Creedence Clearwater Revival - The Definitive Creedence Collection
Creedence Clearwater Revival arrived seemingly out of nowhere in 1968 with their fine revival of Dale Hawkins’ Susie Q. It was an auspicious debut, but it was the following year that they really made their mark with the songwriting of John Fogerty fully defining the strengths of the four-piece band. Songs like Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Green River and Down On The Corner, were not just top ten American pop hits, they heralded a talented songwriter in Fogerty. He regurgitated classic rock’n’roll with a new contemporary sound that was as exciting and groundbreaking as the first flush of rock’n’roll in 1954-55. Not wishing to take anything away from the other three band members—rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty (John’s brother), bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford—it was John Fogerty who was the driving force behind the band and their phenomenal success. That success, in terms of hit singles and big-selling albums, lasted a brief three years. By 1972 the band had split with much acrimony, and it’s only been John Fogerty who has sustained a lasting solo career and is still going strong today.
This six-CD set follows what seems like dozens of CCR compilations that have been released in various configurations over the past 40-odd years. The difference is that this one really does live up to its title. The six CDs are arranged in chronological order, beginning with CD1 that covers 1961-1967. Sub-titled Pre-Creedence, this features recordings made by initially Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets and then the Golliwogs. All four members were involved in both outfits, with Tom handling lead vocals for their first pair of singles. Shortly after John took over as the leader as the four-piece became the Golliwogs and John’s songwriting prowess began to flourish. CD2 covers 1967-69 and by this time they’d ditched the Golliwogs moniker to become Creedence Clearwater Revival. Their first release under the new name was Porterville, recorded whilst still the Golliwogs, but released as CCR. It failed to chart, but revivals of Susie Q and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put A Spell On You did, and finally after almost ten years, the band was off and running. Throughout their recordings they maintained the policy of mixing John Fogerty and other band originals with revivals of old r&b, folk and rock’n’roll tunes.
CD3 covers the rest of 1969 with such well-known CCR classics as Green River, Lodi, Down On The Corner, Bad Moon Rising, Commotion and Fortunate Son, plus revivals of Cottonfields and The Midnight Special. CD4 concentrates on 1970, again there’s some great John Fogerty tunes such as Travelin’ Band and Up Around The Bend, plus a dynamic rendition of Roy Orbison’s Ooby Dooby, an 11-minute run-through of Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine and an all-too-brief revival of My Baby Left Me. CD5 is a mix of studio tracks plus a live concert recorded at the Oakland Coliseum on January 31, 1970. The final disc features more live recordings from the Oakland concert plus live recordings made during European concerts in September 1971.
The whole package comes in a lavish box with a CD size book that charts their career, recordings and lasting impact with lots of photos, some of them not seen in years. The music of Creedence Clearwater Revival has not only survived more than 40 years, but the band has also been a major influence on other acts, most notably the UK’s Status Quo, who have repeatedly ‘ripped-off’ CCR over the years. Their songs have been recorded by dozens of country acts and even today you’re likely to hear their music played on the radio or covered in a club or pub somewhere across the UK and throughout the world.