Following its previous hybrid SACD and deluxe vinyl reissue of Gene Clark's 1971 A&M Records solo classic White Light, Intervention Records is turning back the clock to 1968 to the Byrds co-founder's collaboration with banjo legend Doug Dillard. In May, Intervention will reissue The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark on hybrid stereo SACD (playable on all CD players), while a 180-gram vinyl reissue will follow in late 2022.
The singer-songwriter inaugurated his solo career in 1967 at The Byrds' label home of Columbia Records when he joined forces with Vern and Rex Gosdin on Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers. The next year, he moved over to Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss' A&M Records to fuse country-rock and bluegrass with Doug Dillard on this Fantastic Expedition. Clark played guitar, harmonica, and sang lead vocals while Dillard handled banjo, fiddle, and guitar as well as additional vocals. Produced by the versatile Larry Marks (whose work at A&M included The Merry-Go-Round, Chris Montez, Liza Minnelli, and Lee Michaels), the album welcomed future Flying Burrito Brother and Eagle Bernie Leadon (banjo, guitar, vocals) as well as fellow original Byrd and future Burrito Brother Chris Hillman (mandolin), David Jackson (double bass), Don Beck (mandolin, dobro), Andy Belling (electric harpsichord), and Joel Larson (drums).
Clark, writing with Dillard and/or Leadon, penned all nine of the LP's songs save for a cover of Lester Flatt's "Git It on, Brother." There's a palpable sense of musical discovery throughout Fantastic Expedition as Dillard, Clark, and the band connected the dots between country, rock, bluegrass, and folk, anticipating the genre known today as Americana. Dillard and Clark would release one more joint album for A&M, 1969's Through the Morning, Through the Night, but only four of its eleven tracks were Clark originals. Far less conventional than its follow-up, Fantastic Expedition remains a powerful and personal statement from Gene Clark and a collaborator who briefly brought out the best in him, Doug Dillard. Clark's singing was at its best, and his poetry and musicianship both impeccable.
The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark has been mastered Direct-to-DSD from the one quarter-inch 15-ips original analog stereo master tapes by Kevin Gray at CoHEARent Audio. The label's press release promises that "the tapes sound beautifully dynamic and alive, with tuneful bass, extended highs and three-dimensional imaging. The IR cut has better separation and punch than ANY previous version of this amazing record!" Based on Intervention's previous releases - including both White Light and the first two A&M albums by The Flying Burrito Brothers - it's more than likely this title will live up to their high standard of audio quality.
Orders are open now at Intervention's website for The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark on hybrid SACD. It's due to ship on or before May 27, and watch this space for news on the label's upcoming 180-gram vinyl reissue of the title. You'll find the pre-order link and track listing below.
Dillard and Clark, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard and Clark (A&M SP 4158, 1968 - reissued Intervention Records IR-SCD17, 2022)
- Out on the Side
- She Darked the Sun
- Don't Come Rollin'
- Train Leaves Here This Morning
- With Care from Someone
- The Radio Song
- Git It on Brother
- In the Plan
- Something's Wrong