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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Masterpiece
This is quite simply one of the very best albums to have come out of West Coast America - ever. Heard in it's entirety, it is a work of staggering vision, scope and emotional depth. The quality of the songs, playing, arranging and production is breathtaking, but for me, it is Gene Clark's haunting voice, dripping wih melancholy, that makes this such an unsettling and...
Published on 13 Aug 2003 by Andy Clare

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm missing something here....
In the 60s I was a very big fan of the Byrds and thought Gene Clark’s voice ( albeit fairly shortlived in Byrds incarnation ) to be a fantastic instrument. However, I don’t quite get the adulation for this album (A well-known music review journal describes it as a “masterpiece”, and there are a lot of 5-star reviews here ).

Yes, the...
Published 4 months ago by Worker Bee


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Masterpiece, 13 Aug 2003
By 
Andy Clare (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
This is quite simply one of the very best albums to have come out of West Coast America - ever. Heard in it's entirety, it is a work of staggering vision, scope and emotional depth. The quality of the songs, playing, arranging and production is breathtaking, but for me, it is Gene Clark's haunting voice, dripping wih melancholy, that makes this such an unsettling and unforgettable experience. One year after Gram Parsons death, Gene Clark picked up the cosmic torch and kept it burning bright.How Geffen allowed this masterpiece to sink without trace on it's initial release is beyond me, but perhaps it was a little too dark for mass appeal. Way ahead of it's time in 74, this sounds absolutely wonderful in 2003 and completely relevent. Insightful and moving liner notes from Johnny Rogan and Sid Griffin, plus fascinating alternative cuts make this a great value-for-money re-release. If you thought you knew everything there was to know about 70's West Coast music and you don't have No Other, you are in for a wonderful and hugely rewarding suprise.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Other a forgotten classic from a forgotten genius, 20 May 2002
By 
M. Olyett "Folk boy" (Watford, Herts) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
Some albums defy description. No Other by the great late, lamented Gene Clark fits this discription. I can only describe the genre it fits in as American cosmic country. We are only talking about eight tracks here, but they represent a stunning achievement for Clark here. For the last time in his career, Gene had an innovative producer in Thomas Jefferson Kaye and a big production budget. Most of the songs deal with the metaphysical and the power of music. The album's greatest track is the outer space influenced, 'Silver Raven'. It's a beautiful evocative track, superbly decorated by the guitar work of Jesse Ed Davis. Other standout tracks are the voodoo funk of the title track, the Epic 'From A Silver Phial' and 'Strength Of Strings', although there is not a duff track. It's crying out for a UK release(I have a japanese import copy). This is an album which couldn't get arrested on release in 1974, but regularly gets in most critics best of lists. My words cannot do justice to this immense aural, musical achievement
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars no better, 13 Aug 2002
By 
This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
It remains a scandal that a record as good as this is not available on CD. I've got an original vinyl copy that I'm scared to play. Cosmic country remains a great description of what this record offers and what really gets to you is the sheer wide screen feel of the thing. Rumour has it, that it was going to be a double Lp, but the support for that to happen wasn't there. A full release, in the way Gene & Thomas Jefferson Kaye intended will I hope deliver an album that for once will be able to live up to it's now ludicrous reputation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Other, 24 Nov 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
A remarkable album by any standard. I can only endorse all the other positive reviews published here. It really is as good as everybody says. The expanded version includes 6 of the 8 tracks of the original album in more stripped down versions. This album competes, in its originality, with Van Morrison's Astral Weeks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True one, 2 April 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
Having known and loved it for years, I recently got a copy of this classic for a friend of mine who (having both of us watched the recent superb BBC4 documentary about him) was new to Gene Clark (1944-91). I warned him that it might take more than one listen for it to `get through`. He texted me to say that he was immediately bewitched by it. He sounded quite overwhelmed. That`s what Gene Clark can do to you, particularly this album from 1974, on which he and his sympathetic producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye pulled out all the stops.
It`s that other sometime Byrd and harbinger of Americana Gram Parsons who has tended to reap plaudits and (in recent years) sales, but it`s Gene Clark who I play more often and with more of a sense of deep pleasure, if not outright awed homage. This isn`t the place to denigrate the hugely talented Gram P, but his tragically early death at 26, and his unarguable prowess as a songwriter and country catalyst, has overshadowed the fact that his voice was not always an `easy listen` - ie. he often sang flat.
No such provisos with the man from Missouri (who grew up in Kansas). Gene`s voice hits the spot every time. His vocal tone reminds me most of that other early purveyor of `alternative country` Michael Nesmith, though with far more of a hint of melancholia to it. In fact, if you love, as I do, a bittersweet voice - such as Jackson Browne or Sandy Denny, for example - then Gene`s your man.
This remastered reissue, with booklet, notes and full listings, plus alternate versions of most of the songs, is a treasure trove of beauty and wonder. From the opening tracks, the brilliant Life`s Greatest Fool and the very lovely Silver Raven, to the song that didn`t, or couldn`t, make it to the original LP, the wonderful Train Leaves Here This Morning, there`s not a single song you would want to be without.
Strength of Strings (the title a quote from Dylan`s Lay Down Your Weary Tune) is a magnificent six-minute number, while the equally impressive Some Misunderstanding clocks in at eight minutes - but you never want these songs to end.
The title track is perhaps the most unusual yet most immediately memorable song here, with its oddly unpredictable melody.
Gene Clark was often his own worst enemy when it came to his erratic career, but No Other is a bona fide masterpiece, and let`s not forget that he was an integral part of the success of the early Byrds, responsible for that brief but stunning
song Feel A Whole Lot Better - for me, the quintessential Byrds song.
No Other is a mysterious, wondrous set of songs to fall for, take to your heart, clasp close to you all your life. Unlike Gene, they won`t go away.

Simply, this is what classic means.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it really is that good, 17 Dec 2007
By 
Don Panik (Cambridge UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
This is a record that I have known since its release in '74 - I had a tape copied from a friends copy of the LP. I have always loved it and was overjoyed when the the first CD version was released in 2002 - finally I got to hear the full production values - and this is a complex mix.
This version has some interesting tracks in addition and the mastering is slightly improved on the 2002 version - but for me the additions actually detract from the original.
Over the years I have heard echos of No Other in many artists I have liked - certainly Richard Ashcroft and latterly Cherry Ghost come to mind. I can't imagine what it would be like to hear this for the first time - but I can tell you that with repeated listens you may well come to love this as much as I do. Up there with the best albums ever produced.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An apt title, 23 Aug 2007
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
Having contributed many wonderful short, simple songs that pass for country rock during the 1960s, Gene Clark here turned the genre into epic form. 'No Other' is a collection of exquisitely arranged and produced extended songs, bolstered by lush acoustic guitars and a battery of backing vocalists. 'Life's Greatest Fool' sets the tone for Clark's melancholy and 'Silver Raven' develops it in plaintive fashion. Both are in familiar country rock vein, but from there on Clark ventures into darker, electric rock territory.
The title track features slithering bass notes and an insistent, menacing melody. 'Strength Of Strings' maintains the tension. 'From A Silver Phial,' the shortest track at just under four minutes offers the only break in the intensity. 'Some Misunderstanding,' the longest track at eight minutes, follows it, a magnificent track. 'The True One' helps you wind down a little before the unforgettable aching of 'Lady Of the North.'
Clark has a habit of elongating his syllables, which is occasionally irritating, particularly where he comes up with dumb lines like 'she had wings to fly.' Even so, this is nothing less than a classic album, one that doesn't overwhelm you immediately, but gets you gradually.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, 19 Mar 2007
By 
J. Alexander "markmaccoll" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
'No Other' is one of those rare gems of a record that just gets better with each listen. I suppose, it's a bit like Astral Weeks by Van Morrison or like Ys by Joanna Newsom as at first it can seem hard to get into, but once you have you will never be able to get away from it! And that's a good thing, by the way! It's a record with different shades. It's hard to describe but there are songs on this album that are both happy and sad at the same time. For instance, the album's opener 'Life's Greatest Fool' with it's otherwordly country rock chuggerlong and gospel choir is both extactically uplifting and overwhelmingly sad at the same time. With lyrics like 'Children laugh and run away, while others look into the darkness of the day', the album is never less than profound. With Sly Stone contributing some mean funk on 'No Other' and 'Lady of the North' the musicianship is simply telephathic.

It is a shame Clark was snatched away from us through his booze and ill health as I think he would be pleased to know that many people are greatly moved by the 'No Other' experience. I hope that this joyous album is one you soon decide to purchase.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audacious 1974 album that skirts the other side of genius, 10 Mar 2008
By 
russell clarke "stipesdoppleganger" (halifax, west yorks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
In December 1974 Gene Clark released No Other .The record company Asylum were not only fraught about the recording costs of the album -around $100,000 but on hearing the album were dismayed by the albums lack of commercial appeal and what they considered a dearth of songs. Adding to the confusion was the albums cover , a collage inspired by 1920,s Hollywood and with a photo of Clark sporting a lustrous bouffant, enormous flares and wearing more make up than Boy George in the early eighties.

The album was savaged by critics who labelled it pretentious, bloated and generally not very good and with Asylum neglecting to promote it No Other crept to the dizzy heights of 144 on the billboard charts. By 1976 No Other was deleted and Clark faded into obscurity until his death of causes related to alcoholism in 1991. Yet as is often the case the album has been re-appraised over the intervening years and Clarks embittered assessment that No Other was his masterpiece has proven to be correct with contemporary critics and musicians agreeing wholeheartedly with Clark that indeed No Other is a work of considerable genius. Re-released on CD in 2003 on the back of an excellent double CD compilation of his work -"Flying High"- which included three tracks off No Other this is an album that i would consider essential for any discerning music collection.

As for a dearth of songs.....well i count eight songs on this album of which at least six are truly outstanding, extraordinary ...choose your own adjective. For the recording of the album Clark paired up with producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye who would become the artists confidant for the remainder of his career. Clark had spent over in retreat at his home in Mendocino preparing material for the album or as he put it "Analyzing the material" but the recording sessions were mainly conducted in Los Angeles and used some of the best of the era,s session musicians including Craig Doerge on keyboards, bassist Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel on percussion and former Byrd Chris Hillman. The music that emerged from these sessions was complex with over-dubbed arrangements and intricate harmonies but crucially it never became self indulgent, prosaic or pompous..no matter what people at the time thought.

"Life,s Greatest Fool" is a slightly mis-leading opener with a country tinged slice of melodic guitar picking but the lyrics hold far more weight than good ol, boy homilies with "Words can be empty , though filled with sound" and the multi layered harmonies of "Do you believe?" in the songs last third take it into transcendental territory . "Silver Raven" is more introspective with a bubbling yet understated bass line and tendrils of guitar and is about a satellite that was found transmitting signals that was believed to be 100 years advanced from our technology .The title track though marks a four song foray into a visionary brew of pop , rock with a little funk and the country stuff Clark was renowned for.

With a curious churning mixture of bass and guitar , gospel vocal backing , rattling percussion No Other feels both hugely melancholic yet strangely languorously ecstatic. I have never heard anything like it since. Rumour has it that Sly Stone was around during the recording of the album and that his presence may have influenced Clark and there is a discernible Sly And The Family Stone groove to this song.

"Strength Of Strings" should be majestic with a title like that and thankfully is. Covered by This Mortal Coil , who did a good job of it too, it,s still fair to say you haven,t really experienced this song in it,s satiated glory till you have heard the original .Plump piano note, creamy harmonies, and an incremental melody that just when you think it cannot achieve greater magnificence does just that. "From A Silver Phial" is an explosion of melody with more massive plonking piano notes, more of those harmonies..ohhh those harmonies, lusty guitar and a rubbery wah wah solo.

"Some Misunderstanding "is an epic eight minute ballad of such tender radiance and with such a truly superb Clark vocal that it brings a lump to my throat just writing about it. Clark does this without any of the comfort blankets that artists usually resort to for this type of material .No string arrangements , and I love string arrangements- just piano , keyboards guitars, nimble bass , percussion and velvety backing vocals -yet the sound is massive without being bombastic.

"The True One" harks back most closely to Clark,s country past with sanguine pedal steel ."Lady Of The North" is a gorgeous wah wah heavy ballad of all things written for his wife Carlie and was written by Clark and his old cohort Doug Dillard in a cocaine induced fugue , the final time they ever collaborated together.

I recently read ,more by accident than intention it must be said, Rolling Stones 500 greatest albums of all time. Utter shite like The Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Def Leppard were in there but of No Other -not a mention. Anybody with a nano speck( Is there such a thing?) knowledge of music, and with all modesty I include myself , would surely have No Other in their top ten. A truly visionary album , an astounding complete work (By the way the extra tracks ,great though they are, are best listened to separate from the album proper) as Clark sings on Some Misunderstanding "We all need a fix / At a time like this". You will never ever , get a better fix for times like this than No Other.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost masterpiece, 28 Oct 2003
By 
steve from london (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No Other (Audio CD)
I agree with all the reviewers on this one! I was only aware of Gene Clark's work with the Byrds until I got this CD - what a revelation this is! This album can go up against Pet Sounds, Blood on the Tracks and Revolver without any problems. At least three of the tracks could be contenders for 'most beautiful song ever'. It just makes you wonder why it has taken so long to get this out on CD! The album 'Gene Clark' is excellent too and well worth investigating.
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