I still remember the impact this brilliant record had, hearing it for the first time, as it happens on the cushions in the Virgin Records store on a sunny Brighton day in 1973, and the pure pleasure in particular of the amazing sonic world that is Rough and Rocky.
To some extent, it made more sense as an LP, where side 1 begins with Gene reunited with the original Byrds and all on top form and leads up to Rough and Rocky. It is absolutely compelling. Side 2 would seem fantastic in any other company, and has its own quiet beauty. Roadmaster is enjoyable, Gene sending himself up just a little perhaps. I Remember the Railroad, and She Don't Care about Time are just wonderful, with a slow, strong melancholy, and need no apology whatsoever!
On the "out-takes" thing, the explanation on the original sleevenotes is that other than tracks 1-3 with the Byrds, (not just the first 2) originally for another purpose entirely, completed but unreleased for contractual reasons, the remaining 8 were for an uncompleted LP, abandoned when Gene quit A&M. I don't think there was any sense that they were inferior, or weeded out as it were, as seems to be implied in an earlier review, just that the project wasn't completed, and that some more work was intended on these tracks as well as presumably 3 or 4 more to finish things off. Personally, if there is anything unfinished it is only apparent in that the arrangements are simple, and nothing is overdone; I find no sense of anything missing or unsatisfactory.
If you are new to Gene Clark, I'd say start here, over any other recording- what a treat you have in store. And if you already know his work, but don't have this, don't hesitate, it's an incredibly beautiful and satisfying work.