Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers / Echoes - Columbia 1967
Gene Clark left the Byrds in 1966 and started on a solo-career and this album was his first solo-release. Clark was by far the most prolific songwriter in the Byrds, and he wrote all songs for this album – two of them with Bill Rinehart. There are obviously different opinions of which Gene Clark album is the best, and this one is actually one that is very often brought forward.
Most songs are ballads or mid-tempo, but a few is more up-beat and would have fitted a Byrds arrangement perfectly – in fact, Chris Hillman’s distinctive bass playing is present on all songs - and also Byrds drummer Michael Clarke and future Byrds member Clarence White appear on the album. Especially “So You Say You Lost Your Baby”, does sound like a Byrds song - especially if you disregard the strings.
Other great songs are “Echoes”, which almost has Bacharach character, the country flavoured “Tried So Hard” and “The Same One”, which is obviously inspired by the Beatles. Actually the songwriting is quite consistent and it could in my view very well be a candidate for a “best album”.
The first seven tracks are early Byrds recordings, most of them released on the first two Byrds album. Exceptions are “Boston”, which is a rather ordinary Everly Brothers style song and the terrific ballad “For Me Again”, which really deserved a place on a regular Byrds album – one of several songs where the Byrds sound a lot like The Searchers.
The last three songs are outtakes from the solo album. Both “The French Girl” and especially “Only Colombe” would have suited the album.