Friday, September 28, 2012

Rant #813: Another Day, Another Heartache

You might think that by that title, I was talking about myself personally, but I'm not.

As you know, I enjoy going through my record collection, and picking out songs I haven't heard in ages.

Well, here's another one of them.

This song by the 5th Dimension, "Another Day, Another Heartache"-- written by Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan--only made the top 50 on Billboard's Hot 100 charts after its debut in April 1967, but it was another step up the ladder for a group that would have many, many hits throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Sort of a black Mamas and Papas, the five-member act--led by Florence LaRue, Marilyn McCoo and her husband, Billy Davis--had the perfect sound for pop radio at the time--light, airy and full of harmony.

It was the antidote for a lot of the heavier sounds that were permeating rock and radio at the time.

Each member--including Lamont McLemore and Ron Townson--could have been a lead singer, but those duties were usually given to LaRue, McCoo and Davis.

They had many, many hits--including "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In," "Stone Soul Picnic," and "Last Night, I Couldn't Get To Sleep At All"--and their fame made them ubiquitous on television.

Not only did they appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show" numerous times, they also had their own specials.

They started out as part of the Versatiles, an aptly named group out of California which included later members of the successful Friends of Distinction, of "Grazing in the Grass" fame.

The single act split into two, and under the wing of Johnny Rivers, the 5th Dimension scaled great heights.

The two ladies in the group were former beauty contest winners, and television loved them.

But they had the talent to match--it wasn't just really good looks.

And this song was one of the first to bring them to the national stage.

It has always been one of my favorite 5th Dimension tunes. I guess I like the harmony, and the upbeat attitude that the song takes, even though the title might suggest otherwise.

And yes, that is my actual copy of the record, with the great picture sleeve intact.

This was released just before "Up Up and Away" catapulted them to international stardom, thus the picture sleeve is kind of appropriate.

Anyway, check it out if you haven't heard it already, or rediscover it again.

It is that good, even more than 40 years after its initial release.

Speak to you next week.

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