The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Do talk back
User avatar
Balboa
Posts: 17579
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 13:31

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Balboa » 08 Nov 2011, 21:31

Oh and Van Dyke Parks gets a liner mention. And where is the 'Spanish Trading Center'?

And I am struck by the fact I know little or nothing about producer Allen Stanton. Weird - it is only now that I have the record in my hands that I notice his name jumping out at me.

Bottom Right Picture - looks like Clarke leaning on something (the same white T-shirt as in the shot of him doing tambourine [it is a tambourine, right] overdubs bottom centre).

I love the top 3 pictures - all leaning on their hands.

Is Crosby giving the middle finger to the camera bottom left?

Matt - the Sundazed vinyl reissues were all mono. I wonder why they never put them out on CD.
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 47208
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Quaco » 08 Nov 2011, 21:32

Matt Wilson wrote:You say it's patchy, but I think it's more consistent than Turn! Turn! Turn!

Well, it seems to be made of stuff other that straight-written songs. It has "Eight Miles High", "I See You", "5D", and "Mr. Spaceman" that to me really count as real songs. Everything else is something that sounds dashed off or is instrumental or is a cover. Nuts and bolts songwriting was never something they did a lot of, and with Gene Clark's departure, they lost the only guy who seemed to enjoy it.

Turn! Turn! Turn! also has a number of covers and things, but everything on that album is a song, rather than an experiment. That's sort of what I mean by it seeming patchy. It's like when Syd Barrett was no longer in the Floyd and they started "writing" (in quotes) things like "Crying Song" and "Spanish Piece", stuff that basically took five minutes to fulfill the quota. (More is another great patchy album.)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 30038
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Nov 2011, 21:33

Quaco wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:It's a classic, like all of their '65-'68 albums are.

It is indeed -- and yet saying that sort of sounds like it's similar to the others, and in a way I don't think it is. It's a lot more patchy than YTY or Notorious. It's not an album that screams "classic", and I wouldn't want to belittle it by just throwing it in a pile with all their classic albums (not that that was what you were doing).


Well, I do think it's similar though. It's a transitional album between the 1965 Gene Clark-era Byrds and the 1967 country/psych of Younger Than Yesterday. Very much a part of the classic (there's that word again) first six LPs.

User avatar
Goat Boy
Bogarting the joint
Posts: 32974
Joined: 20 Mar 2007, 12:11
Location: In the perfumed garden

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Goat Boy » 08 Nov 2011, 21:33

It's a shame I Know My Rider isn't on there mind. If you take out Hey Joe, stick Rider on there and fiddle about a bit it's a lot more consistent.

John Riley is Godhead.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:a right wing cretin like Berger....bleating about racism

Bungo the Mungo

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 08 Nov 2011, 21:35

Goat Boy wrote:It's a shame I Know My Rider isn't on there mind. If you take out Hey Joe, stick Rider on there and fiddle about a bit it's a lot more consistent.



'Psychodrama City', too.

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 30038
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Nov 2011, 21:37

Quaco wrote:
Matt Wilson wrote:You say it's patchy, but I think it's more consistent than Turn! Turn! Turn!

Well, it seems to be made of stuff other that straight-written songs. It has "Eight Miles High", "I See You", "5D", and "Mr. Spaceman" that to me really count as real songs. Everything else is something that sounds dashed off or is instrumental or is a cover. Nuts and bolts songwriting was never something they did a lot of, and with Gene Clark's departure, they lost the only guy who seemed to enjoy it.

Turn! Turn! Turn! also has a number of covers and things, but everything on that album is a song, rather than an experiment. That's sort of what I mean by it seeming patchy. It's like when Syd Barrett was no longer in the Floyd and they started "writing" (in quotes) things like "Crying Song" and "Spanish Piece", stuff that basically took five minutes to fulfill the quota. (More is another great patchy album.)


Yeah, but More wasn't supposed to have too many real songs anyway as the Floyd complained about music they created only being used for a few seconds onscreen. They weren't trying to deliver an album of songs for that project that I'm aware of.

When I say TTT is more patchy I mean the songs aren't all that good, at least not on side two. The experimental stuff on 5D is pretty interesting, so it doesn't bother me.

User avatar
Goat Boy
Bogarting the joint
Posts: 32974
Joined: 20 Mar 2007, 12:11
Location: In the perfumed garden

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Goat Boy » 08 Nov 2011, 21:38

Aye, use that one instead of Captain Soul and it's nearly perfect.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:a right wing cretin like Berger....bleating about racism

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 30038
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Nov 2011, 21:40

Goat Boy wrote:Aye, use that one instead of Captain Soul and it's nearly perfect.


Excellent points re what they put on and what they left off. All of the first five albums had better songs left off of the LPs than some of the ones put on.

User avatar
Charlie O.
Posts: 40543
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Charlie O. » 08 Nov 2011, 21:43

Balboa wrote:And I am struck by the fact I know little or nothing about producer Allen Stanton. Weird - it is only now that I have the record in my hands that I notice his name jumping out at me.

He was a Vice President at Columbia Records. It is strange that they would wind up with him producing them after they "fired" Terry Melcher. Maybe he was a fan and wanted the gig. Or maybe somebody at Columbia thought that they'd better keep a close watch on these troublemakers. I don't think I've ever seen a Stanton production credit on anything else (though that doesn't mean he didn't do anything else).
Image

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 47208
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Quaco » 08 Nov 2011, 21:48

Regarding "Rider" and "Psychodrama City" ... see, you guys are starting to mess with it. I'm not sure putting better songs on it would make it a better album.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Charlie O.
Posts: 40543
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Charlie O. » 08 Nov 2011, 21:51

Here's Ritchie Unterberger's bio of Stanton from the AllMusic site:

A rather mysterious figure in Byrds annals, Stanton is known by rock fans almost solely for producing the group's third album, Fifth Dimension, in 1966. Stanton was West Coast Vice President at Columbia when Terry Melcher, who had produced the Byrds' first two albums, was eased out of his position with the band. Fifth Dimension was an erratic but intermittently brilliant album, as the Byrds maintained a folk-rock base while branching into psychedelic music, particularly on the classic "Eight Miles High." Thus it would be difficult to say that Stanton failed at his task, although there have been little specific comments about his role and contribution, even in Johnny Rogan's massive Byrds biography The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited: The Sequel (although it was noted that he suggested the strings used on "Wild Mountain Thyme"). McGuinn did go on record as finding Stanton's manner too officious, while Crosby complained that he would interrupt the band in the middle of takes to take breaks.

Stanton moved to A&M shortly after the Fifth Dimension sessions, and produced no work of comparable importance otherwise, although he did have production credits on discs by pop-rock acts Ruby & the Romantics and Johnny Cymbal.


He actually has a fair number of credits at AllMusic, but The Byrds are the only rock name there (except that he apparently did something - I don't know what - that was included on The Association's Just The Right Sound anthology); otherwise he produced Doris Day, Tony Bennett, Percy Faith, The New Christy Minstrels, and so on...
Image

User avatar
Guy E
Posts: 13301
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 23:11
Location: Antalya, Turkey

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Guy E » 08 Nov 2011, 21:52

I'll never forget the first time I saw the album in the rack at my local Five & Dime. My heart sank... where's Gene Clark? I convinced myself that he had missed the photo shoot due to illness, just like Al Jardine had missed the cover shot for Summer Days (And Summer Nights). Alas, my theory proved incorrect.

It took me several weeks to rake the money together for purchase. I've always loved the album and the variety is great, but Side Two is undeniably weak and it felt that way from day one. I've been editing and fleshing it out since the Never Before album appeared... CD bonus tracks make it all so much easier.

The Byrds version of Hey Joe is crap. If Crosby is really responsible for transforming the song into a rock band staple The Byrds should have recorded it for their debut album. As far as I was concerned they were covering a Leaves hit (and rather badly at that). So drop Hey Joe, add I Know My Ryder and Why? and you have a truly great long-player. But frankly, Eight Miles High and the title track are stellar enough to insure the album's 'classic' status.
["Minnie the Stalker"]The first time that we met I knew I was going to make him mine.

User avatar
Charlie O.
Posts: 40543
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Charlie O. » 08 Nov 2011, 21:53

Quaco wrote:Regarding "Rider" and "Psychodrama City" ... see, you guys are starting to mess with it. I'm not sure putting better songs on it would make it a better album.

Matt and I had this argument re: The Clash's first album.

In this case, though, I'd tend to agree with him - if only to get rid of "Hey Joe"!
Image

User avatar
Matt Wilson
Psychedelic Cowpunk
Posts: 30038
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 20:18
Location: Edge of a continent

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Matt Wilson » 08 Nov 2011, 21:54

Guy E wrote:I'll never forget the first time I saw the album in the rack at my local Five & Dime. My heart sank... where's Gene Clark? I convinced myself that he had missed the photo shoot due to illness, just like Al Jardine had missed the cover shot for Summer Days (And Summer Nights). Alas, my theory proved incorrect.

It took me several weeks to rake the money together for purchase. I've always loved the album and the variety is great, but Side Two is undeniably weak and it felt that way from day one. I've been editing and fleshing it out since the Never Before album appeared... CD bonus tracks make it all so much easier.

The Byrds version of Hey Joe is crap. If Crosby is really responsible for transforming the song into a rock band staple The Byrds should have recorded it for their debut album. As far as I was concerned they were covering a Leaves hit (and rather badly at that). So drop Hey Joe, add I Know My Ryder and Why? and you have a truly great long-player. But frankly, Eight Miles High and the title track are stellar enough to insure the album's 'classic' status.


As I'm always pointing out to you, substitute some song titles and you could just as easily be describing Turn! Turn! Turn!

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 47208
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Quaco » 08 Nov 2011, 22:07

Charlie O. wrote:
Quaco wrote:Regarding "Rider" and "Psychodrama City" ... see, you guys are starting to mess with it. I'm not sure putting better songs on it would make it a better album.

Matt and I had this argument re: The Clash's first album.

In this case, though, I'd tend to agree with him - if only to get rid of "Hey Joe"!

But "Hey Joe" has that brilliant moment when Crosby says "ah hey Joe" and sounds vaguely Chinese in the process!

It is crap, but "I Know My Rider" isn't great either. "Why" is great, but, um, it's kind of spoken for.

(And I far prefer the YTY version anyway.)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Guy E
Posts: 13301
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 23:11
Location: Antalya, Turkey

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Guy E » 08 Nov 2011, 22:12

Matt Wilson wrote:As I'm always pointing out to you, substitute some song titles and you could just as easily be describing Turn! Turn! Turn!

Oh sure, it could have definitely been improved. Oh! Susannah is the only true throw-away on Turn! Turn! Turn! But She Don't Care About Time is a stellar non-LP B-Side and The Day Walk (Never Before) is the finest outtake in Byrds history. So yeah... I've tinkered with that one too.
["Minnie the Stalker"]The first time that we met I knew I was going to make him mine.

User avatar
Balboa
Posts: 17579
Joined: 17 Jul 2003, 13:31

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Balboa » 08 Nov 2011, 22:19

Charlie, thanks for the info on Stanton. I quite like the idea of Columbia putting him in there to oversee this band of misfits!

It's interesting to hear Guy's reaction to the album - no Gene Clark! When I first started getting into The Byrds in the early 90s, it was the post Clark albums that were the ones to have. If you didn't know the history of the band, 'YTY' and 'NBB' were the place to start - and McGuinn seemed to be the obvious leader of the band (that guitar sound), and more seemed to be made of Crosby's departure during 'NBB' (and the horse!). Gene Clark was this cult figure who was much harder to get info on. To imagine a time when he was seen as the driving force behind the band, or the main songwriter was almost a myth that was created afterwards, so it is great to hear a real reaction to him leaving (rather than a journalistic rewriting of it).

And I like 'Hey Joe', but then I am a big Crosby fan.
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

User avatar
Charlie O.
Posts: 40543
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Charlie O. » 08 Nov 2011, 22:30

Quaco wrote:...but "I Know My Rider" isn't great either.

Oh, I think it's pretty damned great! I don't know that it would have been an album highlight, but it sure wouldn't have been a letdown.

And "Psychodrama City", though not one of my favorite songs, would have fit in well with the overall weird vibe of the album I think. It would be a good "Side 2" song.
Image

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 47208
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Quaco » 08 Nov 2011, 22:31

Charlie O. wrote:
Quaco wrote:...but "I Know My Rider" isn't great either.

Oh, I think it's pretty damned great! I don't know that it would have been an album highlight, but it sure wouldn't have been a letdown.

And "Psychodrama City", though not one of my favorite songs, would have fit in well with the overall weird vibe of the album I think. It would be a good "Side 2" song.

I agree with "Psychodrama City", but it's a bit less annoying than "Captain Soul", which is a bit of a mark against it.:)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Charlie O.
Posts: 40543
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: The Byrds - FIFTH DIMENSION - a strange album?

Postby Charlie O. » 08 Nov 2011, 22:35

Quaco wrote:I agree with "Psychodrama City", but it's a bit less annoying than "Captain Soul", which is a bit of a mark against it.:)

Oh, I'd've made room for both, sure! :)
Image