You know something, sometimes it’s okay to not succeed. Sometimes you put every ounce of energy and emotion at your disposal into achieving your goal and still you fail. Sometimes the level of effort you have put into something only becomes evident months, years, maybe even decades after the event, thus offering retrospective redemption to the previously unrewarded. Sad thing is, that redemption often arrives too late, such as the generous plaudits now bestowed upon No Other arriving too late for Gene Clark.
For me, Clark was always the most interesting member of The Byrds. Let’s face it, Roger McGuinn was just a little bit dull, David Crosby lost all claim to be cool as soon as he joined Crosby, Stills & Nash and Gram Parsons is only considered cool because he hung out with The Rolling Stones and released a couple of mediocre solo albums and died young. Yeah, for me it’s Clark all the way.
Despite negligible promotion and sales when it was released, No Other has gained a reputation for being a relatively forward-thinking release for its time. Indeed, while it doesn’t sound much like anything else released at the time, it’s influence can certainly be heard on the likes of Wilco and their ilk.
Song wise, this is an album that has aged well, with “Silver Raven” and “Some Misunderstanding” being the absolute stand outs. It’s a great sounding album too – apparently the production costs were massive, but to my ears it was money well spent. Sadly, Clark never lived to see the critical appreciation that No Other (apparently his personal favourite of all the albums he recorded) has gained in the last decade, so it now stands as a posthumous monument to his wayward talents.