This record did contain the small hits "Paper Cup" and "Carpet Man," but the group, or more likely arranger/conductor Jim Webb, was probably shooting for something a bit higher than the Top 40.
As the title implies, Individually & Collectively (1972) contains both ensemble as well as solo efforts from the 5th Dimension's Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson, Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, and Florence LaRue. However, this was certainly not the first time that the combo had ventured away from lush five-part harmonies in favor of spotlighting the members' specific talents.
Captured in the act here are Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson, Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, and Florence LaRue during an early-'70s stint on the Vegas Strip, in the main room of Caesar's Palace. The performance offers an adequate sampling of the 5D's classics and concurrent pop songs that attendees would likely be familiar with.
The subtitle on this anthology is correct: this is truly the definitive collection of the 5th Dimension's music, including all the hits and most of the album cuts that anyone could want. The 20-bit digital mastering provides a crisp, bright audio experience, and the joyous harmonies bring back the positive side of the late-'60s/early-'70s era in which the songs were recorded. The megahits are all here.
The purveyors of the past at Collectors' Choice Music deserve major props for their top-shelf restoration of the 5th Dimension's Soul City and Bell Records catalogs. Contained on this CD are the vocal quintet's fifth and six studio titles, 1970's Portrait and 1971's Love's Lines, Angles and Rhymes. These projects find the 5D boasting the considerable talents of Lamonte McLemore, Ron Townson, Billy Davis, Jr., Marilyn McCoo, and Florence Larue at the peak of their prowess, building upon a streak of pop hits that had already yielded such timeless entries as "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Wedding Bell Blues," and the definitive '60s anthem "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)."