Looney Tunes. It keeps with the background noises and repeats itself throughout. It stays with the psych theme, but it’s a weak ending for a great album.


Sorry for the delay Hombre. I’ve been knee deep in work and time with our church and drum playing for awhile now. New sanctuary just opened so I should have some spare time now. As I’ve said before, this is my favorite from the band, but I don’t have all the others to compare. Its an easy album to just throw on and let play from start to finish. Great stuff.

Thanks for the review tkitna, great notes as usual. Just a brief note about "I Come And Stand And Every Door": I think it's one of those not very impressive tunes where the lyrics give a heavy improvement. Just listening to those words makes me admire the song.

P.S. Nice to know you're helping in your church. I'm also an active member in mine.
Logged
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
 

Page created in 1.043 seconds with 28 queries.