Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster
A Dutch album with sessions Clark cut for A&M between 1970 and 1972.
Roadmaster is a country rock album by Gene Clark from 1973. The album was compiled from various unreleased recordings for A&M Records made in 1970 through 1972, eight tracks yielded from an April 1972 recording session featuring Clarence White, Spooner Oldham, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Byron Berline and Michael Clarke. Two tracks derived from an unissued single reassembling the five original Byrds prior to their 1973 reunion album, "One in A Hundred" and "She's the Kind of Girl," and another an unused track "Here Tonight" had been recorded with The Flying Burrito Brothers. Initially released in Holland only on the A&M subsidiary Ariola, it was reissued on compact disc for the American market in 1994.
Gene Clark, record business equals bad news. Case in point, this album. Or masterpiece, you could say. After two brilliant Dillard & Clark albums, A&M signed Clark to a solo deal. Okay, fair enough -- so far. In 1972, he delivered perhaps the finest album of his career, Gene Clark, (also known as White Light). Excellent reviews in all the top magazines, including Rolling Stone. Guess what? Almost zero sales. Now, here's the follow up, almost -- if not more -- brilliant. Released only in Holland.
Aside from containing some of Clark's finest tracks like "In a Misty Morning" and "Full Circle Song," this record contains two gems recorded with the willing participation of the other original Byrds. "One in a Hundred" and "She's the Kind of Girl" are so good that they would have easily stood out on The Byrds box set, had McGuinn elected to include them. Oh well, the music is still here -- an example of an artist who couldn't quite get in on with commerce. What a disaster. The man should be mentioned in the same breath as Neil Young. Roadmaster is one of the many reasons why.
In April of '72, Clark assembled a country rock dream team for his next A&M sessions. In attendance were Clarence White, Michael Clarke, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, Byron Berline, and Spooner Oldham. This team recorded eight tracks. With the exception of the tedious title track, an uncharacteristically uptempo rocker, the songs were more classic Clark balladry, played with sympathetic arrangements. The selections look forward and back: a later version of "Full Circle Song" was issued on the Byrds reunion album in early '73, while "She Don't Care About Time," the old Byrds B-side, reappears here as a slow lament. For some reason, these high-quality sessions were never officially released in the States. But Ariola, A&M's Dutch subsidiary, issued them in Holland, where Clark had enjoyed greater critical and commercial success. The album, Roadmaster (Ariola, 1973) contained eight tracks from the spring '72 sessions, plus both sides of the aborted 1970 "reunion" single and "Here Tonight" with the Burritos. Although cobbled together from three different periods, the album holds up well and is regarded by many as one Clark's best solo works.
In the spring of 1972, Clark also helped Jim Dickson overhaul Gene Clark With the Gosdin Brothers for Columbia, by cutting the song "Elevator Operator," rerecording various vocal and instrumental tracks, remixing the album drastically, and adding annotation. Clark's wonderful 1966 sessions were transformed into an album of mild country rock and released under the name Early L.A. Sessions (Columbia, 1972). Most fans prefer the original version, which Columbia reissued in the '80s and as part of the anthology Echoes in the '90s.
By 1972, singer/songwriter Gene Clark had settled into a new life in Mendocino far from the intrusive media glare and fan adulation that still surrounded someone of his stature as a former member of the Byrds. However, he still owed A&M Records one more album. Gathering together the cream of the Los Angeles country-rock fraternity—innovative guitarist Clarence White, Chris Ethridge on bass, ex-Byrd and Burrito Brother Michael Clarke on drums, pedal steel guitarist extraordinaire Sneaky Pete, Byron Berline on fiddle and pianist Spooner Oldham—Gene set about recording an album of pure country rock unfettered by any commercial dictates.
Although the spring 1972 recording sessions were ultimately abandoned, Gene left eight precious songs in the vaults. “Full Circle Song” (later recorded by the reunited Byrds and a bona fide country-rock classic) and “Shooting Star” reveal a deep, introspective soul-searching. “I Remember the Railroad” and “In a Misty Morning” reflect a longing for the simpler days of his youth. The sessions also produced spirited versions of Flatt & Scruggs’ “Rough and Rocky,” the country standard “I Really Don’t Want to Know,” Freddie Weller’s rollicking “Roadmaster” and a reinterpretation of his standout Byrds song, “She Don’t Care About Time.”
Gene’s manager Jim Dickson took these eight tracks and paired them with three additional unreleased recordings to assemble Roadmaster. The unreleased tracks chronicled two previous attempts at a Byrds reunion (“One in a Hundred” and “She’s the Kind of Girl”) as well as the stunning “Here Tonight,” with Gene backed by The Flying Burrito Brothers. Originally a 1973 European-only release, imported copies of Roadmaster soon found their way to North America as fans came to recognize the brilliance in the ill-fated sessions. “The album itself I was proud of,” acknowledged Gene years later. “I was proud of the writing and proud of the bunch of people who played on it.” This legendary recording makes its Sundazed debut on compact disc and wondrous vinyl. It has been painstakingly mastered from the original A&M session tapes and is packaged in new album artwork. CD includes extra photos and new liner notes by Gene Clark biographer John Einarson. Add this recording to your collection and bear full witness to Gene Clark’s panoramic musical vision. [Various Sources]
• Gene Clark — vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
• Clarence White — electric guitar, backing vocals
• Spooner Oldham — keyboards, backing vocals
• Byron Berline — fiddle
• Sneaky Pete Kleinow — pedal steel guitar
• Chris Hillman — bass guitar, vocals
• Michael Clarke — drums
• David Crosby — guitars, vocals on "She's the Kind of Girl" and "One in a Hundred"
• Roger McGuinn — guitars, vocals on "She's the Kind of Girl" and "One in a Hundred"
• Bernie Leadon, Rick Roberts — guitars, vocals on "Here Tonight"
• Bud Shank — flute on "One in a Hundred"
01. "She's the Kind of Girl" (Clark) – 2:59
02. "One in a Hundred" (Clark) – 2:45
03. "Here Tonight" (Clark) – 3:29
04."Full Circle Song" (Clark) – 2:44
05. "In a Misty Morning" (Clark) – 4:56
06. "Rough and Rocky" (Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs) – 3:14
07. "Roadmaster" (Clark) – 4:12
08. "I Really Don't Want to Know" (Howard Barnes, Don Robertson) – 4:35
09. "I Remember the Railroad" (Clark) – 2:31
10. "She Don't Care About Time" (Clark) – 3:37
11. "Shooting Star" (Clark) – 4:38
12. "One in A Hundred" [Alternate Version] - 2.54
13. "She's The Kind of Girl" [Alternate Version] - 3.18