Gene Clark ‘No Other’

No_otherGene Clark was my favourite Byrd by a mile. Ace haircut and an ear for a super melody. However, his career was held back by his fear of flying, ensuring that he’d never get to tour the world properly, and inadvertantly cementing his place as cult hero.

His first solo outing with the Gosdin brothers is a countrified gem which definitely needs a listen, but the place to start is his ‘No Other’ long player.

‘Silver Raven’ is a cocaine fuelled folk zenith, complete with lapsteels and Clark’s voice in top form. The opener of the album, ‘Life’s Greatest Fool’ matches anything from Neil Young’s canon, complete with frailty in the voice, country groove and loose fitting rhythm section. Add to this the added bonus of deep south gospel in the chorus and you have a sure fire winner for the latter stages of summer’s BBQs.

The title track from the LP, ‘No Other’, is a prog/funk monster, which echoes the soul of The Stones, but remains something definately of a Byrd. It is puzzling to see that Stephen Stills got the plaudits, whilst Gene Clark was essentially left on the scrap heap. The tough troubador shimmy of ‘No Other’ could have graced Manassas– easily.

There is a late night feel about the album as a whole, and is wonderfully evocative of some free-in Hippie campfire. The only drawback of ‘No Other‘ is the terrible artwork. Seeing a mean-assed Clark on early Byrd LPs, with Beat haircut and sharp suit, to long flowing curly locks and silk loons, aint the prettiest of sights. In saying that, when did you ever judge the music by the sleeve? This is a folk/country/rock LP of epic proportions, so get onto it now before everyone else does.[Mof Gimmers]

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