Dateline 5/27: It’s a Champagne Soul Celebration!
Yes, it’s the formal release date of “Playlist: The Very Best of The 5th Dimension” on Sony Legacy CD’s. And here’s the scoop. This project is a labor of love from the stars of The original 5th Dimension–Marilyn & Billy, Florence and Lamonte–and myself, we all compiled the 14 songs that fit the “Playlist prototype” and we decided to make this package hit-driven. Why? Because there needs to be a fresh product readily available in stores as well as on the net, for the thousands of dedicated fans and the many new young ones who are now discovering “The 5th” via YouTube, etc. The classic “Champagne Soul” hits you love have been re-mastered by the Sony pros in a superlative manner, it’s as if our beloved 5 are in the room with you! You’ve never heard “California Soul,” “Stoned Soul Picnic,” “Save the Country” and many more sound so “layered, direct and present!” Furthermore, I got to sequence the songs, they unfold luxuriously and joyfully. I also penned some nifty liners, and Marilyn, Billy, Florence, LaMonte and Ron (to whom we dedicate the project) get well-deserved homage from Neil “Puppet Man” Sedaka, Valerie “California Soul” Simpson, Dick “Never My Love” Addrisi, Felix “People Gotta Be Free” Cavaliere, and Bill Cosby plus producer extraordinaire Bones Howe is illustrious in the comments he shares.
Lastly, in keeping the “spice it up with rarities” vibe of Playlist’s “mission statement,” I was sure to bring you some extra goodies: the radio release, Stereo intermediate length of “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” has not been heard in over 40 years (it only appeared on the original “Greatest Hits” album) and it dazzles; as well, the Mono singles of “Never My Love” with the “edit to Marilyn’s high note” and extra applause, plus the B side Mono single of the astounding “A Change is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free” take their bows amid the celebration. Mr. Bones did something extra special to radio and single mixes to make them “pop” and you’ll get that thrilling feeling with these 3 without the “snap and crackle” of our bygone 45’s. Oh, don’t worry, there are other CD projects in the air, and more to come, and that’s when some from-the-vaults “stuff” will emerge. Right now, please support this very reasonably priced package, the pretty artwork and photos alone are worth it being in your collection, but seriously, this one is a jewel in The 5th’s crown.
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Biographer–The original 5th Dimension
Back Cover Description & Song List:
Think The 5th Dimension and a kaleidoscope of hiply elegant sounds and images so readily dance in the mind’s eye, that we still breathe a collective sigh of unadulterated joy. Their uniquely eclectic brand of “Champagne Soul” garnered chart-toppers galore as Marilyn McCoo, Billy Davis, Jr., Florence LaRue, LaMonte McLemore and Ron Townson united people with their uplifting, harmonious sound during the turbulent times of the late 60’s-early 70’s. With timeless hits and love songs, this Playlist is a celebration of a multi-Grammy award-winning quintet, that stands in a class by itself. –Robert-Allan Arno
Up-Up and Away
Stoned Soul Picnic
Save the Country
Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (Radio release, intermediate length, Stereo )
Wedding Bell Blues
One Less Bell to Answer
The Worst that Could Happen
(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All
A Change is Gonna Come/People Gotta Be Free (Single release, Mono)
Never My Love (Single release, Mono)
“Playlist: The Very Best of The 5th Dimension” is now available at Amazon, Walmart (on-line and in-store) and CD Universe.