"Strength of Strings"
No Other, 1974
With big-selling artists Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles having covering Gene Clark's songs, David Geffen signed the singer-songwriter to Asylum Records in early 1974. Staring out onto the Pacific Ocean from his Mendocino home, Clark drew on discussions with far out friends like David Carradine and Dennis Hopper about the philosophies of Carlos Castaneda and Madame Blavatsky and folded such mysticism into his lyrics. Rather than the spare folk sound that underpinned White Light, on No Other producer Thomas Jefferson Kaye aimed for a more lush, intricate sound with an R&B undercurrent, enlisting twenty-five odd players, back-up singers and string musicians. While critics deemed the album indulgent (studio fees reportedly topped $100,000), the epic "Strength of Strings' was an uncanny hybrid of Delta blues, orchestral rock and cosmic gospel.