Gene Clark ‎– Collector's Series: Early L.A. Sessions


Early in 1967, CBS released the original version of this album under the title "Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers." Perhaps it was ahead of its time. Gene Clark and his producer and friend Jim Dickson weren't happy with it either. When they learned that CBS planned to re-release the album (feeling that perhaps now its time had come), they decided that all of the original eight-track recordings should be re-mixed and at least some vocals re-recorded.

After a week in CBS L.A. studios, where it all began almost six years before, they emerged with an enormously improved, almost totally different album. Nearly all of the vocals were re-recorded, tracks were brightened, parts buried in the original mix were brought up (in some cases completely changing the sound of the cuts), and in re-sequencing the order of the sides they even removed one song, Elevator Operator, because with five years' perspective they felt strongly that the song did not measure up the others


Tried So Hard 2:20
Keep On Pushin' 1:44
Think I'm Gonna Feel Better 1:32
Is Yours Is Mine 2:26
Echoes 3:18
The Same One 3:27
Needing Someone 2:02
So You Say You Lost Your Baby 2:06
Couldn't Believe Her 1:53
I Found You 2:58

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October 7, 2019
referencing Collector's Series: Early L.A. Sessions, LP, Album, KC 31123
Gene Clark’s Early L.A. Sessions

As a lifelong Byrds fan, I came late to the Gene Clark artifact Early L.A. Sessions.

In the 70s when country rock was in full flower, Gene Clark slipped into the rear view mirror fairly quickly. Today we've had plenty of time to play those old lp's and really mull them over. Most don't stand up to repeated listening which is what we old guys do. The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Nashville Skyline. Maybe you like The Eagles or Gram Parsons? It's hard to argue with what's really good or still popular. But what should be common knowledge among genre purists is that Gene Clark's songs sound as good as any of the aforementioned.

The thing about Gene Clark is he always stayed true to his musical vision. He never catered to conventional taste or popularity. That's why all his records stand out for their originality and consistency. Singer/songwriter stuff. Heartfelt tunes written and performed sound better over time. Real emotion retains luster. So Gene's canon however under-appreciated in its time, gains currency. The one that surprises and best delivers in songwriting, performance and production is “Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers”. This record is a reworking if that disc and so, very satisfying and a great introduction to the artist: the one they said couldn't fly was the best songwriter of the Five Byrds and the most under-appreciated singer-songwriter of the era.

Though there is consistency in all his records, that is not to say there is not dissimilarity and variety in style, tempo and delivery. The Dillard and Clark records arch in the direction of bluegrass and tradition. No Other is the big production experiment which succeeds famously, but not commercially. The Columbia and A&M records are pure singer/songwriter. The record with Carla Olson is something else entirely. Closer to Paisley Underground than The Byrds, which makes it very satisfying; this collection is full of good songs, strong singing and a kind of new path for Gene that he never walked down because of his untimely death.

-Monty Orrick