Friday, 20 July 2018

Clear Light “Clear Light ” 1967 US West Coast Psych Rock


Clear Light “Clear Light ” 1967 US West Coast Psych Rock. a psychedelic gem....!
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Imagine it is 1967 and you hold a record in your hands with some guys on the cover dressed in what was fashionable among youngsters at the time standing in a patch of palm tree forest and a rolling band logo in light blue above them. It could be anything for sure but you know that it might be promising. Now you get to know that these guys are from Los Angeles and since you are aware of the vibrant Californian scene now your interest awakes. And here is where the fun begins. What might have been just one album out of so many equally good ones from 1967 - there were a hell of a lot struggling for your attention - the first fuzzed out rocker already sends your soul into a state of simmering excitement and the further you explore this piece of morning maniac music the more colorful aspects of their creativity will enchant you. Dark or at least gruff rock tunes with a quite heavy fuzz guitar take turns with melodic tunes that have these lush clean guitar harmonies you rather expect from THE BYRDS but since you are also aware that both bands originate from the same city and scene it is no wonder that CLEAR LIGHT got heavily influenced by their compatriots. They still try out different twists and turns on psychedelic pop and rock, early heavy stuff and garage sounds. Their melody writing is just captivating. The most outstanding track on this album to me is “Mr. Blue” for its remote structures far from the typical pop tune. It starts with a sluggish roll on the floor tom that reminds you of a scene where a convict slowly walks up to the gallow while the judge reads the sentence and indeed there is a voice that speaks to “Mr. Blue” and tells him about his fate. In between the track turns into a classic heavy garage rocker with a catchy chorus line and with each verse there are more and spookier guitar howls joining the speaking voice. The grand finale of “Mr. Blue” is an instrumental explosion of pure garage psychedelia. A piece like this is quite typical for the era but also above awesome as in many cases. More colorful pop with changing rhythms and memorable melodies will come hereafter. Contemporary rock acts that were playing in a similar league musically for sure were LOVE, THE DOORS, THE SEEDS, THE BYRDS, THE COUNT FIVE, THE SHADOWS OF KNIGHT, BLUES MAGOOS, so you will know what to expect from CLEAR LIGHT. And they used to have everything a band needs to become a major act on the scene back then. So let us drag this classic back to the light and inspire younger generations with their brand of stormy harmonies and forceful fuzz guitars on body shaking rhythm patterns. An all killer release….music emporium….~


Kind of a minor league version of the Doors, Clear Light were a West Coast phenomenon, and although they didn’t last too long, were an interesting group. A very good slice of Los Angeles psychedelia, Clear Light were a six-piece band that combined folk, rock, psychedelia, and even a touch of classical to their sound. The end result, though, is a little ponderous and pretentious, but strangely listenable. The big hit off this album (produced by Paul Rothchild and engineered by Bruce Botnick) was “Mr. Blue,” a psychedelic folk song written by Tom Paxton. It’s over six-minutes long and a bit overbaked, but it does have an odd appeal. The finer moments are guitarist Bob Seal’s psychedelic folk-rock songs, namely “With All in Mind” and “They Who Have Nothing.” Singer Cliff DeYoung went on to have a successful acting career, bass player Doug Lubahn played on the early Doors albums, Dallas Taylor went on to drum for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and John Sebastian, and keyboardist Ralph Schuckett became one of the more popular West Coast session players and arrangers. A lot of talent in a short-lived ensemble. Dated but charming West Coast psychedelia…..by Matthew Greenwald…allmusic…..~


Clear Light was a folk-rock/psych-rock group from LA that released one LP off Elektra in 1967, famously known for including two drummers, one of them being Dallas Taylor of CSNY and Manassas fame. Paul Rothchild produced the LP, which explains why the recording sessions were fraught with tension and negativity. The group was masterminded by guitarist/vocalist Bob Seal, bass player Doug Lubahn, and lead vocalist Cliff De Young. Prior to Clear Light the band had been known as the Brain Train. Seal felt a name change was appropriate to coincide with the release of a newly recorded debut single, “Black Roses.” Seal decided on Clear Light, a concept he had come across in his readings of Eastern philosophy, a name also shared by a potent brand of LSD. 

“Black Roses,” written by Wolfgang Dios, was released in September of 1967. It was a great hard charging folk-rock single with an acid tinged guitar solo that deserved to sell much better than it did. Black Roses appeared on the group’s only full length platter, released in late 1967. Many psych fans are divided when it comes to the Clear Light LP but I think it’s a good one. Maybe not a true classic on par with Love’s Forever Changes or Moby Grape’s debut but still a very good LP without any weak tracks. The band tries nearly everything within a 2 to 3 minute pop song context, loading the songs with good quirky ideas and great guitar solos (check out “Think Again”). 

Some tracks like “They Who Have Nothing” and the baroque “Ballad of Freddie & Larry” bear a strong Doors and Love influence, but this makes sense considering these were all Elektra groups. Other songs like the outstanding fuzz guitar psychedelia of “Sand” and the trippy “Night Sounds Loud” are more original and hinted at a strong future for the group. The former track features some great organ and spiraling acid guitar interplay. The album’s most famous track, a cover of Tom Paxton‘s “Mr. Blue,” sounds dated today with its spoken word dialogue, although, even this song is oddly appealing in its own way and definitely still considered a highlight. 

Rothchild’s iron fist policy coupled with the lack of commercial success led to Clear Light’s demise, shortly after the release of this solid album. Not everyone will like this record because of its eccentric nature but it really is a crime that Clear Light was unable to release a followup to this debut. A very worthy release from a talented, accomplished California group. 
by Jason Nardelli….~



This one has come to represent my own relationship with psychedelia. After familiarizing oneself with the most popular psych albums—all the Pipers or Jimis or Jeffersons what have you—the next layer are these no-named obscurities that collectors obsess over (and actually this one is not so unanimous). And for someone just opening up to a genre that they had previously believed was much smaller and briefer, the temptation to compare everything back to the most popular dozen records is tough to overcome. That was initially me with this album and plenty others at least. Clear Light really doesn’t have the mainstream star potential of Jefferson Airplane (although perhaps more than Ultimate Spinach) with some simple yet subtle pop melodies. The temptation may be to consider this lighthearted or pedestrian, but closer listens to “Nights Sounds Loud” or “Street Singer” reveals some carefully cultivated paranoi and confusion that grows throughout….by….echandl2 …~


Just discovered this gem.Only two tracks,the short “Think Again” and “How Many Days” didn’t cut the mustard with me.Apart from these the rest of the album is top notch and in some ways ahead of it’s time.It reminded me of some of the Damned’s output some 10-12 years after this came out. 
“How Many Days” falls short,for me,as it sounds like countless other hackneyed folkie/singer songwriter efforts from the 60’s both musically and lyrically. 
Good album though….by….woody123 ….~



Undoubtedly, one of the very best albums from the psych era. It is well played and well conceived with strong lead and harmony vocals. Infused with a typical organ sound for the period, it never ceases to be interesting. They diverge slightly into garage territory but on the whole it’s high quality psychedelic rock. On a couple of tracks, the vocals are highly reminiscent of Love (which is not a good thing in my books, given my low opinion of Arthur Lee’s vocal limitations) but mostly they have their own sound. It does sound quite sophisticated for 1967 

Rather bizarrely, on this Collector’s Choice re-issue, they have slapped a bonus track in the middle of the running order. It doesn’t matter to me as I didn’t know this album from its vinyl era but those listeners who were familiar with it may find this rather odd…..by…..Crazyworldof ….~



Clear Light was a folk-rock/psych-rock group from LA that released one LP off Elektra in 1967, famously known for including two drummers, one of them being Dallas Taylor of CSNY and Manassas fame. Paul Rothchild produced the LP, which explains why the recording sessions were fraught with tension and negativity. The group was masterminded by guitarist/vocalist Bob Seal, bass player Doug Lubahn, and lead vocalist Cliff De Young. Prior to Clear Light the band had been known as the Brain Train. Seal felt a name change was appropriate to coincide with the release of a newly recorded debut single, “Black Roses.” Seal decided on Clear Light, a concept he had come across in his readings of Eastern philosophy, a name also shared by a potent brand of LSD. 

“Black Roses,” written by Wolfgang Dios, was released in September of 1967. It was a great hard charging folk-rock single with an acid tinged guitar solo that deserved to sell much better than it did. Black Roses appeared on the group’s only full length platter, released in late 1967. Many psych fans are divided when it comes to the Clear Light LP but I think it’s a good one. Maybe not a true classic on par with Love’s Forever Changes or Moby Grape’s debut but still a very good LP without any weak tracks. The band tries nearly everything within a 2 to 3 minute pop song context, loading the songs with good quirky ideas and great guitar solos (check out “Think Again”). Some tracks like “They Who Have Nothing” and the baroque “Ballad of Freddie & Larry” bear a strong Doors and Love influence, but this makes sense considering these were all Elektra groups. Other songs like the outstanding fuzz guitar psychedelia of “Sand” and the trippy “Night Sounds Loud” are more original and hinted at a strong future for the group. The former track features some great organ and spiraling acid guitar interplay. The album’s most famous track, a cover of Tom Paxton‘s “Mr. Blue,” sounds dated today with its spoken word dialogue, although, even this song is oddly appealing in its own way and definitely still considered a highlight. 

Rothchild’s iron fist policy coupled with the lack of commercial success led to Clear Light’s demise, shortly after the release of this solid album. Not everyone will like this record because of its eccentric nature but it really is a crime that Clear Light was unable to release a followup to this debut. A very worthy release from a talented, accomplished California group……Rising Storm review….~




In the sixties, I had a tendency to pick up albums based on the photo of the band. I figured if the band looked freaky, their music probably was too. I hated pop music so I always looked for the underground bands. The longer the hair, the uglier, the weirdest dressed, that was my incentive. Clear Light was in that category. They had long hair, one guy looked like Buffalo Bill, and there were six of them. Another attraction was their label. They were on the same label as the Doors and at the time, I was really into the Doors first album. So, I figured they had to be something like them. 

Many people can see a nod to the Doors in Clear Light’s music, but I didn’t. I was very pleasantly surprised at how good the music was. It was full of experimental songs, like Black Roses that had more time signature changes than cords. Then there was Sand, with a really good tempo shift guitar solo at the end instead of in the middle of the song like so many others. Everyone that knows this album refers to Mr. Blue. It was unusual for several reasons. It has some pretty neat drumming, great guitar effects and solos, and was over six minutes long. It was not quite Ina Gadda Da Vida, but still unusual for the time. My favorite song though is Street Singer, or as I call it the Organ Grinder Song. As a guitar player, I tried to learn the whole album note for note and actually came close a couple of times. 

As with my other favorite albums of the time, I wore it out and was lucky enough to meet my wife in Spain (she’s American) and she had a copy of the album too! I was finally able to purchase the Edsel version of their CD with the extra track “She’s Ready To Be Free” on it from the movie “The President’s Analyst.” I have tried to keep up with what the members of the band have been doing over the years but the biggest mystery to me was Bob Seal, their guitar player and leader. He seemed to have disappeared off the face of the earth, that is until I read the excellent liner notes Mike Staxx wrote for the CD. He interviewed Bob and there are some great anecdotes revealed for the first time. 
For those of you looking for a classic sixties album, you can’t go wrong with Clear Light. They produced a groundbreaking album that is well worth seeking out. 

Okay, that was my original review of the Edsel version of the CD back in 2002. Since then so much has happened, like getting to know Doug Lubahn, driving by the Clear Light house in Franklin Ave, becoming Facebook buddies with most of the surviving band members and then there’s my dear friend, Gray Newell. When this new updated version of the album came out, I had to get it. 

I like this new version much better for several reasons. First, the fidelity of the original album is much better. Second, they chose to run the album in the original order, unlike the Edsel version which had She’s Ready To Be Free in the middle, throwing the original vibe off. Third, the new songs that are included give a rare insight into the band. Granted, I’ve heard most of those songs already. I’ve even heard those two new songs from the unreleased album and I can understand why they aren’t on the CD! 

Fourth, the excellent story written by Gray Newell gives everyone insight into what made and destroyed this very unique band. They could’ve been one of the big outfits out of the West Coast if not for…well, you have to read it to see what I mean. 

As for the new songs, even though it doesn’t fit at all with the original album vibe, Bye Bye Boogie Man, a Bob Seal composition, sticks with me the most. The other tracks are gems, even if they sometimes don’t even sound like Clear Light. 

Folks, this is history and the best tribute one could ever give to my favorite band. I salute the people who put this out, Gray Newell and Clear Light. Rock on!…by…. Fred Rayworth….~


In 1966, The Brain Train formed and was managed by Sunset Strip hipster Bud Mathis. They recorded one single – “Black Roses”, written by Wolfe Dios – before changing their name to Clear Light and signing to Elektra Records. Guitarist Bob Seal felt the name should be changed to coincide with the single. Clear Light shared its name with a potent form of LSD, although Seal states the name came from his studies of Eastern philosophy. The Doors’ producer Paul A. Rothchild took over management of the band. 

The core members of Clear Light were Bob Seal, lead guitarist and vocals, Robbie “The Werewolf” Robison, rhythm guitar and vocals, Doug Lubahn bass and vocals, Dallas Taylor drums, and Michael Ney on an atypical second set of drums. The original line-up was featured in the 1967 motion picture The President’s Analyst, with Barry McGuire cast as their leader and vocalist. They soon added Cliff De Young on lead vocals and this is the version of the band seen on their only album cover. However, sometime during the recording process, often described as “brutal”, Paul Rothchild was not happy with Robison’s guitar playing skills and pressured the group to remove him – he was replaced by keyboard player Ralph Schuckett. 

In what has been called the band’s finest hour, drunken customers in a Park Avenue club heckled them so brutally that Ralph Schuckett, the usually gentle organist, hurled a few choice words back at them. The band walked off the stage, retired to the Albert Hotel, and woke up in the morning to find that they had become underground heroes … 

Paul Rothchild then pressured the other members of the band to fire Bob Seal". Seal was replaced by ex-Fug Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar; Cliff De Young was soon to follow, and after having started work on a second album the group disbanded in 1968…..~ 


  Although the band only recorded one album in 1967 before disbanding, Clear Light’s Los Angeles psychedelia fit perfectly on Elektra alongside such acts as The Doors, Love, and Tim Buckley. “Black Roses” jangles like an early Byrds tune before Cliff De Young starts singing with throaty inflections that have more in common with Jim Morrison. The following “Sand” unleashes some of the era’s prerequisite fuzz guitar and Hammond organ; when they’re played at a marching rhythm, the result’s an archetypical style of West Coast acid-rock. De Young over-annunciates his lyrics in the playful “A Child’s Smile,” sounding like Arthur Lee—especially when accompanied by baroque-pop instrumentation. “She’s Ready to Be Free” balances frantic early-‘60s go-go beats with late-'60s trippy studio acoutrements for a song that’s as catchy as it is psychedelic. But the heady cover of Tom Paxton’s “Mr. Blue” is what became the album’s notable hit. Dallas Taylor’s stellar drumming would later accompany Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young……~ 


  Who knows what their story would have been like if they had not decided to insubordinate themselves to the strict rules imposed by Paul A. Rothchild , the producer who became famous for being the man behind the Doors and Janis Joplin record machines rather than other Californian spells of the period . I wonder if they would have emerged from the status of cult band which have been relegated to the rock encyclopedias or that of a one shot band that ended up in the homonymous beautiful book by Paolo Gresta published just behind this careful reprint by Big Beat. Would they become an orderly folk band? A rebellious gang of hard-rock prophets? A bland formation of ordinary rock blues? Who can say it. 

All that remains of them musically, in addition to the record of being the first band to perform with two drummers on stage, the fact of having in training Douglas Lubahn (or the “fifth Doors”) and Ralph Schuckett (later in the Utopia of Todd Rundgren ) and having played as a ghost band on the Head of the Monkees , is locked in here, including She’s Ready to Be Free with which they made an appearance on the film The President’s Analyst with a mustachioed Barry McGuire in command. At the time they share the stage with everyone, from Tim Buckley to Buffalo Springfield , from Creedence, from Bo Diddley to Chambers Brothers , from Electric Flag to Pink Floyd , from Kaleidoscope to Flamin 'Groovies , from Blue Cheer to Grateful Dead but the most memorable concert, the one that paradoxically gives them clamor, they do it all by themselves, on the stage of Scene East of New York, in July 1967. 

The public is there to be intoxicated with cocktails and marijuana and Ralph Shuckett admonishes the crowd for their annoying and bourgeois carelessness. The next day the Clear Light is the most talked-about band in the city, preparing the ground for the album (and its single) which will be released in October. On the cover the lineup widens out of proportion but only to correct in some way the cover photo erroneously used by Elektra drawing it from the archive without taking into account the changes in structure that the Californian group has had in recent months. The record is the son of his time, loosely related to the acid rock of Seeds and Doors, both for the use of the keyboard and for the melodramatic register chosen by Cliff DeYoung to portray small portraits such as those of Street Singer or Mr. Blue but it also borders the territories dear to Love and Moby Grape ( A Child’s Smile, with Van Dyke Parks to the harspichord, They Who Have Nothing, How Many Days Have Passed ). On the record, which is already a small neopsichedelic gem in itself, there are now new absolute, equally valuable gems. Like the beautiful folk rock interweaving of Dawn Lights the Way and Eastern Valleys , which deserved a reward. Your. (Franco Dimauro)…~ 


  Here`s a real missing piece of the psychedelic `60s puzzle - the lone album from Clear Light, the Paul Rothchild-produced folk-rock band that featured future actor Cliff DeYoung on vocals, CSN&Y; drummer-to-be Dallas Taylor and a whole lot of West Coast Summer of Love attitude. You`ll hear echoes of label-mates the Doors and Love here, maybe that`s why this 1967 Elektra release has been at the top of `60s psych collectors` want lists for decades! Includes the non-LP bonus track She`s Ready to Be Free. The notes include an interview with band leader Bob Seal. One of the better-remembered psychedelic one-shots of the `60s, Clear Light recorded one album on Elektra before splitting up. Their California psychedelia was very much in the mold of fellow Elektra artists Love, Tim Buckley, and especially the Doors, which is hardly a coincidence; like all of these artists, Clear Light worked with producer Paul Rothchild and engineer Bruce Botnick. “3 stars…. Kind of a minor league version of the Doors, the Clear Light was a West Coast phenomenon, and although they didn`t last too long, were an interesting group. A very good slice of Los Angeles psychedelica, the Clear Light were a six-piece band that combined folk, rock, psychedelica, and even a touch of classical to their sound. The end result, though, is a little ponderous and pretentious but strangely listenable. The big hit off this album (produced by Paul Rothchild and engineered by Bruce Botnick) was "Mr. Blue,” a psychedelic folk song written by Tom Paxton. It`s over six minutes long, and a bit overbaked, but it does have an odd appeal. The finer moments are guitarist Bob Seal`s psychedelic folk-rock songs, namely “With All in Mind” and “They Who Have Nothing.” Singer Cliff DeYoung went on to have a successful acting career, bass player Doug Lubahan played on the early Doors albums, Dallas Taylor went on to drum for Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young & John Sebastian, and keyboardist Ralph Schuckett became one of the more popular West Coast session players and arrangers. A lot of talent in a short-lived ensemble. Dated but charming West Coast psychedelica.“-AMG…..~ 


  There was a time in the 60s when any release on Elektra was a guarantee of quality and probably worthy of buying. Released in 1967, the sole album from Clear Light came hot on the heels of key albums by The Doors and Love. While this should have attracted a certain amount of interest, providing the band with a breakthrough, it was to become an undersung rarity. 

This reissue adds several bonus tracks to the album, including their earlier release of Black Roses as The Brain Train which is arguably more attractive than the better-produced album version. The group utilised a two-drummer line-up behind their driving guitars, and played attractive Doors-like organ lines. There is variety and power throughout, while a multi-sectioned version of Tom Paxton’s Mr Blue sees their fortunes vary from some almost cumbersome vocal work through to some guitar mayhem. 

They didn’t manage to find a really distinctive song to give them a breakthrough, though How Many Days Have Passed probably came closest to commercial potential. The album outtakes include the heavily drum-driven Eastern Valleys and an odd foray into The Association territory with The Susan Years, but without distinctive-enough vocals. Never less than interesting, but file it under “missed opportunity”…..by.. Kingsley Abbott…Record Collector….~ 


"Their psychedelia run amuck with twin drummers, creamy fuzz guitar and carnival-clatter keyboards, LA’s Clear Light were a fixture on underground radio – most memorably with their heavy-on-the-paranoia 'Mr. Blue.’ Our reissue of their rare self-titled 1967 Elektra debut, produced by Paul Rothchild, features a non-LP bonus track ('She’s Ready To Be Free’) and liner notes that tell Clear Light’s story in full, vivid detail.”…Forced Explosure…~ 


The swirling, churning Sunset Strip conjured many bands during the ’60s, some of whom went on to international acclaim. While Clear Light never achieved that level of fame, their story is all the more intriguing for it. Formed in 1966 as Garnerfield Sanitarium and later the Brain Train, they were managed by Strip fixture Bud Mathis. As the Brain Train, they recorded and released one single before signing to Elektra Records and changing their name to Clear Light. Once there, producer Paul Rothchild took over band management and together with engineer Bruce Botnick, began work on the band’s sole LP, released in 1967. Rothchild, known for producing the afore-mentioned Love and The Doors, helped the band craft an album that stood shoulder-to-shoulder with those of their peers. 

The album’s gestation was difficult, according to accounts. Rothchild reportedly thought rhythm guitarist Robbie “The Werewolf” Robison was not up to the task and convinced the group to replace him with keyboard player Ralph Shuckett. Lead guitarist and vocalist Bob Seal contributed two memorable songs to the album, “They Who Have Nothing” and “With All in My Mind,” before he, too, was sacked post-LP at Rothchild’s urging. But in between losing guitarists, the group managed to record a classic psychedelic LP, full of chiming guitars dipped in fuzz, kaleidoscopic keyboards and bountiful beats from double drummers. The album’s stand-out track was their cover of Tom Paxton’s “Mr. Blue,” which they transformed from a folk song to a six minute plus paranoia-laden lament. A popular track on “underground FM” playlists, it was a showcase for lead vocalist Cliff De Young. The album met with little success upon release, reaching #126 on the Billboard album chart. Though it fared better in England, the group ground to a halt after furtive attempts at recording a second album. 

This story has a very interesting postscript. After the breakup, several of the band members found successful ventures. Drummer Dallas Taylor became a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Manassas and the Stephen Stills Band. Bassist Doug Lubahn played bass on several Doors albums and went on to play with Billy Squier. Danny Kortchmar, Seal’s replacement, worked with Carole King, James Taylor and many others. Second drummer Michael Ney and keyboard player Shuckett became active session players. Vocalist Cliff De Young became a successful actor with a long list of movie and television credits that continues to this day. Rothchild continued his prolific career, producing Crosby, Stills & Nash, Janis Joplin and many others until his death in 1995. Botnick remained active as well, producing many ’70s artists before beginning a long-running affiliation with film composer Jerry Goldsmith, working with him on over 100 film scores. 

Bringing the story back to 1967, Clear Light is a fascinating time capsule and a compelling audio experience. This Sundazed edition has been sourced from the original Elektra analog tapes for a superior listening experience and includes a bonus track, “She’s Ready to be Free,” the flip-side of their first Elektra single, “Black Roses.”…..Sundazed ….~ 


Great news for fans of Psychedelic Rock since the very good Label Elektra Records has decided to bring out in a superb Expanded edition the one and only Album of this Group which, at the time, had unfortunately drowned in the mass. This reissue will allow us to discover this cult formation which deserved for nothing in the world to sink in the anonymity. The peculiarity of the Group is at the Battery since they are two to hit the barrels, Michael Ney but especially Dallas Taylor, who was none other than the Drummer of the Crosby Mythos, Stills, Nash and Young and who unfortunately died in January 2015. 

So certainly Clear Light’s Music is going to make you think of the Doors, by the way, Doug Lubahn held the band’s bass in Morrison, but in the '70s, you had to work hard to break through while demonstrating of originality and many groups remained at the dock. However, Californians have a little something more that largely justifies this little catch-up session……~


Clear Light’s eponymous 1967 album is one of the jewels of Elektra Records 1960s catalogue. A short-lived, much-loved Los Angeles aggregate, the band is best known for including sometime Doors bassist Doug Lubahn and future CSNY and Manassas drummer Dallas Taylor, but Clear Light’s blend of quirky songwriting and psychedelic arrangement has helped make their record become a cult classic. Produced by Paul Rothchild (the Doors, Love), the record was intended to showcase the dynamic double-drumkit sound of the group. Previous reissues have sounded flat, but this definitive remaster gives the record the punch it deserves. A major bonus are several excellent, recently uncovered outtakes from the June 1967 sessions for Clear Light, which are featured alongside the non-LP side She’s Ready To Be Free (in both mono and stereo mixes) and a rare single by Clear Light precursors the Brain Train. In addition to the expanded contents and sonic upgrade, in-depth liner notes by Clear Light biographer Gray Newell and some rare illustrations help make this Big Beat release the last word on Clear Light’s legacy…..~ 


Elektra Records around 1967 - who are you thinking of? Of course, first of all to the Doors, then to the Incredible String Band, to the unforgotten Love, too … tremendous records have been made, whoever has a clue about rock music from that time, knows that. For a year or two was This label was the hottest in the world, because besides the mentioned bands and records, it had a few more names to offer, which unfortunately were unsuccessful, even though they did not follow the quality of the stars of the label. 
Clear Light were a sextet from LA with two drummers (Michael Ney and Dallas Taylor), a keyboarder (Ralph Schuckett) and a bassist (Douglas Lubahn), and the two band members who most influenced the sound, namely their versatile singer Cliff De Young and her guitarist Bob Seal, who helped each song with his single notes to the refinement. The untitled LP, released in the summer of 1967, remained the only work of the group, which already existed in the spring of 1968, and some of whose members made their careers - Schuckett as a session musician and film composer, De Young as a film actor and Taylor as a drummer Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Manassas. Why their record was so unsuccessful is difficult to grasp - dynamic, inventive songs with beautiful melodies, precise polyphonic vocals, and a subtle psychedelic touch that makes me think of noble contemporaries like Love, Moby Grape and the Electric Prunes characterize this record. And if a new indie band got some kicks in 2013, they would not make a mistake. It’s great that the music world has received this excellent album as a download (which gives me hope that this will apply in the future to many other insider tips whose CD re-releases are probably too expensive for the companies)….by….byM. Robert Ganser….~



In the early 1970s, I took the rock encyclopedia “Rock Dreams” that Paul A. Rothchild, the well-known producer of my then super band The Doors also had participated in an album of a group called Clear Light. I had the LP but the record was simply not available in Germany. In 1977 I joined Columbus, Ohio as part of a student exchange program. In the second-hand record shop “Mole’s Record Exchange” I finally found this record! A sanctuary in top condition! All this is meant to illustrate that much of the assessment of this LP is purely emotional. After more than 40 years, of course, I see the matter with a certain distance. The title is now available on CD, the thrill of buying something really rare is over. So to the music: I like the record, even without nostalgic inclination. It conveys the feeling of the 1960s - with psychedelics and hippie background. Amazingly well the sound. Paul Rothchild has his share. A springboard for drummer Dallas Taylor (who later received attention at CSN and CSNY) and Doug Lubahn, who played the bass on several Doors albums. Overall, no album that absolutely must be included in a collection. On the other hand, it would not be a bad buy. With - especially the early - Doors and the incredible album “Forever Changes” by Love on the same label Elektra the album can not keep up. Still 5 stars! Paul Rothchild has his share. A springboard for drummer Dallas Taylor (who later received attention at CSN and CSNY) and Doug Lubahn, who played the bass on several Doors albums. Overall, no album that absolutely must be included in a collection. On the other hand, it would not be a bad buy. With - especially the early - Doors and the incredible album “Forever Changes” by Love on the same label Elektra the album can not keep up. Still 5 stars! Paul Rothchild has his share. A springboard for drummer Dallas Taylor (who later received attention at CSN and CSNY) and Doug Lubahn, who played the bass on several Doors albums. Overall, no album that absolutely must be included in a collection. On the other hand, it would not be a bad buy. With - especially the early - Doors and the incredible album “Forever Changes” by Love on the same label Elektra the album can not keep up. Still 5 stars! With - especially the early - Doors and the incredible album “Forever ….by Stephan Rosenkaimer….~ 



Credits 
Bass Guitar – Douglas Lubahn* 
Drums – Dallas Taylor 
Drums, Percussion – Michael Ney 
Guitar – Bob Seal 
Lead Vocals – Cliff De Young 
Organ, Piano, Celesta – Ralph Schuckett 
Vocals – Bob Seal (tracks: A1, A6)











Tracklist 
A1 Black Roses 2:08 
A2 Sand 2:37 
A3 A Child’s Smile 1:33 
A4 Street Singer 3:15 
A5 The Ballad Of Freddie & Larry 2:00 
A6 With All In Mind 3:00 
B1 Mr. Blue 6:24 
B2 Think Again 1:37 
B3 They Who Have Nothing 2:33 
B4 How Many Days Have Passed 2:20 
B5 Night Sounds Loud 2:25 



Discography 

Album
Clear Light, Elektra, 1967 

Singles
"Black Roses” b/w “She’s Ready to Be Free,” Elektra EK45622, 1967
“Black Roses” b/w “She’s Ready to Be Free,” Elektra EKSN45019, 1967 (UK)
“They Who Have Nothing” b/w “Ballad of Freddie and Larry,” Elektra 45626, 1967
“Night Sounds Loud” b/w “How Many Days Have Passed,” Elektra EKSN45027, 1968 (UK only) 

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“A Revolutionary New Triumph in Tape” 1958

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