Creedence Clearwater Revival (40th Anniversary Edition) [Remastered]
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Creedence Clearwater Revival built their reputation on the singing and songwriting of leader John Fogerty, whose soulful and gritty vocals and quick, concise pop sense gave the band a relentless string of Top 40 hits at the turn of 1970s. However, the El Cerrito, California quartet’s debut album begins with a different focus. “Porterville” was the one Fogerty standout, pointing towards the band’s future direction. The remainder of the album features tight ensemble playing on a number of extended jams and well-chosen covers. A bluesy read of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell On You” kickstarts things, while an eight-minute workout of Dale Hawkins’ “Susie Q” became the group’s first hit. Wilson Pickett’s “Ninety-Nine and A Half (Won’t Do)” plays up their funky R&B side. The production is simple and clear, immersing itself in the simple pleasures of excited guitar tones and a rhythm section that powered like an unencumbered locomotive. The 40th Anniversary Edition includes four bonus cuts: “Call it Pretending,’ a b-side, two live tracks (eleven minutes of “Suzie Q” and a scathing “Ninety-Nine and a Half”) and a tight early studio version of Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me.”
The Great American Band’s debut
With Concord Music Group having purchased the Fantasy catalog, the fortieth anniversary of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s debut LP provides a suitable opportunity for a fresh round of reissues. All six of the original foursome’s albums (from 1968’s Creedence Clearwater Revival through 1970’s Pendulum) have been struck from new digital masters and augmented by previously unreleased tracks. Those who purchased the 2001 box set can pick up most of the bonus tracks separately as digital downloads (the two longest bonuses are CD-only). Those who didn’t buy the box, and think they’ll buy all six reissues may want to consider the box set for its inclusion of pre-Creedence work from the Blue Velvets and Golliwogs, the seventh CCR album Mardi Gras, the 1970-71 live recordings and several box-only bonuses. But for those just wanting to pick up a few favorite albums, these reissues are the ticket. Each is presented in a digipack with original front and back cover album art and a 16-page booklet with photos, credits and new liner notes. Creedence’s self-titled debut finds the band making the transition from blues and psychedelia to the bayou flavor that made them the greatest American rock band ever. The disc opens with a resurrection of Screaming Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You.” Fogerty’s vocal hasn’t the insane menace of Hawkins’ original, but his manhandling guitar solo shows how broad his vision of American music was going to be. The same is true for the group’s cover of Dale Hawkins’ “Suzie Q,” extending the rockabilly classic into an eight-minute epic. Doug Clifford’s fade-in backbeat gives way to Fogerty’s insinuating guitar riff, and a run through of the lyrics leads to an intense guitar jam whose feedback-lined climax dissolves back into the smoke of a fading backbeat. The album’s third cover is “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do),” offered as a harder blues than the original’s Stax groove, and with a more ferocious vocal than Wilson Pickett’s original. The originals, all written by John Fogerty, aren’t the swamp-rock icons of later albums, ranging from the straight blues “The Working Man” and “Get Down Woman” to the soul-psych “Gloomy” and jamming “Walking on Water.” The tune that points forward is “Porterville,” where you can hear the seeds of CCR’s swampy rock and an aggressive individualism in Fogerty’s lyrics. The 2008 CD’s bonus tracks include the throwback harmony rocker B-side of the group’s first single (originally issued as the Golliwogs) “Call it Pretending” and a 1968 album outtake of Bo Diddley’s “Before You Accuse Me” that’s less refined than the version they’d record for Cosmo’s Factory two years later. Two superbly present live tracks from a 1969 Fillmore show repeat “Ninety Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)” and “Suzie Q,” the former close to the studio original, the latter a set-closing showpiece demonstrating Fogerty’s hypnotizing guitar mastery stretching out to nearly twelve minutes. [©2008 hyperbolium dot com]
original clearwater music nice job
this is the THIRD time I've run into you concerning CCR . . . . (almost embarrassed to say it) . . . . . doing the identical review for each album . . . .now would you please get a life ?
Formed: 1967 in El Cerrito, CA
Years Active: '60s, '70s