"Lady of the North"
No Other, 1974
As the No Other sessions went over budget and deadline, Clark's marriage to Carlie McCummings crumbled and he reverted back to his hard-living days, but with a new SoCal twist: cocaine. He holed up with former musical partner Doug Dillard and attempted to woo his estranged wife back with the resplendent yet aching album closer "Lady of the North." In the song, Clark remembers "trials never entered into any conversation," and yet seems resigned to the dissolution of his marriage, lamenting a change in the seasons ahead. As the music roils to a climax, producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye sends violin, cello, organ and pedal steel guitar through wah-wah pedals, bringing the song to a lift-off on the line about "flying high over the clouds." While he rightly considered the album his masterpiece, the critical and commercial failure of No Other was something that haunted Clark for the rest of his life.