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Quality Cannot Be Denied.,
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This review is from: Roadmaster (Audio CD)Released in 1973 by A&M Holland and not released in the UK until 1986 this is essentialy an archival compilation of unissued studio material. Not perhaps the most promising of prospect but when Gene Clark is in the equation you learn to expect to find nuggets of gold in the most unlikely places.
The first two tracks(She's the Kind of Girl' and 'One In a Hundred')are Byrds backed(from a shelved 1970 album project)and would have been stand out tracks on any Byrds album. The song 'One In a Hundred' also appears on the 'White Light' album in a pared down form (which is very different but also excellent)and was actually recorded after this version. One can only echoe the thoughts voiced by others, what if he'd been allowed to remain with the Byrds?
'Here Tonight'(track 3) was recorded with the 'Flying Burrito Brothers'and is one one the sweetest and most instantly lovable melodies I've ever heard.It's followed by two more high quality Gene Clark originals 'Full Circle Song'(sequestered onto the Byrds reunion album with a slightly shortened title) and the fantastic 'In a Misty Morning' a country tinged gem.
To be honest the rest of the album doesn't quite match the first five songs (no disgrace in that) following on are a couple of pleasant covers and the title track itself, probably the least 'Gene Clark' song you could imagine; a rather basic R&B workout with lyrics to match("I'm a roadmaster baby and I spend my life on the road...").
The final three tracks feature are all Clark originals two of which are performed in a delicate country style and sandwich the track I was most intrigued to hear; a reworking of one of my favourite ever songs:'She don't Care About Time'.Sung at about half the speed of the original and with, as with most of the album, that country feel, I still prefer the original version but it certainly casts the song in a new light.
The packaging is a slight disappointment as it appears to be a poor reproduction of the vinyl sleeve.This is crying out for the 'remastered and expanded' treatment but since it is quite possible it might not even be available we shouldn't complain too loudly.
Overall I would say this is an essential purchase for any fan of Gene Clark and is good enough to satisfy the uninitiated looking to make a first purchase too (although 'White Light' and 'No Other' would probably rank ahead of it).Strongly recommended.