Amazingly, there are two new releases this year, Gene Clark Sings For You (Omnivore) and the Back Street Mirror EP (Sierra/Entree), with a total of 18 "new" Gene Clark songs from the critical 1967 era between them. This constitutes the closest to a "Holy Grail" that Gene Clark fans are likely to find at this point in time.
As a Byrd, Gene Clark harmonized with Roger McGuinn and David Crosby on the classics "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!", and was the principle writer of "Eight Miles High". He wrote some of the best Byrds originals including: "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better", "Here Without You", "Set You Free This Time", "The World Turns All Around Her", "She Don't Care About Time", as well as the lost gem "The Day Walk (Never Before)".
Gene Clark left The Byrds (which he co-founded) in 1966 for a solo career that never really took off, despite releasing several under-appreciated masterpieces such as White Light (1971) and No Other (1974), both with guitarist extraordinaire Jesse Ed Davis, and a marvelous collaboration with The Textones' Carla Olson: So Rebellious A Lover (1987).
Hard to believe that more than a quarter of a century after Gene Clark's premature death, we are still hearing rediscovered "new" and "lost" material, most of which the general public has never heard.
Also on Omnivore's Gene Clark Sings For You, Gene Clark's 1967 Rose Garden Demos (previously unknown Gene Clark songs submitted to the band Rose Garden to consider recording; all previously unreleased/unavailable):
- On Tenth Street
- Understand Me
- A Long Time
- Big City Girl
- Doctor Doctor
- Till Today (Rehearsal Demo)
- She Told Me
- If I Hang Around (previously unreleased original demo)
- That's What You Want
The version of "If I Hang Around" on the Back Street Mirror EP is the original demo without the vocal and instrumental overdubs added later by Chip Douglas. The Chip Douglas overdub version was on 2003 Byrd Parts II compilation; now out-of-print.
The Back Street Mirror EP was a vinyl-only Record Store Day exclusive, but Sierra/Entree Records confirms it be will available later in 2018 on both vinyl and MP3. I hope the same is true about their other Record Store Day release of "new" material from a classic artist, Tim Hardin's Lost In L.A. EP. Sounds great!
UPDATE May 2018: The Back Street Mirror EP is now available for sale, on vinyl, to the general public. You can order it online here...
I've enjoyed That's Alright By Now for some time. It's a great song. I stumbled upon Past My Door a month ago, which it appears leaked online in the early 2000's, and I dig it, but the chord changes are a little unusual and it feels unfinished. In fact, I've seen a few things online that imply that most of these "new" songs are second-rate, but we're talking about 18 songs, well 17 songs and two versions of one of the songs ("Yesterday, Am I Right"), and I've only heard three of the songs so far. Just by the law of averages, there's got to be at least a few good songs among them, and maybe even a couple of great ones.
I can't wait!
RELATED ARTICLE: "Gene Clark Sings For You" (1967) Album From Byrds Co-Founder Re-Discovered PLUS Rose Garden Demos PLUS Chip Douglas Tape
These songs were on the "Chip Douglas Tape":
- I'd Feel Better
- The Way I Am
- If There's No Love
- She Don't Care About Time
- She Told Me
- If I Hang Around
- That's What You Want
- She Has A Way
- You Showed Me (with Roger McGuinn)
With the issue of the three "new" songs from the Chip Douglas Tape, versions of all songs on the tape are now available. It is not certain that they are, in all cases, the same versions. Songs 1, 2, 3 are on Gene Clark: The Lost Studio Sessions 1964 - 1982. Song 4 is on Turn! Turn! Turn! Songs 5, 6, 7 are on Side B of a vinyl-only release: Gene Clark, Back Street Mirror EP (Entree Records). Song 8 is on Preflyte and Mr. Tambourine Man. Song 9 is on Preflyte.