No Other

No Other

by Gene ClarkGene Clark

CD(Jewel Case)

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Upon its 1974 release, Gene Clark's No Other was rejected by most critics as an exercise in bloated studio excess. It was also ignored by Asylum, that had invested $100,000 in recording it. A considerable sum at the time, it was intended as a double album, but the label refused to release it as such. Ultimately, it proved a commercial failure that literally devastated Clark; he never recovered. Though Clark didn't live to see it, No Other has attained cult status as a visionary recording that employs every available studio means to illustrate the power in Clark's mercurial songwriting. He and producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye entered Village Recorders in L.A. with an elite cast that included Michael Utley and Jesse Ed Davis, Butch Trucks, Lee Sklar, Russ Kunkel, Joe Lala, Chris Hillman, Danny "Kooch" Kortchmar, Howard Buzzy Feiten, and Stephen Bruton. Clark's vocalists included: Clydie King, Venetta Fields, Shirley Matthews, the Eagles' Timothy B. Schmidt, and Claudia Lennear among them. These musicians all brought their best to the material. As a whole, No Other is a sprawling, ambitious work that seamlessly melds country, folk, jazz-inflected-gospel, urban blues, and breezy L.A. rock in a song cycle that reflects the mid-'70s better than anything from the time, yet continues to haunt the present with its relevance. There are no edges on the set, even in the labyrinthine, multi-tracked title track that juxtaposes guitar-driven psychedelia and out jazz saxophones and flutes with lush vocal harmonies. Even its tougher tracks, such as "Strength of Strings," that echoes Neil Young's "Cowgirl in the Sand," melodically, delivers an alluring, modal, Eastern-tinged bridge adorned by slide guitar wizardry. In the textured darkness of "Silver Raven," Clark's falsetto vocal is framed by an alluring synth, and muted bassline and is embraced by a chorus that rivals CSNY's, making for a heartbreaking, yet blissed-out country-folk song. "From a Silver Phial," as haunting and beautiful as it is, is one of the strangest songs Clark ever penned. Its anti-drug references are especially odd as this is one of the more coked-out recordings to come from L.A. during the era. The final two cuts, "The True One" and "Lady of the North" (the latter co-written with Doug Dillard), are the only two pieces on the disc that mirror where Clark had come from musically, but as they wind around the listener, even these are far bigger than mere country-rock tunes, offering glissando passages of pedal steel and piano ostinatos that actually create narrative movement for the lyrics to turn on. No Other's songs lend themselves to open-ended performances in the studio. Because of his spacious, yet always beautifully centered compositional style, they are well-suited to Kaye's use of the multi-tracked instruments and vocals, ambient sonic echoes, and textures that surround them. Clark's unlikely classic, No Other is continually continued rediscovered by succeeding generations.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2019
Label: 4Ad
UPC: 0191400007024
catalogNumber: 7024
Rank: 34580

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gene Clark   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Voices
Chris Hillman   Mandolin
Jesse Ed Davis   Guitar
Ronnie Barron   Voices
Clydie King   Voices
Claudia Lennear   Voices
Bill Cuomo   Organ
Craig Doerge   Keyboards
Venetta Fields   Voices
Danny Kortchmar   Guitar
Russ Kunkel   Drums
Joe Lala   Percussion
Ted Machell   Cello
Shirley Matthews   Voices
Jerry McGee   Guitar
Butch Trucks   Drums
Carlena Williams   Voices
Michael Utley   Keyboards
Leland Sklar   Bass
Buzz Feiten   Guitar
Richard Green   Violin
Steve Bruton   Guitar
Tim Schmit   Voices
Cidny Bullens   Voices

Technical Credits

Doug Dillard   Composer
Gene Clark   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist
Thomas Jefferson Kaye   Arranger,Producer
Tony Reale   Engineer
John Dietrich   Art Direction

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