The Best LA LP of The 70s?
What I've been tryin to get to for a while now is this: Gene Clark's No Other. Here's another record I don't really need to talk about as some of the greats have written about it here and here. Anyway this is a record that is still building its cult. It'll probably be 5 to 10 years before he gets to that stage that, I dunno, someone like Nick Drake ended up in 10 years ago. A sort of saturation point where you've gone from cult figure to everyone who's ever gonna know about you knowing about you. I guess Rodriguez is reaching this position now, sure a doco helps! As does an Academy Award for said doco. Anyway David Geffen apparently pumped a hundred grand into Clark's magnificent 1974 opus and upon receiving it in the flesh promptly chucked it in the bin in a hissy fit because it only had 8 songs. Geffen refused to promote the LP and it came and went in a flash. Clark's career never recovered and he allegedly became a tragic figure until he died in 1991 before the No Other cult had gained much momentum. This LP is up there with the best 70s West Coast records by Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan, Sly Stone and Dennis Wilson and could possibly be the best of the lot. I reckon we definitely get our $100,000 worth. It's lush. It's sublime. This album is the perfect amalgamation of songs, performance and production. It does not get much better than this if indeed it does at all! There's something intangibly magic about this LP and framing it in Gram Parson's term 'Cosmic Americana' doesn't do it justice. This ain't no hippy hillbilly record. However there is a dichotomy at work here. Clark wrote this album during a deep spiritual time but then recorded it in the grips of out of control cocaine use/abuse. An interesting footnote to Australian readers is that Venetta Fields, yes she of John Farnham's band, sings backing vocals on the trax Life's Greatest Fool & Some Misunderstanding.
|I is diggin those 1974 threads man.|