Clear Light - Black Roses

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Go Down
Catalog Number: GDR 44003
Format: CD
Total Time: 32:00:00

Remember the times of love and beautiful music? Yes, you are right, late sixties / early seventies, when peace was the order of the day and spontaneous music came flowing from every UK and US band, to the joy of us music freaks! I remember hearing my first Love album ... ooohh ... it still gives me goosebumps, the sheer imagination and spontaneous delivery of the bands from that time; sorry you guys who weren't fortunate enough be present at that particular state! You had to be there to really enjoy the feeling of that time!

Anyway, I just found the great Clear Light album, famous for their 2 drummers and their unique style of US music, being a blend of Country Joe & the Fish and Love, still having their own brand of music ("Mr. Blue," being a good example)... I love this album, with all its superb creations and the "time will tell" sound! Still, when listening to it again, there is not one single note, not one chord nor vocal, that seems out of place! So I won't compare Clear Light's music to the music of today, but this is one unique album. Maybe not, as such, a progressive album, but an album with so many flavours and tones that you simply have to love it; I, for one, have it pinned down as one of the great albums from that great period!!

On a final note, give this lost gem a whirl, when and if you find it!? It is quite unique and very eloquent in message and expression! A rare find from the vault of time lost!! Chances are, when encountering this fine album, you'll see the Clear Light!!

Oh, trivia: Singer Cliff De Young later went on to be an actor, drummer Dallas Taylor went on to play on the initial Crosby, Stills & Nash album!!

Anyway, my favourite track is "Mr. Blue," with a mezmerising voice reciting over the well laid music. A little pearl from a lost world!! Yes, my prog friends, it's like seeing your mom & dad's photo album from way back, in black and white, vivid images and situations framed in time forever, only when you hear this fine little gem, it comes framed in psychedelic colours!

Officially entitled Clear Light, it was relased by Elektra in 1967 in stereo in the US (EKS4011) and UK (EKS74011), and in mono in the UK (EKL4011), and by Vogue in France (in stereo, CLVLXEK.212). It was reissued by Edsel in 1988 (ED245, retitled Black Roses) and by Sundazed in 2002 (5125), both LPs. Collectors Choice reissued it on CD in 2002 (CCM-271-2) and Go Down (as reviewed) in 2001, also changing the title to Black Roses (this appears to an unofficial release, according to the "official website" linked below, from which this info was taken)

[Tonny Larsen, who contributed this review, is the founder, reviewer, creative member and occasional interviewer at, the Danish site for progressive rock music. The text here has been slightly edited from the original -ed.]

Black Roses (2:07) / Sand (2:36) / A Child's Smile (1:33) / Street Singer (3:16) / The Ballad Of Freddie & Larry (1: 53) / With All In Mind (2:55) / She's Ready To Be Free (1:55) / Mr. Blue (6:30) / Think Again (1:34) / They Who Have Nothing (2:31) / How Many Days Have Passed (2:20) / Night Sounds Loud (2:26)

Cliff De Young - vocals
Bob Seal - guitars & vocals
Ralph Schuckett - organ, piano, celeste
Doug Lubahn - bass
Dallas Taylor - drums
Michael Ney - drums
Robbie Robison - guru
Lee Housekeeper - seer and overseer

Clear Light (1967/1988/2001/2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: December 27th 2006
Reviewer: Tonny Larsen
Artist website:
Hits: 1132
Language: english


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