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White Light, aka Gene Clark, is the second solo album by Gene Clark, former member of The Byrds. It received universal critical acclaim upon its release, but only achieved commercial success in the Netherlands, where rock critics also voted it album of the year. However, like all of his post Byrds' records, it did very poorly on the US charts.
Clark's backing band on the album included bassist Chris Ethridge of the Flying Burrito Brothers, pianist Ben Sidran of the Steve Miller Band, organist Mike Utley, and drummer Gary Mallaber, also of the Steve Miller Band.
Gene Clark's 1971 platter, with its stark black cover featuring his silhouette illuminated by the sun, was dubbed White Light — though the words never appear on the cover — and if ever a title fit a record, it's this one. Over its nine original tracks, it has established itself as one of the greatest singer/songwriter albums ever made. After leaving the Byrds in 1966, recording with the Gosdin Brothers, and breaking up the Dillard & Clark group that was a pioneering country-rock outfit, Clark took time to hone his songwriting to its barest essentials.
The focus on these tracks is intense, they are taut and reflect his growing obsession with country music. Produced by the late guitarist Jesse Ed Davis (who also worked with Taj Mahal, Leon Russell, Link Wray, and poet John Trudell, among others), Clark took his songs to his new label with confidence and they supported him. The band is comprised of Flying Burrito Brothers' bassist Chris Ethridge, the then-S
|Gene Clark - Back Cover|
Clark's writing, as evidenced on "The Virgin," the title cut, "For a Spanish Guitar," "One in a Hundred," and "With Tomorrow," reveals a stark kind of simplicity in his lines. Using melodies mutated out of country, and revealing that he was the original poet and architect of the Byrds' sound on White Light, Clark created a wide open set of tracks that are at once full of space, a rugged gentility, and are harrowingly intimate in places. His reading of Bob Dylan's "Tears of Rage," towards the end of the record rivals, if not eclipses, the Band's. Less wrecked and ravaged, Clark's song is more a bewildered tome of resignation to a present and future in the abyss. Now this is classic rock.
02."With Tomorrow" (Clark/Jesse Ed Davis)
04."Because of You"
05."One in a Hundred"
06."For a Spanish Guitar"
07."Where My Love Lies Asleep"
08."Tears of Rage" (Bob Dylan/Richard Manuel)
10. Because of You - (Alternate mix, Bonus Track)
11. Stand by Me - (previously unreleased, Bonus Track)
12. Ship of the Land - (previously unreleased, Bonus Track)
13. Opening Day - (previously unreleased, Bonus Track)
14. Winter In - (Bonus Track, Rare Track)