Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gene Clark's "Lost" studio sessions issued by Sierra Records


At long last, these 24 thought-to-be-lost recordings by the late, great Gene Clark is being released Sierra Records this month as The Lost Studio Sessions 1964-1982. These incredible recordings, which have never been released commercially, are from the original analog master studio recording sessions held in Los Angeles between 1964 and 1982. Here's the source material...

The Way I Am/I'd Feel Better/That Girl/A Worried Heart/If There's No Love
These Jim Dickson-produced tracks reveal a sensitive acoustic balladeer honing his songwriting craft. Already apparent are the unexpected chord changes, soaring tenor and preoccupation with heartache that would characterize his later, more well-known work, both with The Byrds and as a solo artist.

Back Street Mirror/Don't Let It Fall Through
On the verge of being dropped by Columbia following disappointing performance of his debut album, Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers, Gene hooked up with South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela to record several songs in the spring of 1967. "Back Street Mirror," released later that fall by actor David Hemmings (produced by Dickson as well) on his Happens LP (using the same backing track), recalls the rich baroque stylings of "Echoes"; while the spirited "Don't Let It Fall Through" shows Gene was no slouch singing swinging, R&B-based rock.

Back To The Earth Again/The Lighthouse/The Awakening Within/Sweet Adrienne/Walking Through This Lifetime/The Sparrow/Only Yesterday's Gone
Virtually an album within an album, these seven tracks constitute a convincing, cohesive testament to Clark?s extraordinary growth as a writer, especially when juxtaposed with the 1964 material. Temporarily eschewing the pressures of life in LA for the pastoral peace of his Northern California retreat, Gene's music reflected uncommon maturity, grace and scope, with songs that embraced philosophy, ecology and spirituality.

She Darked The Sun
Recorded in spring of 1970 before Gram Parsons' firing, Gene revives a song that first appeared on the first Dillard and Clark album (also covered by Linda Ronstadt). This uptempo interpretation shows how effortlessly Gene could have slipped into another band situation had he chosen to do so. One can't help but think that this version, paired with Gene's other Burritos-backed song, "Here Tonight," would have made a dynamite 45.

Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms/She Don't Care About Time/Don't This Road Look Rough and Rocky/Bars Have Made a Prisoner Out Of Me
Similar to the situation with "Back Street Mirror," two of these tracks eventually saw release on Terry Melcher's self-titled album from 1974; Gene's vocals having been wiped and replaced by Melcher's. Thankfully, Chris Hinshaw had the good sense and vision to record these featuring Gene's original vocals. Jim Dickson always maintained that "these were the best Gene ever sounded!" One would be hard pressed to argue.

1982  NYTEFLYTE - Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, Herb Pedersen, Al Perkins, Michael Clarke
One Hundred Years From Now/ (The) Letter/ Still Feeling Blue/No Memories Hangin' Round/I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
The July 1982 "Nyteflyte" sessions were an effort by the team of Tickner & Dickson to re-energize country-rock in Nashville. Alas, they were too early; so-called "New Country" had not yet hit Nashville tune masters.  Nyteflyte's music, featuring Gene as lead singer, may not have caught on with the 16th Avenue Music Row crowd, but we may now enjoy these exciting, previously unreleased recordings. Sadly, this would be the final occasion in which ex-Byrds Clark, Hillman and Clarke would record together.

Listen to a Lost Studio Sessions sampler below...

The Lost Studio Sessions 1964-1982 is available in three configurations:

SACD/CD (aka Hybrid SACD) is playable on all conventional home CD players, automobile CD players, computer disc players, play-stations, etc. just like you regular 16 bit/44.1 compact discs. But played on a SACD player, you hear the music in higher definition that you can heard on the standard compressed compact discs.

AUDIOPHILE VINYL 2LP SET (Unnumbered, Pre-release, advance order)
Manufactured with exclusive Ultra High Definition (UHD) Sierra High Fidelity technology, mastered at the Abbey Road Studios on Direct Metal Master (DMM), the LPs are pressed on 200-gram vinyl. It includes, a 12 page full booklet with detail liner, technical and production annotations plus a Digital Download Card (DDC) that provides secure one-time access to MP3 files of all 24 songs on the album plus 6 additional songs.

ULTIMATE LIMITED EDITION set includes a limited edition holographic numbered 200-gram Vinyl 2LP set and 24-track Hybrid CD/SACD with extensive booklets for each; 1985 Gene Clark interview on DVD; Digital Download Card (DDC) that provides secure one-time access to MP3 files of all 24 songs on the album plus the 4 additional songs on the Bonus Acoustic CD;
Limited Edition 4-Song Bonus CD. You can order directly from Sierra Records.

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