The November selection for our Record of the Month Club is Gene Clark’s long out-of-print masterpiece No Other lovingly reissued by 4AD.
Club Members will get a copy of the album and a promo poster. These will ship out before Thanksgiving. Sign up now if you’d like a copy!
“One of the greatest albums ever made. Initially celebrated for its obscurity, No Other is now celebrated for its magnificence. It was in every way a magnum opus: epic, sprawling, poetic, choral, rococo.” – The Guardian
Coming on the eve of Gene’s 75th birthday, this reissue serves as both a celebration for fans and an introduction to soon-to-be fans. There really is no other like No Other.
Recorded at the Village Recorder in West Hollywood and produced by Thomas Jefferson Kaye, No Other was originally released in 1974 on Asylum Records, coming a year after the Byrds short-lived reunion. Reaching for the stars, Gene delivered a visionary record of psychedelic rock, folk, country and soul which famously cost a small fortune to make (“It took a lot of time in the studio before we could actually get the songs to the point we wanted them,” Gene said in 1977). Although warmly received by critics, No Other was a commercial failure and was subsequently deleted shortly after.
However, as The New York Times wrote around the record’s 40th anniversary in 2014, “hindsight has burnished No Other, as it has redeemed other albums that went on to be reconstructed as rock repertory, like Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers and Lou Reed’s Berlin,” with No Other now being increasingly recognised as one of the greatest of its time, if not all time. Another sign of the album’s enduring charm came that year when feted Baltimore duo Beach House decided to “spread awareness” of Gene’s master work by enlisting friends – most of whom weren’t born when No Other was released – from bands such as Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and The Walkmen to tour the album note-for-note in both the UK and the US. You can watch them performing it in New York here.
Five years on from then and No Other is finally getting the reappraisal it deserves. The original tapes have been remastered at Abbey Road, a stunning 5.1 Surround mix of this album created for the first time (done by Neil Wilkes & B.J. Cole at Opus Productions), and both the in the studio and promotional photoshoots have been located. Furthermore, all the studio takes have been forensically worked on and mixed by the duo of Gene Clark aficionado, author and Long Ryders frontman Sid Griffin and John Wood, the producer famed for his work with the likes of Nick Drake, Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny. More than just bonus material, these tracks offer fans an insight in to how Gene approached recording No Other; no track has been edited or composited in any way, allowing for things to be heard exactly as they went down in the studio and before any overdubbing took place.