Gene ClarkWhite Light

Label:A&M Records – SP4292, A&M Records – SP 4292
Vinyl, LP, Album, Terre Haute Pressing
Style:Folk Rock, Country Rock


A1The Virgin
Written-ByGene Clark
A2With Tomorrow
Written-ByGene Clark, Jesse Davis*
A3White Light
Written-ByGene Clark
A4Because Of You
Written-ByGene Clark
A5One In A Hundred
Written-ByGene Clark
B1For A Spanish Guitar
Written-ByGene Clark
B2Where My Love Lies Asleep
Written-ByGene Clark
B3Tears Of Rage
Written-ByBob Dylan, Richard Manuel
Written-ByGene Clark

Companies, etc.



Produced for Washita Productions
Recorded at The Village Recorder
Mix Down: Sunset Sound, Studio #1
Special Thanks to Karin Green
A&M Records Inc., P.O. Box 782, Beverly Hills, California 90213
Printed in U.S.A.

All selections are: Irving Music, Inc. BMI except
A2: Irving Music, Inc./Cotillion Music, Inc. BMI
B3: Dwarf Music ASCAP

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A label): SP-4483
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B label): SP-4484
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout etched): T2 A&M SP 4483 T1
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout etched): T2 A&M SP 4484 T1
  • Rights Society (A1 to B2, B4): BMI
  • Rights Society (B3): ASCAP

Other Versions (5 of 39)

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Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
White Light (LP, Album, Promo)A&M RecordsSP-4292US1971
Recently Edited
White Light (LP, Album)A&M RecordsAMLS 64292UK1971
White Light (LP, Album, Stereo, Monarch Pressing)A&M Records, A&M Records, A&M RecordsSP4292, SP 4292, SP-4292US1971
New Submission
White Light (LP, Album, Promo, Monarch)A&M RecordsSP-4292US1971
New Submission
White Light (LP, Album, Stereo, Pitman Pressing)A&M Records, A&M RecordsSP4292, SP 4292US1971



  • sps179's avatar

    As Bob Dylan recognised, one-time Byrds rockstar Gene Clark composed singular tunes. His White Light album is a creative high.

    In the 21st Century, fans, musicians and critics keep Clark’s music alive, particularly the grandiose No Other album.

    An indie-rock supergroup toured the songs in 2014. In 2019, even The Economist magazine saluted said album’s deluxe CD reissue. So did Rolling Stone magazine – while acknowledging the ‘overproduction’.

    For this fan, No Other is eclipsed by the heady bluegrass of Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and the contemplative songscape in White Light (August 1971). Nearly all their tracks are quality Clark originals.

    White Light, too, has its following. The initial LP release struggled in the USA but succeeded in the Netherlands. Right up to 2019, there is a string of American, European and Japanese reissues.

    The album features an ace interpretation of ‘Tears Of Rage’, composed four years previous by Bob Dylan, with Richard Manuel of The Band.

    Clark’s great songs, so I claim, readily match Dylan or Lennon-McCartney. Yet the Songwriters Hall of Fame still eludes him. As compared with Nobel Laureate Dylan, you won’t find many academics presenting ‘Clark 101’ courses.

    Life and fate stymied him. He was the most impressive Byrds vocalist and their leading composer. But his innovative solo albums sold thinly. His marriage foundered. After the cost overruns of No Other, music corporations shied away from him.

    Misspent royalties, derived from an appreciative 1989 Clark cover version by Tom Petty, possibly hastened his demise. A vengeful mourner messed with his funeral.

    There was a surprise twist. A posthumous (2001) guitar-and-voice demo issue found him in haunting form, very late in life. “If the world we know should end without warning,” he sang.

    What a fine studio album these final songs would have made. Clark’s compositions were reaching into the realms of American folklore. Reminiscent of folk legend Woody Guthrie.

    A Clark tour-musician has recalled him as genius and insanity combined. I prefer the term ‘autodidact’ or self-taught whiz - he wasn’t overtly a literary guy.

    As early as 1965, his unusual composing signature was evident. Especially on ‘Set You Free This Time’, a minor Byrds hit at the time. Its marching prepositions and propositions subvert the conventional 1960s 'breakup' song:
    “You were sure to make a fool of me ‘cause there was nothing there that you could see that could go beyond your mind.”

    Instrumentally, the original Byrds players were no slouches. Neither was the White Light team. Clark’s friend Jesse Ed Davis, who also died young, took on production and electric guitar. Ben Sidran, already soaring as a jazzman and sideman, played piano.

    Their introspective rock music suits Clark’s compulsively poetic lyrics, where love songs merge with instinctual philosophies.

    A standout among the love songs is ‘Because Of You’ with Clark on acoustic guitar:
    “And think of reasons why this warmth is here to stay
    Then the dark clouds break away and a rainbow comes on through
    The sun I see only shines for me because of you.”

    That kind of meteorology is familiar terrain for songwriters. Yet Clark invests his sun-and-rain images with genuine memorability. Aided by the sidewoman here, percussionist-for-the-stars Bobbye Hall.

    Backlit by a fading ‘morning star’, and propelled by Davis on electric guitar, another affecting love-tribute is ‘One In A Hundred’:
    “Don’t you come down you know you’re the one
    Looking at tomorrow let your troubles fade and fly into the sun.”

    From a different head-space comes ‘The Virgin’. A psychological (yet singable) profile of flower power innocence. Clark does his trademark harmonica fills:
    “Now her teachers and philosophers and the poet’s silver throat
    Are the vessels which on wisdom’s karmic ocean she will float
    Was this her revolution just a child in love’s crusade
    With the question in her innocence through the lies her eyes betrayed.”

    Karmic? Sure, it’s what Clark hit upon. It works.

    When the original Byrds weren’t singing Clark, they often covered Dylan. At the same time, Dylan championed Clark’s one-off talent.

    Here, the title track and ‘1975’ are unmistakably Clark - in his 'cosmic' or mysterious vein. The title track reads like a riff on the age-old quest for enlightenment. Visualised in some storm-wracked 'village' where:
    “...electric lines of force ring around the humble lives of the souls that hear the master saying, soon...”

    Caught betwixt and between are the 'gentle souls' of ‘1975’. Even if they should travel:
    “... across the bridge, across the river, where we’ve never been before...”

    Reportedly, ‘For A Spanish Guitar’ is the Clark song Dylan would have been proud to write himself.

    I see it as a companion piece for ‘Mr Tambourine Man’, the acoustic epic Dylan released, just as he was going electric.

    The Byrds quickly rebadged the song as a one-verse folk-rock worldwide hit. Restoring other verses, an older Clark reinterpreted it sweetly.

    "Cast your dancing spell my way.." sang Dylan of his tambourine man, "I’ll come followin’ you." With Clark, it’s as if the shifting weather itself oompels him to follow the muse:
    “And the workings of sunshine and rain and the visions they paint that remain,
    Pulsate from my soul through my brain and a Spanish guitar.”

    Stephen Saunders, from, 15 August 2021.


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