Bob Dylan, Gene Clark and Chris Hillman

By Aaron Galbraith

This article continues from the article “Dylan, McGuinn, Hillman, Clark… part 1: Dylan and Roger McGuinn”

Moving on to Gene Clark, his second solo album, and in my opinion his masterpiece, “White Light” contains his moving take of “Tears Of Rage”.  If you can find this album on Spotify or YouTube, you really must give it a listen, you will thank me for it. In the meantime, here is “Tears Of Rage”.

His 1984 album “Firebyrd” contained his piano led version of “Mr Tambourine Man” – for some reason titled as simply “Tambourine Man”. The album has also been issued as “This Byrd Has Flown”

A 1968 demo for “I Pity The Poor Immigrant” was eventually issued in 1990 on the compilation album “Flying High”

Here are a couple of live Dylan covers from Gene, each showcasing what an amazing singer he was. Makes me wish even more that I got to see him live. Please add a comment below if you were so lucky.

“Gates Of Eden” from 1985.

Lastly, “I Shall Be Released” from 1990. This one is particularly stunning.

Finally in this collection of artists we have Chris Hillman.

His first acquaintance with a Dylan tune was on the bluegrass album he recorded as a member of The Hillmen – the self-titled album “The Hillmen” was recorded in 1963 but was not released until 1969, no doubt to capitalize on Hillman’s Byrd’s success. It contained bluegrass versions of two Dylan originals “Fare Thee Well” and “When The Ship Comes In”.

Here is “Fare Thee Well”.

And now “When The Ship Comes In”.

After the Byrd’s split, Chris Hillman joined up with Gram Parsons and formed the Flying Burrito Brothers. During Parson’s tenure as lead singer they recorded Dylan’s “If You Gotta Go”. Following Parson’s departure, Hillman took over as band leader and delivered a fantastic version of “To Ramona”.

Besides all his various band’s projects (Byrds, Flying Burritos, Manassas, Desert Road Band etc) he has also released several fine solo and duo albums. His 1982 solo album “Morning Sky” includes a wonderful bluegrass version of “Tomorrow Is A Long Time”

Let’s finish up with two live performances from the complete trio when they reformed for a brief time as McGuinn, Clark, Hillmen in the late 70s to early 80s.

Firstly, here is “Chimes Of Freedom” from a 1978 concert.

Now let’s take things right back to where they started. Here they do a fine version of the Byrd’s first ever hit “Mr Tambourine Man” on Australian TV. All three gets to sing a verse. Also, nice t-shirt Roger!

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat unexplored look through the three ex-Byrd’s extensive solo back catalogue!

What else is on the site

You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page.  You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.

The index to all the 590 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.

We also have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with over 2000 active members.  (Try imagining a place where it is always safe and warm).  Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link 

If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.

On the other hand if you would like to write for this website, please do drop me a line with details of your idea, or if you prefer, a whole article.  Email Tony@schools.co.uk

And please do note   The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, is starting to link back to our reviews

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2 Responses to Bob Dylan, Gene Clark and Chris Hillman

  1. Canute says:

    Gene Clark’s performances are superb…. his Mr. Tamborine Man’s reading is outstandingly good. Thanks for allowing us to hear him singing.

  2. Irene M Curtis says:

    The song I Shall Be Released is a song I have not heard in a long time. Gene
    sings it from his soul and now I must
    find the album. I met him a few times,
    and heard him play at The Casper Inn,
    in Northern California.

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