Japanese 2005 pressing packaged in a miniature LP sleeve. The classic ex-Byrd's solo album known as White Light. This is a limited edition reissue of the 1972 album that's deleted domestically. Scheduled to include bonus m... more »aterial. Universal.« less
Japanese 2005 pressing packaged in a miniature LP sleeve. The classic ex-Byrd's solo album known as White Light. This is a limited edition reissue of the 1972 album that's deleted domestically. Scheduled to include bonus material. Universal.
"If you want my consumer advice, get this before it reaches the "limited availablity" status of NO OTHER. Though more laid back in terms of production, WHITE LIGHT remains one of Gene Clark's most signifigant releases. If you're into Graham Parsons, Townes Van Zandt or Neil Young, Gene Clark's right up your alley. As his work with the Byrds goes to show, he had the uncanny ability to write a great pop melody, off-set by an inescapable sense of longing and melancholy. In a way, he's a bit like a country-fied Nick Drake. Much like Drake and the very early Tom Waits, he seems to have strived to establish a particular mood in his solo work. A kind of opiate feel, complimented by a set of baroquely reflective lyrics. The end result is an album of slow burning intensity. "Spanish Guitar" is a prime example, a song Dylan professed a great admiration for. Another gem is "With Tomorrow" with the haunting opening line, "it was more like a dream than reality"---a phrase that perfectly captures the tone of this album. The bonus tracks are a real plus. "Opening Day" is particularly notable and one couldn't ask for a better closer with, "Winter In". Like so many songs on this album, it's guilty of infectiously lazy hooks and baffling, evocative verse.Though released at the height of the Hippie Era, Clark was a shade or two darker than his contemporaries. All of which may account for his lack of commercial appeal. Sure, he should have been huge, but in the end what can you do but write a good review some 30 years later? Fortunately, the music's still around and currently gaining rapid cult status thanks to a roster of fickle critics, and a few hard working musicians who took the time out to drop his name. Still it's a shame NO OTHER is available only on import while Clark's last full-length solo album languishes out of print. In lieu of the compilation FLYING HIGH and the tribute, FULL CIRCLE, I would heartily recommend WHITE LIGHT and THE FANTASTIC EXPEDITION OF DILLARD & CLARK instead. Not to mention the desperately epic, NO OTHER. That should be enough to make you cross your fingers for the eventual reissue of this album I keep hearing about. I'm not sure of the title, but I think it's called,TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY."
Classic album with great remastered sound
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 02/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""White Light" stands as a snapshot of Gene Clark at his song writing peak. The songs are all heartfelt, full of interesting melodies and delivered with his sweet, soulful vocals. I've noticed a couple of reviews that have knocked the production and mix. Both are very much of their time. You have to keep in mind the album was recorded and released in 1971 and reflect the era it was recorded in.From the opening bars of "The Virgin" to the powerful "1975", "White Light" (aka "Gene Clark") is one of Clark's finest solo albums. Jess Ed Davis' guitar solos perfectly compliment Gene's low-key songs. The instrumentation is perfect for the material Gene wrote.The remastered sound is terrific and a huge step up especially when you compare it to tracks recorded after this and released much later on "Roadmaster". The instrumental tracks have better depth and separation and compare very favorably to the material recorded by Clark's contemporaries (including his old band The Byrds). Differences in the sound can be attributed to both the acoustics of the studio and the desired effect that Clark and producer Davis wanted to achieve.The bonus tracks are outtakes recorded during the album. They aren't cast off tracks either. While the instrunmental backing tracks aren't quite as full or perfect as those for the tracks from the album, these are complete recordings. Clark had a lot more time to record because of the stripped down approach and late nights he and Davis put in recording the album. As a result, Clark had much more material recorded than was needed (a similar situation to the album "No Other" although on that reissue/import the bonus tracks are alternate takes with only 1 previously unreleased re-recording of "Train Leaves Here This Morning").Definitely the album to become acquinted with Clark's solo albums with and worth having for fans of The Byrds as well."
"More like a dream than reality" is dead-on
Elliot Knapp | Seattle, Washington United States | 12/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It really is more like a dream than reality that Gene Clark could make an album like White Light then all but disappear from the annals of American pop music history without ever achieving mainstream success and recognition. This record is my first non-Byrds introduction to Gene Clark (excepting a great cover of "Spanish Guitar" by Plainsong). Let me tell you, it's a purchase I'm glad I made and I can't wait to pick up more of his music (the other best are The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark and No Other).
White Light, in spite of its comparisons to Neil Young, Dylan, etc. surprised me--it's a quite laid-back affair. At its heart it's an acoustic record--the lead electric guitar is clean and the songs are always driven by the acoustic rhythm guitar and the percussion is generally not the standard in-your-face rock kit drumming that usually accompanies folk rock. Admittedly, the album's overall mood failed to grab my on first listen. However, this isn't dime store pop--the merits of Gene Clark and White Light aren't in throwaway hooks that get old after one listen.
Here's what makes the album classic for me: Clark's got a great voice. It's not derivatively Dylan-esque like a lot of similar artists of the day. Clark sings simply and evocatively, channeling the emotions of his songs in a really compelling way. The songwriting is great--excellent, somewhat melancholy lyrics that are accessible but ambiguous enough to retain a bit of mystery. Last, the arrangements are great. The lead guitar may not be hardcore, but most every song has a great lead line (often slide guitar) that really accompanies the mood of the songs and is actually pretty gnarly from time to time (i.e. the opening line on "The Virgin" and the melodic counterpoint on "One in a Hundred"). Despite the album's overall mellow vibe, there's actually some pretty rocking numbers, like "White Light" and "1975," in which the drums really kick in and the country bass starts to accent the beat in a harder way. The only weakness here, in my opinions are the keyboards. They're pretty much buried in the mix on most of the songs, making them less of a part of the band and more of a support for the mood. I guess they do add to the record, but I wonder what they could have contributed if used in a more melody-oriented position.
Some highlights for me are the desolate solo guitar and voice on "With Tomorrow," the immediately accessible and haunting "Because of You," and the cover of "Tears of Rage." Although it doesn't obviate Richard Manuel's soulful, definitive take from Music from Big Pink, it's definitely well-chosen and a rocking reinterpretation that really works. Really, though, all the songs on here are great and essential. I can't pick out a track (bonus tracks excepted) that doesn't contain meaningful lyrics, memorable musical moments, and characteristics that don't set it apart from the others. I highly recommend White Light to fans of Dylan, Young, the Byrds, folk, folk rock etc., and also to fans of similar newer music. Congratulations on finding one of the 70's best-kept musical secrets--I hope you take the opportunity to capitalize on your discovery!"
One of Gene Clark's Masterworks
zido | los angeles, ca United States | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Georgeous remastering of the spare but evocative sound of this artist at his most Dylanesque- not surprising that Bob himself once said that he wish he had written one of its songs,"Spanish Guitar".Some believe this album was a bit too dark or austere- for me it's just a great collection of songs by this terrific (but commercially unrewarded) singer/songwriter that stands along side the rest of his best solo work- NO OTHER, FANTASTIC EXPEDITION OF DILLARD & CLARK and ROADMASTER."