12 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

PincheRoberto ,

Clear Light Rocks

Excellent band - thoughtful songs and presentation. Captures the early part of 1967 well. Los Angeles gave San Francisco a real run for their money with Clear Light, Love, and not to mention the Doors. I love listening to this album while hiking in the Santa Monica mountains with my 11-year old. It brings back memories of the Shrine and Olympic Auditorium and other venues in Los Angeles that I remember well. Pretentious? Well, I don't think so. Half-baked? Not at all. Lovely, powerful music.

Larry Mike ,

Gone, Unknown, but Not Forgotten

One of the best bands to come out of the Sunset pyschedelic scene, Clear Light is one of the original metal bands with a driving sound lead by drummer Dallas Taylor that pounds from your brain down through to your toes. "Black Roses" and "Mr. Blue" are classics that haven't gotten enough credit for shaping the hard driving sound of the American psychedelic scene and influenced the garage bands of three eras! No 60s record collection is complete without Clear Light.

Yaligi ,

Movie Role

This band also had a guest role in the Sixties romp, “The President’s Analyst” starring James Coburn. Barry McGuire (fresh from his big hit, “Eve of Destruction”) plays their lead singer in the movie.

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