Gene Clark - No Other (1974)

Gene Clark was an American singer-songwriter, best remembered as a founding member of The Byrds.

Since his last album in early 1973, Clark had briefly reunited with all the original members of The Byrds for one album. It was generally seen as a disappointment, but Clark's songwriting contributions were considered the high points. Based on this, David Geffen signed him to his Asylum Records label, which was home to all the hip singer-songwriters of the day. Things looked set to be looking up for him, with perhaps some true recognition and success around the corner.
He retired to Mendocino, and began writing material for his new album. He began recording in the spring of 1974, with Thomas Jefferson Kaye producing, and utilising the cream of L.A. session players - guitarist Danny Kortchmar, keyboard player Craig Doerge, bassist Lee Sklar and drummer Russ Kunkel (the four of them known as the session supergroup The Section), and many others (including guitarists Stephen Bruton and Jesse Ed Davis, and Allman Brothers Band drummer Butch Trucks). The recording costs reportedly rose to over $100,000, which greatly worried Geffen. In the end, Clark presented him with an album of eight finished songs. Coming from a still relatively obscure artist who hadn't seen success since his original tenure with The Byrds around ten years ago, lacking in radio-friendly hit material, and with huge recording costs, it made Geffen begin to see Clark as perhaps not the wisest of investments.
No Other came out in late '74, and only reached a disappointing #144 (perhaps because the label seemingly failed to promote it). Though at the heart of it was the same sorrowful balladry Clark had been building his career on for almost ten years, the songs were dressed differently. Rather than the rootsy country-folk sounds of White Light and Roadmaster, No Other had a lush, richly orchestrated style, with synthesizers and hosts of backing singers. This sound has often been criticized as being overproduced and indulgent... not that it sounds bad, but perhaps it just didn't suit Clark. Nevertheless, the album contained some fantastic songs, including what has got to be one of his best, "Silver Raven". Clark himself has often referred to the album as his masterpiece, and expressed disappointment at its lack of commercial success. He followed its release with his first solo tour. At the same time, living in L.A., he reverted to a hedonistic lifestyle and subsequently his marriage disintegrated.

ter (1972) <|> Two Sides To Every Story (1977)
More from Gene Clark



Anonymous said...

An amazing album. There is a version of "some misunderstanding" sung by a British band called the Soulsavers with an American singer, Mark Lanegan of the Screaming Trees, that is very good. It's harder rocking but still soulful and haunting in my opinion.

Doug said...

Thanks for this.Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...


Supersonic75 said...

Classic. Thanks so much!