Doug "Cosmo" Clifford
Band members Related acts
- Doug "Cosmo" Clifford -- vocals, drums, percussion
- Greg Adams -- trumpet
- Eddie Bayers -- backing vocals
- Emillio Castillo -- sax
- Stu Cook -- rhythm guitar
- Donald "Duck" Dunn -- bass
- Mic Gillette -- trombone, trumpet
- Lynette Hawkins -- backing vocals
- Walter Hawkins -- backing vocals
- Judiyabab -- cello
- Stephen Kupka -- sax
- John Mingo Lewis -- percussion
- John McFee -- guitar, steel guitar
- Skip Mesquite -- sax
- Steve Miller -- piano
- Armando Peraza -- percussion
- Freddie Smith -- backing vocals
- Creedence Clearwater Revisited
- The Don Harrison Band
Rating: 2 stars **
Country/State: Palo Alto, California
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: SOLD 1048
Price: SOLD $25.00
With Creedence Clearwater Revival calling it quits in 1972, drummer Doug Clifford was the second CCR alumnus to release a solo project - 1972's "Cosmo". (For anyone interested, having left the band before the 1972 break-up, the late Tom Fogerty was the first former CCR member to go the solo route with the release of a 1971 single 'Goodbye Media Man').
Co-produced by Clifford and Russ Gary, you couldn't be blamed for having low expectations for Clifford's solo project. While he was a powerhouse drummer during his CCR tenure, Clifford wasn't exactly known for his creative contributions to the band. In fact, none of his material saw the light of day until the release of the group's final studio set - 1972's "Mardi Gras" where the results paled next to John Fogerty's output. Anyhow, this wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. Clifford had a decent enough voice and when he didn't push it, was more than capable of handling CCR-styled rockers - the best tune on the album 'Get Your Raise' would have sounded right at home on a CCR studio album. The fact most of the album featured Clifford originals was also impressive. Unfortunately Clifford didn't have a lot to say on his debut, resulting in a hodge-podge of genres ranging from country ('Take a Train') to a classic '60s rock cover (The Spencer Davis Group's 'I'm a Man'). Thoroughly professional, though seldom particularly exciting, or enjoyable.
"Cosmo" track listing:
1.) Latin Music (Doug Clifford) - 3:11 rating: *** stars
Adding a Latin edge to CCR's patented rock and roll stylings was a fantastic idea and it worked on about two thirds of the Clifford-penned opener 'Latin Music'. As mentioned Clifford actually had a more than decent voice and it shined on this song, except for the segments where he decided channel Elvis. Shame he didn't play it straight throughout the song. Fantasy also tapped it as the album's single.
- 1972's 'Latin Music' b/w 'Take a Train' (Fantasy catalog number F 686)
2.) Regret It (For the Rest of Your Life) (Doug Clifford) - 2:23 rating: *** stars
Opening up with some New Orleans-styled boogie piano, 'Regret It (For the Rest of Your Life)' was a fun, throwaway rocker that sounded a bit like something Bonnie and Delaney might have released. Yeah, this one displayed the limitations in Clifford's voice, but his sense of enthusiasm made up for some of those shortfalls.
3.) Guitars, Drums and Girls (Doug Clifford) - 2:07 rating: ** stars
Hum the guitars came as a surprise, though the rest of the title made perfect sense. With a country-tinge, 'Guitars, Drums and Girls' was something CCR probably could have pulled off, but here it came off as a novelty more than anything else.
4.) I'm a Man (Stevie Winwood - Jimmy Miller) - 2:25 rating: *** stars
To be honest, you'd be hard-pressed to mess up a song as good as the Spencer Davis Group's sterling 'I'm a Man'. To his credit Clifford stayed close to the original song structure which meant the results were professional and enjoyable, if hardly the album's most creative endeavor.
5.) She's About a Mover (Doug Sahm) - 2:27 rating: *** stars
Never thought of it before I heard this song, but there were some real similarities between CCR and The Sir Douglas Quintet .... bother were blue collar, no BS outfits with fiercely dedicated fans. Anyhow, Clifford's decision to cover 'She's About a Mover' made perfect sense. His rollicking, breezy, horn-powered arrangement was surprisingly good. Would have loved to hear this one in a small club after a couple of cold ones.
6.) I Just Want to Cry (Doug Clifford) - 2:48 rating: ** stars
The first real misstep, 'I Just Want to Cry' simply stressed Clifford's voice it directions it shouldn't have gone. Trying to cover those limitations up with shrill backing vocalists simply underscored the problem Add the fact the song wasn't very good, and this one was totally forgettable.
The album's most CCR-ish tune, 'Get Your Raise' would not have sounded out of place on one of their studio sets. It's strange, but Clifford actually sounded a bit like John Fogerty on this tune. A song of purse joy and should have been a single.
2.) Daydream (John Sebastian) - 3:10 rating: ** stars
Not to sound overly critical but Clifford brought nothing to this Lovin' Spoonful remake.
3.) Take a Train (Doug Clifford) - 2:06 rating: ** stars
Clifford sounded fine, but 'Take a Train' was a forgettable country tune with lyrics that a sixth grade English class could have surpassed. Way too much John McFee pedal steel guitar for anyone's good.
4.) Death Machine (Doug Clifford) - 2:23 rating: ** stars
Well, the title certainly sounded promising, but this one suffered from Clifford's Elvis-influenced delivery; shrill female backing singers; and a melody that had the originality of a phone book.
5.) Swinging In a Hammock (Doug Clifford) - 2:52 rating: ** stars
'Swinging In a Hammock' could have been a good tune, but fails in my book because Clifford tried too hard. His vocals sounded forced and shrill, while the arrangement was equally shrill - the backing vocalists will make your filling shake. Sad way to end what was an otherwise okay debut.
One single and one album and Clifford's solo career was over:
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