Gene Clark was one of the last century’s most gifted songwriters. These eclectic interpretations of songs drawn from his time with the Byrds through to his solo masterpiece “No Other” provide the irrefutable proof.
Quite incredibly, it’s only in more recent years that Gene has risen above cult status to be hailed as one of the last century’s greatest voices, charismatic performers and supernaturally talented songwriters. That could easily be down to the complex mass of paradoxes and human weaknesses that battled inside him. As Byrds biographer Johnny Rogan put it, “For every celebrated moment of his musical life, there were comparable moments of opportunities lost and projects abandoned or unrealised.”
From his earliest composing attempts, there was always more to Gene’s songs than his contemporaries’: deceptively complex arrangements, unusual melodic turns and subtly woven twists carrying a secret, deeper resonance that reached its cosmic apogee on 1974’s “No Other”. He blazed trails for folk-rock, psychedelic/baroque pop and was first to pioneer alternative country and Americana. That he was also a masterful songwriter is why we’re here today, celebrating just some of these masterclasses in translating universal emotions or extraordinary observations into living, breathing music: like early champion Dylan, timeless flights asking to be boarded by other artists.
As with our recent collections spotlighting the songs of Leon Russell and Lou Reed, this latest release in our Songwriters series is compiled by Mick Patrick and packaged with a bumper booklet featuring copious notes by Kris Needs.