This is the another installment in my series of favorite records.
We have our first double entry. Of all the artists on all the records I have ever heard, none are any better than Dillard & Clark.
Former Byrd Gene Clark and bluegrass guru Doug Dillard formed one of the first country rock groups when they began recording as Dillard and Clark in the late 1960’s.
Their first record, recorded in 1968, is The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark. It’s the best record either of them have done- and it’s a fine one. Perfect, country rock songwriting and playing. She Darked the Sun is one of the prettiest songs I’ve ever heard. Don’t Come a Rollin’ is a harp driven country romp without equal. Get It On Brother is bluegrass and gospel and a whole bowl full of goodness. There is not one song on this record that is not excellent. In fact, calling them excellent may be selling these songs short.
Their second record, titled Through the Morning, Through the Night, was released a year later in 1969. It’s slightly more of a traditional country/bluegrass record. But it has some great songs, including fabulous covers of No Longer a Sweetheart of Mine, Four Walls and the Beatles’ Don’t Let Me Down.
But what gets this record on this list are two of my favorite songs ever- and I mean both favorite and ever. The title track, a Gene Clark original, is a haunting, alternative country number. And then there’s Polly, another Gene Clark original. You simply have to hear this song to understand how perfect it is. Haunting. Wistful. Tears. Simply beautiful.
No one, not even The Rolling Stones, has ever released a two better records in back to back years. Go buy these records. Play them for your loved ones, your children, your grandparents. No one should go through life without hearing these records