Sunday, April 12, 2020

Gene Clark ‎– No Other / No Other Sessions (1974 us, brilliant folk country classic rock, 2019 hybrid SACD three disc box set)

Barely understood when it was released in 1974, No Other is Gene Clark’s most polarizing record but generally considered essential today.

Almost every song an epic, Clark’s songwriting was never up for debate, nor his genuinely poetic verses, but it’s Thomas Jefferson Kaye’s production that would weed out hordes of would-be fans. I contend the producer made only one mistake: the use of “power gospel” backing vocals on every track is probably what turns most people off to No Other. Strike the voices and this record would be hailed as a mid-70s masterpiece for Clark’s efforts as much as its lush, candied orchestration.

The record starts off without skipping a beat from the Clark oeuvre; “Life’s Greatest Fool” sounds like a natural step forward from his earlier country rock. The supporting musicians are perfectly in tune with the vision; I want to dig in deeper with the sound every listen, so I hardly consider it overcooked. One tune does embody Gene’s new super-glam image in sound, where you can “hear the cocaine” churning the record: the sinister title track, “No Other,” is slathered with sleazy synth lines and electric guitars. Whether for camp or pure songcraft it’s an irresistable jam and centerpiece of the record.

All of the numbers possess the signature Gene Clark sound. Say when he waits for “Strength Of Strings” to reach full crescendo before sinking into his minor-tinged verse with that untouchable heartworn vocal. Clark is one of the world’s greatest songwriters, his skill in transforming traditional progressions to his unique brand of song unmatched.

Give this record the right chance and you’ll reach the point where you appreciate every overdone detail, down to the gorgeous sleeve and awesomely hideous poster of Gene decked in flowing garments, beads, and makeup in front of an airbrushed Gene Clark monument. I only have the record, but the CD resissue is reportedly worth it for the alternative versions and “Train Leaves Here This Morning,” a retake from the Expedition.
by Brendan McGrath
Disc 1
1. Life's Greatest Fool 4:44
2. Silver Raven 4:53
3. No Other 5:08
4. Strength Of Strings 6:32
5. From A Silver Phial - 3:40
6. Some Misunderstanding - 8:09
7. The True One - 3:59
8. Lady Of The North (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) - 6:04
All songs by Gene Clark except track #8
Disc 2
1. From A Silver Phial (Version 4) - 3:51
2. Silver Raven (Version 2) - 6:35
3. Some Misunderstanding (Version 3) - 5:20
4. Life's Greatest Fool (Version 2) - 4:27
5. Train Leaves Here This Morning (Version 2) (Bernie Leadon) - 5:02
6. Lady Of The North (Version 2) (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) - 5:45
7. The True One (Version 2) - 4:18
8. Strength Of Strings (Version 2) - 6:29
9. No Other (Version 2) - 5:40
All songs by Gene Clark except where noted
Disc 3
1. From A Silver Phial (Version 1) - 4:08
2. Life's Greatest Fool (Version 1) - 4:10
3. No Other (Version 1) - 5:15
4. Lady Of The North (Version 1) (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) - 5:54
5. Some Misunderstanding (Version 1) - 5:12
6. Silver Raven (Version 1) - 5:00
7. Train Leaves Here This Morning (Version 1) (Bernie Leadon) - 5:46
8. The True One (Version 1) - 4:42
9. Strength Of Strings (Version 1) - 6:23
10.Life's Greatest Fool (1974 Single Version) - 3:10
11.Silver Raven (1974 Single Edit) - 3:21
All songs by Gene Clark except where stated

*Gene Clark - Lead Vocals, Guitar
*Jerry Mcgee - Guitar
*Jesse Ed Davis - Guitar
*Buzz Feiten - Guitar
*Stephen Bruton - Guitar
*Danny Kortchmar - Guitar
*Ben Keith - Pedal Steel Guitar
*Leland Sklar - Bass
*Chris Hillman - Mandolin
*Michael Utley - Keyboards
*Craig Doerge - Keyboards
*Bill Cuomo - Rheem Organ
*Russ Kunkel - Drums
*Butch Trucks - Drums
*Joe Lala - Percussion
*Ted Machell - Cello
*Richard Greene - Violin
*Ronnie Barron - Background Vocals
*Cindy Bullens - Background Vocals
*Venetta Fields - Background Vocals
*Clydie King - Background Vocals
*Claudia Lennear - Background Vocals
*Sherlie Matthews - Background Vocals
*Timothy B. Schmit - Background Vocals
*Carlena Williams - Background Vocals

1964-90  Gene Clark - Flying High
1964-82  Gene Clark ‎- The Lost Studio Sessions (2016 audiophile double Vinyl set) 
1967  Gene Clark - Echoes
1967  Gene Clark - Sings For You (2018 digipak with unreleased material)
1968-69  Dillard And Clark - Fantastic Expedition / Through The Morning, Through The Night
1971  Gene Clark - White Light
1972  Gene Clark - Roadmaster  (2011 Edition)
Related Acts
1979  McGuinn, Clark And Hillman (2014 Japan SHM Remaster)
1964  The Byrds - Preflyte (2012 Edition)
1973  Byrds - Byrds (2004 issue)
1967-68  The Rose Garden - A Trip Through The Garden (2018 bonus tracks remaster)

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