Floyd Butler, Harry Elston, Jessica Cleaves and Barbara Love formed the Friends of Distinction in 1968. Before this, Butler and Elston sang in the Hi-Fi's with Marilyn McCoo and Lamont McLemore, who would go on to co- found the Fifth Dimension. Butler and Elston wanted to form a similar modern soul/psych/softpop hybrid, but one that put somewhat more emphasis on their soul and jazz roots. Performing in the hip clubs of 1960s Hollywood, The Friends of Distinction were soon discovered by American football great Jim Brown, and were signed to RCA Records. Their first major hit, 'Grazin' in the Grass', was a radical vocal reworking of the hit by Hugh Masekela, the South Africa jazz master, with lyrics written by Elston. Released in June 1969, this gold record zoomed into the Top 5 on both the pop and soul charts in the US, peaking at #3. The Friends were very prolific between 1969 and 1971, releasing five albums, and enjoying numerous pop and soul hits like their former colleagues The Fifth Dimension, appealing to very much the same sophisticated audiences. Despite this, The Friends never enjoyed quite the same profile in the UK as The Fifth Dimension...making this the first ever serious release/reappraisal of their early (and best) material in Europe. Like the Fifth Dimension, The Friends Of Distinction were a logical projection of the crazy baroque ambition of California Softpop into the soul/jazz world, and like The Fifth Dimension, they were great!