Gene Clark “Two Sides To Every Story”

Two Sides To Every Story

It was three years after Gene Clark’s infamous, cocaine-fueled mid 70s masterpiece No Other, teaming again with Thomas Jefferson Kaye as producer and employing the best musicians of the era, Doug Dillard, Emmylou Harris, Jeff Baxter, Al Perkins, John Hartford to name a few, Clark took things down a notch while retaining a tight (but not overly slick) studio sound on 1977′s Two Sides To Every Story. Even judging the albums by their cover, the excess of No Other gets stripped away to reveal a regular, humble Gene Clark in its wake. On the surface what appears to be a late, perhaps too-safe offering from a washed up Gene Clark (it did turn out to be another commercial failure) in hindsight is one of his finest moments on record.

A little bit a country, a litte bit rock n roll, a heavy dose of Gene’s trademark ballads and tender vocal deliveries, you’ll probably fall for one of the styles offered up on Two Sides more than another, but the varied mix works. Album starter “Home Run King” is an oddly great track as good as anything from the Fantastic Expedition, though Dillard’s pronounced banjo picking will surely turn off the less country inclined. In the same kind of feel, the band lends traditional “In The Pines” as much a ‘Gene Clark’ sound as Nirvana would do for themselves some fifteen years later. I’m less inclined to stay around for the barroom rock sound on his own “Kansas City Southern,” previously recorded for Dillard & Clark’s Through The Morning Through The Night, and a cover of Young Jessie’s ”Mary Lou,” but these are still strong cuts.

The key to this record is to not let the soft ones sneak by. Like all good Clark tunes the slower numbers here are moody, dynamic, dramatic rides that pay off more and more with each new listen. The beautiful “Sister Moon” could have easily found a home on No Other.  ”Give My Love To Marie” is a tender take on a sad track penned by the underrated James Talley. The final trio of ballads, “Hear The Wind,” “Past Addresses,” and “Silent Crusade” all originals where he does his thing; the growing beauty of this album further solidifies Gene Clark as one of my favorite singer/songwriters (a shame I hadn’t found this one sooner).

Perhaps a little more thought on the sleeve design (not that Gene’s big goofy grin on the back is without its charm) might have ensured Two Sides would be properly recognized as the classic it is. On the other hand, most of Clark’s material remains woefully unrecognized today, Two Sides no exception.

The fairly new High Moon Records issued Two Sides To Every Story on vinyl (with 16-page booklet) earlier this year. They plan to also put it out on CD for the first time this spring, included with an extra disc of bonus material. Apparently vinyl buyers will eventually be able to get their hands on the extra material as well through a download card. You can’t be a Gene Clark fan without this one.

mp3: Home Run King
mp3: Sister Moon

:) Reissue | 2013 | High Moon Records | buy from highmoon ]
:) Original | 1977 | RSO Records | search ebay ]


Also Recommended

7 Comments.

  • donkey_shot

    sadly, high moon records have been advertising the “imminent” release of this wonderful gene clark album (as well as love`s similarly seminal “black beauty”) on cd for almost two years. while an abridged version of both albums (without the cd bonus tracks, surely the main motivation for long-time clark or love fans) has, indeed, been released on vinyl…this is to let the kind folks at high moon know that we`re…still…waiting…

  • Smith

    Yep.

    High Moon put out a beautiful product but are an embarrassment as a record company.

    Still waiting for the extra tracks, fellas.

  • JEFFREY FRAJMAN

    HIGH MOON PROMISED A SPRING RELEASE FOR THE CD. WELL IT’S NOW OFFICIALLY SUMMER AND STILL NO RELEASE. THESE GUYS ARE TRULY AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE INDUSTRY. WHY SUNDAZED RECORDS DIDN’T GET CONTROL OF THIS RELEASE IN THE FIRST PLACE IS A MYSTERY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT A LONG TIME AGO ALONG WITH ALL OF CLARK’S OTHER RELEASES ON SUNDAZED WITH THE HIGH QUALITY THAT HIGH(OH, IRONY) MOON HAS CONSTANTLY PROMISED BUT ONLY (PARTIALLY)(LP) DELIVERED. BOO, HIGH MOON!!!

  • Paul

    Past Addresses is one of the most beautiful & mysterious songs he ever recorded (and that’s saying something). Thanks for the post.

  • Nick

    It has been incredibly frustrating waiting for the Gene Clark CD. I will admit that the packaging of the vinyl and the booklet is amazing, but why the hold up and the confusion about the bonus tracks on CD?

    It seems that Gene’s luck or lack thereof with record labels continue

  • Brendan

    Dudes, I think it’s time to take it easy on High Moon. From what I see they are a start-up label and if they can deliver on this and Love Black Beauty I’d say that is a cool 1-2 punch for a new reissuer. I am sure that Gene Clark’s licensing is difficult to untangle and delays like this are not a new thing.

    Come to think of it, where are the great lost Gene Clark tracks I keep hearing about. Where is Gene Clark Sings and the rest? It’s time to get it out there, many lifelong fans are waiting.

  • JEFFREY FRAJMAN

    Just to update here. There is a Japanese 2013 remastered version of Two Sides…. being released on November 5th. I don’t know who remastered it, but there will be no extra tracks to go with this release.If you want more information, check out Amazon.com or .ca. High Moon must know about this release by now, so if they want fans to buy their product, they have to absolutely come clean about a “real release” date, and what will be on that 2nd disc, otherwise why should I and other fans keep waiting in the dark for High Moon’s disc. We’ve been waiting for more than 2 years, and they now have competition. What’s your choice?

Leave a Comment