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Folk/Americana - Released June 15, 2018 | Omnivore Recordings

As a member of the early Byrds lineup and as a solo artist who released a handful of brilliant albums, singer/songwriter Gene Clark had a hand in some of the most melodically rich, emotionally tender music of the '60s and early '70s. After his 1967 album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, didn't sell, Clark found himself without a label. Later that year, he went into the studio with a few of the hundreds of songs he had written and cut a demo that bridged the gap between folk-rock, country-rock, and stoic psychedelic pop. The songs were pressed as an acetate titled Gene Clark Sings for You and sent around as a demo to labels, as well as other artists. This collection is the first time the eight songs have ever been made commercially available, and it's a treat to hear a small slice of Gene's prolific efforts. He's backed by a small, sympathetic group that treats his songs with care, while Clark brings them to life with his aching, heartfelt vocals. The songs he cut at the time found Clark in an introspective mood, seeking love in poetic words and mostly simple melodies, though a couple songs were less structured, like the mournfully meandering "Down on the Pier." A couple could have been Clark classics if done properly, the Chamberlin-driven lament "That's Alright by Me" and the chiming folk-rocker "On Her Own" being chief among them. By the time he went back into a studio to make an album in 1968, he had a new batch of songs ready to go, and none of the tracks from Gene Clark Sings for You ever made it onto a Gene Clark album proper. Around the same time he cut Sings for You, Clark became friendly with a band of young guys, later known as the Rose Garden, who were crack hands at covering Byrds tunes, and he handed over a five-song demo of songs he recorded in 1966. They selected the minor-key ballad "A Long Time" to cover; the rest of the songs languished in the vaults. One of the members of the band held onto a copy of the acetate and Omnivore had a second ultra-rare find on their hands. The first three songs are solo acoustic ballads, with Clark in fine voice as always. The last two tracks are electric, one of them a grinding blues-rocker ("Big City Girl"), one of them a chiming slice of folk-rock melancholy ("Doctor Doctor") that the Rose Garden were fools to pass up. As a treat, Omnivore also added a demo recording of Clark's song "Till Today," which also made it onto the Rose Garden's lone album. That the two rare acetates survived this long and sound as good as they do is nothing short of amazing. Omnivore has done Gene Clark fans a great service by releasing this collection, and it gives them a candid behind-the-scenes glimpse at one of the great songwriters and vocalists of his time. ~ Tim Sendra

Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Gene Clark's 1971 platter, with its stark black cover featuring his silhouette illuminated by the sun, was dubbed White Light -- though the words never appear on the cover -- and if ever a title fit a record, it's this one. Over its nine original tracks, it has established itself as one of the greatest singer/songwriter albums ever made. After leaving the Byrds in 1966, recording with the Gosdin Brothers, and breaking up the Dillard & Clark group that was a pioneering country-rock outfit, Clark took time to hone his songwriting to its barest essentials. The focus on these tracks is intense, they are taut and reflect his growing obsession with country music. Produced by the late guitarist Jesse Ed Davis (who also worked with Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, Link Wray, and poet John Trudell, among others), Clark took his songs to his new label with confidence and they supported him. The band is comprised of Flying Burrito Brothers' bassist Chris Ethridge, the then-Steve Miller Band-pianist (and future jazz great) Ben Sidran, organist Michael Utley, and drummer Gary Mallaber. Clark's writing, as evidenced on "The Virgin," the title cut, "For a Spanish Guitar," "One in a Hundred," and "With Tomorrow," reveals a stark kind of simplicity in his lines. Using melodies mutated out of country, and revealing that he was the original poet and architect of the Byrds' sound on White Light, Clark created a wide open set of tracks that are at once full of space, a rugged gentility, and are harrowingly intimate in places. His reading of Bob Dylan's "Tears of Rage," towards the end of the record rivals, if not eclipses, the Band's. Less wrecked and ravaged, Clark's song is more a bewildered tome of resignation to a present and future in the abyss. Now this is classic rock. ~ Thom Jurek

Folk/Americana - Released September 10, 1991 | Legacy - Columbia


Pop - Released February 19, 2008 | SBCMG

The first album that Gene Clark released after his departure from the Byrds followed very closely on the model of his earlier efforts on the Byrds' first two albums. His backing musicians included ex-bandmates Chris Hillman and Michael Clarke, as well as future Byrd Clarence White and Clark collaborator Doug Dillard, not to mention the Gosdin Brothers, whose harmonies resembled a rockier Everly Brothers and brought the sound very close to that of the Byrds. The album contains a number of fine pop-oriented tunes and stellar folk-rock/country-rock numbers (a year before the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, which employed both White and Dillard) and established Clark as a major songwriter, rivaling his old band and often coming close to the fabness of the Beatles. Still, despite such solid songs and backing musicians, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers failed to make much of an impact, perhaps due to its being released in the same week as the Byrds' Younger Than Yesterday, itself a tour de force that cemented their influence. However, in the realm of Clark's recorded output, this album stands as the one of the best, if not the best, example of how powerful a singer, writer, and bandleader he was. ~ Alex Stimmel

Rock - Released October 25, 2016 | Hudson Canyon Records

Folk/Americana - Released May 11, 2018 | Omnivore Recordings

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