Thursday, September 4, 2014

no other

Gene Clark charted the tide of life in changing rivers and tasted his most bitter disappointment with the ambitious folk experiments of this misunderstood mystical masterpiece.  Clark's greatest success had come in the early years of The Byrds.  His first solo album on Colombia Records 'Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers' was overshadowed by the simultaneous release of The Byrds' 'Younger Than Yesterday' and got lost in the shuffle.  He moved to A&M and released two albums with banjo player Doug Dillard ('The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard &  Clark' and 'Through the Morning Through the Night') before putting out his sophomore solo album 'White Light' (often referred to as 'Gene Clark').  Production on his next album was halted due to extended studio costs and A&M compiled tracks from those sessions with songs recorded with The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers as 'Roadmaster'.   Clark left A&M to come full circle with the eponymous reunion of the original lineup of The Byrds in 1973.   When that album also failed to make waves, Clark retreated to his home in Mendocino and spent a year composing songs for a new album tentatively titled 'Analyzing the Material':   “The whole album was written when I had a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Northern California. I would just sit in the living room, which had a huge bay window, and stare at the ocean for hours at a time. I would have a pen and paper there, and a guitar or piano, and pretty soon a thought would come and I'd write it down or put it on tape. In most instances, after a day of meditation looking at something which is a very natural force, I'd come up with something.”

Clark signed a deal with Asylum Records and went to work with producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye  at The Village Recorder in West Los Angeles with a revolving cast of characters.  'No Other' features Gene Clark on guitar and vocals;   Chris Hillman on mandolin;  Jesse Ed Davis, Stephen Bruton, Howard "Buzz" Feiten, Danny Kortchmar, and Jerry McGee on guitar;  Bill Cuomo on organ;  Craig Doerge and Michael Utley on keyboards;  Russ Kunkel and Butch Trucks on drums;  Joe Lala on percussion;  Ted Machell on cello;  Lee Sklar on bass;  Richard Greene and Beryl Marriott on violin;  and background vocals by  Sherlie Matthews, Cindy Bullens, Ronnie Barron, Clydie King, Claudia Lennear, Venetta Fields, Timothy B. Schmit, and Carlena Williams.  The recording costs rose beyond one hundred thousand dollars and Asylum was unable or unwilling to put any more into promotion.  'No Other' peaked at number one hundred and forty-four on the US album chart. 

Clark would reveal:   "I explain to a lot of people that 'No Other' is not the complete 'No Other' album on that record. It was originally a thirteen-track album, but we weren't able to do a double-record and so the rest of the songs were left unfinished. Because of the length of the cuts we couldn't include them. 'No Other' I really consider is a great album myself, I'm very proud of it. But I was very disappointed and let down after its release that it didn't go any further than it did - and I don't even know all the reasons... It was a transitional album; it was a definite statement and a hard album to record. Not hard in a painful sense but hard in a sense of being so different to the musicians who recorded it. It took them a while to adjust to the approach Tommy and I were taking. We recorded the "No Other" track itself for a week before we got a take - we kept recording and the musicians were going crazy. Finally, the night we recorded it we called up Joe Lala and he came down, listened to it a few times, said (imitates accent) 'I've got it!' and - wow - we cut it! It was just that added percussive feeling that had been missing all along that we needed to bring it all together. He and Butch (Trucks) really got together on that one."

'No Other'
full album:

Side one
1. "Life's Greatest Fool"   4:44
2. "Silver Raven"   4:53
3. "No Other"   5:08
4. "Strength of Strings"  6:31
Side two
1. "From a Silver Phial"   3:40
2. "Some Misunderstanding"   8:09
3. "The True One"   3:58
4. "Lady of the North"   (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) 6:04

bonus tracks
9. "Train Leaves Here This Morning"   (Gene Clark, Bernie Leadon) 4:59
10. "Life's Greatest Fool (alternate)"  4:16
11. "Silver Raven (alternate)" 3:06
12. "No Other (alternate)"   5:35
13. "From a Silver Phial (alternate)"  3:42
14. "Some Misunderstanding (alternate)"   5:17
15. "Lady of the North (alternate)" (Gene Clark, Doug Dillard) 5:54


  1. Nice overview on Gene's masterwork No Other. Please consider linking to the new updated website at Thank you!

  2. Got to wonder what the intended extra five tracks were given that the CD re-issue were alternate takes of tracks we know . What was the 13 song track listing . Is that lost in the mists of time like so much to do with Gene ?