Hear Gene Clark's Rare 1967 Song 'A Long Time'

Acoustic post-Byrds demo is among vintage tracks on long-lost 'Gene Clark Sings for You' LP

'Gene Clark Sings for You,' featuring the songwriter's previously unheard post-Byrds recordings from 1967, is set to arrive June 15th. Credit: Courtesy of Conqueroo

Finding a musician and songwriter more influential in the collective genres of pop, folk, country and Americana music – and yet also more underappreciated – than the late Gene Clark would be a formidable task. Clark's legacy as a singer, songwriter, founding member of the Byrds, and collaborator in a number of acts, including Dillard & Clark (with banjo legend Doug Dillard), Gene Clark & the Gosdin Brothers (featuring future country star Vern Gosdin), McGuinn, Clark & Hillman (with fellow ex-Byrds Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman), and as the duet partner of Carla Olson, front woman of Eighties L.A. rock band the Textones, earned him a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Now, a previously unknown collection from Clark's post-Byrds career has been unearthed by Omnivore Recordings, as Gene Clark Sings for You is set for a June release.

The eight tracks on the LP, which author and annotator John Einarson (Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark), describes as "nothing less than the Holy Grail of the singer-songwriter's extraordinary body of work," were recorded in 1967 and discovered on a rare acetate in the Liberty Records vaults. The upcoming collection also features five tracks from another acetate given to L.A. band the Rose Garden, best known for their solitary 1967 hit, "Next Plane to London." An additional album, A Trip Through the Garden: The Rose Garden Collection, is also being reissued with a wealth of previously unavailable bonus tracks.

Included on the Rose Garden acetate as part of the Gene Clark Sings for You LP is "A Long Time," penned and performed by Clark acoustically with a warm, enveloping vocal that sounds like a mystical cross between Bob Dylan and George Harrison. Lines about faces on street corners "all just looking for a place called somewhere," naturally give the gentle tune a vintage Byrds feel, built on a foundation of poetic Sixties idealism yet easily translated to the 21st century social-media-conscious ethos. 

Gene Clark Sings for You and The Rose Garden will be available on Omnivore Records June 15th.