Creedence Clearwater Revival (6 CD Box Set) by Creedence Clearwater

November 27, 2013

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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.

 


I Put A Spell On You 45 by Creedence Clearwater

September 7, 2012

John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford recorded as the Golliwogs in 1964 without much success. When They changed their name to Credeence Clearwater, they began a journey that would end in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Their first single, “Susie Q,” reached number 11 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. Their second single was a cover of an old Screamin’ Jay Hawkins classic. “I Put A Spell On You” was the lowest charting single of their career peaking at number 58 during late 1968. It would be followed by one of the definitive singles of the era, “Proud Mary,” which was a very different sound then some of their raw early work.

Creedence holds the dubious record of having had the most number two singles (5) without ever having a chart topper. But as Bill Murray once said, “It just doesn’t matter,” as they remain one of the most respected American rock bands.


Down On The Corner/Fortunate Son 45 by Creedence Clearwater

March 27, 2012

Creedence Clearwater is the answer to a great music trivia question. What artist had the most number two hits (5) on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart but never a number one.

“Down On The Corner/Fortunate Son” was a great two-sided single. “Down On The Corner” was the A side and it reached number three on the singles chart. It was a typical Creedence catchy rock song that just stayed with you for days.

“Fortunate Son” was a hit in its own right reaching number 14. It was one of the most scathing anti-war songs of all time as it citicized children of privilege.

Released during the fall of 1969, it was one of the better single releases of its era.


Jambalaya 45 By The Blue Ridge Rangers

February 6, 2012

John Fogerty has reached The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with Creedence Clearwater and has also had a long and successful solo career. At the beginning of his solo career he recorded as the Blue Ridge Rangers, which had him playing all the instruments.

He released a cover of the classic Hank Williams songs, “Jambalaya,” December 2, 1972, and it reached number 16 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.

“Jambalaya” may have been a county song but Fogerty gave it a rocking rendition. It remains one of his best solo effots.


Bad Moon Rising 45 by Creedence Clearwater

December 29, 2011

Creedence Clearwater holds a BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Charts Record. They had more releases reach number two without ever having a number one hit than any oher artist. An amazing statistic given the high quality of their releases.

“Bad Moon Rsing” was released during 1969 and reached, (you guessed it), number two in the United States. All was not lost however as it was number one in England.

The American issue came with a fairly rare picture sleeve.


Looking Out My Back Door 45 by Creedence Clearwater

October 31, 2010

Creedence Clearwater issued a number of high quality singles. Most sounded as if they were straight from the bayou and many had an ominous sound.

An exception to this rule was the up-temo/rocking “Looking Out My Back Door.” It was a joyful song of imagination as one looked out their back door to behold all manner of sights.

The song would be their fifth to reach the number two position on The United States singles charts. They would also have a number three and a four but amazingly never a number one hit in their home country.

The music was almost shuffle rock ‘n’ roll as it percolated along. It is one of the more joyful songs in the large Creedence catalogue.


Travelin’ Band 45 by Creedence Clearwater

October 20, 2010

A great up-tempo rock sound from Creedence Clearwater. The vocal that kicks off the song is worth the price of admission. It was also part of a double hit single as “Who’ll Stop The Rain” was the B side.

It reached the number two position on THE BILLBOARD MAGAZINE pop singles charts during 1970.

Creedence Clearwater would have five number two singles but never a number one making them the answer to the trvia question of who had the most number two’s without reaching the top of the charts. Just for the record they also had a number three.

The release, which came with a picture sleeve, remains one of the best songs in Creedence’s excellent catalogue.


Fortunate Son 45 by Creedence Clearwater

September 28, 2010

“Fortunate Son” remains one of the most biting and critical anti-war and anti-political songs in rock history.

Originally released during the second half of 1969 as The Vietnam War was reaching its climax, it focused on the rich sons of the priviledged who did not have to serve in the military.

It made its first appearance as the flip side of the “Down On The Corner” single release. “Down On The Corner” reached number four on The United States singles charts and “Fortunate Son” made it a double hit release reaching number twelve.

It was a rollincking and in places vicious guitar based track. This rock anthem by John Fogerty has rung down through American music history.


Run Through The Jungle by Creedence Clearwater

September 21, 2010

“Run Through The Jungle” was the B side of a double sided hit with “Up Around The Bend” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Released during late April of 1970, it would ultimately reach number four on The United States singles charts.

It was released at the height of The Vietnam War and its omonous sound, rightly or wrongly, became associated with that war. It remains one of the more unique songs in The Creedence catalogue.


The Singles Collection by Creedence Clearwater

November 8, 2009

It’s time to get out of your seat and travel to your local music store as quickly as possible because Creedence Clearwater Revival have issued thirty of their singles in a new two-disc box set.

Creedence Clearwater released a number of well produced, creative, commercially successful, and highly enjoyable studio albums during the course of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career. It was their single releases, however, that initiated and maintained their mass popularity. They placed 19 songs on The American charts from 1968-1972, and they remain some of the best known tracks in rock history. Even casual rock fans are familiar with songs such as “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Down On The Corner,” “Travelin’ Band,” and “Fortunate Son” among many others.

The Singles Collection gathers all of their hits, some B-sides, and even a few rare singles that have faded from history. The album remains true to the intent of the original releases as they retain their original mixes and mostly mono sound.

Early non-charting releases “Porterville” and “Call It Pretending” and late career issues “Revolutions Per Minute” parts one and two are resurrected to bookend the album.

I have always found it amazing that Creedence Clearwater never had a number one hit in The United States. They cracked the top four seven times and reached number two with five of those but the top spot always eluded them.

Still when you listen to their catalog of singles back to back it is one of the most powerful and enjoyable of all time. “Run Through The Jungle,” leads to “Up Around The Bend,” which becomes “Lookin’ Our My Back Door,” and onward to “Sweet Hitch-Hiker.” And that does not even scratch the surface.

There are several nice bonuses included in the set. A four song DVD presents some pre-MTV promotional videos. While Creedence is a band I would rather hear than see, this short set is historically interesting.

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” have the feel of studio rehearsals, but “Bootleg” complete with dancers, and “I Put A Spell On You” in all its psychedelic glory, are nice artifacts from the past. There is a small poster which pictures 49 of their picture sleeves. I have a large 45 rpm vinyl collection and thousands of sleeves, but there are many pictured here which I had never seen.

Former Rolling Stone Magazine editor Ben Fong-Torres contributed the liner notes which are contained in a 16 page booklet. I also read that the set would also be released as a series of vinyl 45 rpm records complete with reproductions of the original picture sleeves.

The Singles Collection may contain previously released material, but when presented in this form it shows how thrilling and spectacular Creedence Clearwater Revival was at the height of their career.

So why are you still sitting there?