During the past 40 years or so, the material of Creedence Clearwater has been released in just about every form, format, and configuration possible but the 6-CD box set titled Creedence Clearwater Revival may be the best of them all. Originally issued in 2001, it now makes its well deserved return.
Everything Creedence recorded for the Fantasy label is here. Their seven studio and two live albums are presented in chronological order. Hits such as “Down On The Corner,” “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Travelin’ Band,” “Up Around The Bend,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” and more, were single releases that helped define their era and remain fresh four decades later. Interspersed among the hit songs is the rest of their album material, which is many times underrated as all of their studio albums contained very little filler.
The live material, which fills about a disc and a half have been released a number of times. While they present a good picture of Creedence on stage, I have always preferred their studio material.
The highlight of the set is the first disc, which contains pre-Creedence material, 1961-1967. Four tracks by Tom Fogerty & The Blue Velvets lead off the disc and the pre-Creedence Clearwater journey. “Come On Baby,” “Oh My Love,” “Have You Ever Been Lonely,” and “Bonita” are raw and not up to their later standards but are a nice glimpse of a band that is beginning to develop. My only complaint is that the songs from their third single, “Yes You Did/Now You’re Not Mine,” are not included and as there are probably the rarest, they are missed.
All 21 tracks by the Golliwogs are also included. If you want everything by the band, these songs are essential but be aware that there are not as commercially viable as what would soon follow.
One problem with this new release is that the sound, while acceptable, is not consistent. This is most apparent on the live tracks. On the other hand, the 75 page booklet gives an excellent history of the band and their music.
Creedence Clearwater Revival allows one to follow the band from its earliest beginnings until its demise. If you do not own much of their material or want to fill in some gaps in your collection then this is a release for you. American rock and roll does not get much better than Creedence Clearwater.