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Review

Jessica Cleaves, Barbara Love, Harry Elston, and Floyd Butler were the Friends of Distinction, Southern California natives who sought to imitate the 5th Dimension's success. They shared similar lineups -- two women, two guys, each dressed differently with no overt attempts to coordinate. "Grazing in the Grass" made them known across America; lyrics were added to Hugh Masekela's clanging, cowbell-driven African tune, and it sold in droves, as radio stations played it, people liked it, and even jazz aficionados dug it. "Going in Circles" duplicated "Grazing"'s success and has been redone by R&B greats; the falsetto lead on the fade should be time-capsuled. Regardless of which female leads "I Really Hope You Do," the sweet, husky soprano will likely never fail to jump-start listeners' hearts; RCA mistakenly relegated it to B-side status. They take Eddie Floyd's "I Ain't Never Found a Girl" out of the country and into the city. Lennon and McCartney's "And I Love Him" is given a soulful, erotic reading by one of the Friends of Distinction women. Roy Porter's somber "Lonesome Mood" shows a desire to do jazzier selections. ~ Andrew Hamilton, Rovi

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