Portrait (The 5th Dimension album)

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Portrait
The 5th Dimension - Portrait.jpg
Studio album by The 5th Dimension
Released April 1970
Recorded August 22, 1969-March 20, 1970
Genre R&B, pop, soul, sunshine pop, psychedelic soul
Length 38:25
Label Bell
Producer Bones Howe
The 5th Dimension chronology
Greatest Hits
(1970)
Portrait
(1970)
The July 5th Album
(1970)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]

Portrait is the fifth album by American pop group The 5th Dimension, released in 1970 (see 1970 in music). This is the group's first album for Bell Records, having switched from the Soul City Records (American label). The cover features an impressionistic portrait by famous artist LeRoy Neiman.

The album languished in the mid-60's on the Billboard Top 200 Album Charts after the release of its first three singles, none of which entered the Top 20 of the American pop music charts. Bell Records, hoping to see a return on the investment they made by signing The 5th Dimension after the group's contract at Soul City Records ended, made a fourth and final attempt at a hit - a relatively uncommon practice at the time - with the release of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "One Less Bell to Answer". The single rose all the way to #2 by Christmas 1970, becoming one of the group's greatest hits of all time. As a result, Portrait began climbing the charts once again, eventually peaking at #20. The single features Marilyn McCoo on lead vocal, and ushers in The 5th Dimension's transition from pop to adult contemporary artists. McCoo from this point becomes the primary vocalist for the group's subsequent chart hits, including "Last Night (I Didn't Get to Sleep at All)", "Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes", "If I Could Reach You", "House for Sale", "Everything's Been Changed" and "Flashback". This becomes a source of friction for the group as time goes on, and is in part responsible for McCoo and husband Billy Davis, Jr. leaving the group after the release of Earthbound in 1975.

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Track listing[edit]

  1. "Puppet Man" (Howard Greenfield, Neil Sedaka) – 3:00
  2. "One Less Bell to Answer" (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) – 3:31
  3. "Feelin' Alright" (Dave Mason) – 4:28
  4. "This Is Your Life" (Jimmy Webb) – 4:13
  5. "A Love Like Ours" (Bob Alcivar, Lamonte McLemore) – 2:39
  6. "Save the Country" (Laura Nyro) – 2:39
  7. "Medley" – 10:12
  8. "Dimension 5ive" (Bob Alcivar) – 4:15
  9. "On the Beach (In the Summertime)" [*] (McNeil) – 3:28

*bonus track on CD

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel

Production[edit]

As mentioned on the liner notes of the album, this was one of the first albums to be recorded on a 16-track recorder, and was recorded at the Wally Heider Studios in Hollywood. The sketches of the vocal recording sessions included in the album cover art are dated January 13 and January 14, 1970.[2]

  • Producer: Bones Howe
  • Engineer: Bones Howe
  • Mastering: Elliot Federman
  • Digital transfers: Mike Hartry
  • Reissue producer: Rob Santos
  • Production coordination: Jeremy Holiday
  • Production assistant: Bones Howe, Ann McClelland, Tom Tierney, Russ Wapensky
  • Product manager: Mandana Eidgah
  • Project coordinator: Arlessa Barnes, Glenn Delgado, Christina DeSimone, Karyn Friedland, Felicia Gearhart, Laura Gregory, Robin Manning, Brooke Nochomson, Ed Osborne, Larry Parra, Dana Renert, Bill Stafford, Steve Strauss
  • Archivist: Joanne Feltman, Glenn Korman
  • Research: Joel Whitburn
  • Assistants: Larry Cox, Johnny Golden, Rik Pekkonen
  • Arranger: Bob Alcivar, Bill Hollman, Bones Howe
  • Art direction: Beverly Weinstein
  • Reissue art director: Mathieu Bitton
  • Design: Mathieu Bitton
  • Cover painting: LeRoy Neiman
  • Liner notes: Mike Ragogna

Charts[edit]

Album - Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1971 Black Albums 6
1971 Pop Albums 20

Singles - Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1970 "The Declaration" Pop Singles 60
1970 "On the Beach (In the Summertime)" Pop Singles 54
1970 "Puppet Man" Pop Singles 24
1970 "Save the Country" Black Singles 41
1970 "Save the Country" Pop Singles 27
1970 "One Less Bell To Answer" Pop Singles 2

NOTE: "On the beach" does not appear on the original issue of Portrait, although released as a single in 1970. It appears as a bonus track on the CD reissue of Portrait.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Album Cover