No Other

Recorded in 1974, and largely forgotten, the late Gene Clark‘s ‘No Other‘ is ascending from its obscurity, reports Jon Pareles in The New York Times (1/24/14). When it was released, ‘No Other’ was "spurned by its record company and dismissed by critics as overproduced." Its renaissance began more than 10 years ago, with a European reissue, and reached new heights in America with live performances of the album by an "indie-rock supergroup" in a recent four-city tour. "We want it to be a time capsule – just the way it sounded and felt," says Alex Scally of Beach House, the tour organizer.

Alex says that when he first heard the record, in 2004, he assumed it was legendary. "I thought it was one of those classic rock records like ‘After The Gold Rush,’ one of those well-known canonized great records," he says. "But I found out over the years that it’s just a record no one knew." Gene Clark, a founding member of The Byrds who died of a bleeding ulcer at age 46 in 1991, "considered the album his masterpiece, and its commercial oblivion wounded him for the rest of his life." His tombstone, in addition to his full name and dates, is engraved with ‘No Other.’

When ‘No Other’ was released, Clark’s record company didn’t support it, apparently because David Geffen, its head, "was furious that a $100,000 studio budget had yielded only eight finished songs." The "gospelly female choruses, horns, synthesizers, Latin percussion, wah-wah violin," and other effects, baffled critics. But Alex says the record has an "onion-like quality" that reveals itself over time. "It’s hard to understand how this record must have sounded then as opposed to how it sounds now, and what it means … There’s something really touching about it."

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