Creedence Clearwater Revival

Band members                            Related acts

  line-up 1 (1967-71)

- Doug Clifford - drums

- Stu Cook - bass

- John Fogerty - vocals, lead guitar

- Tom Fogerty (RIP 1990) - rhythm guitar, backing vocals


  line-up 2 (1971-72)

- Doug Clifford - drums

- Stu Cook - bass

- John Fogerty - vocals, lead guitar




The Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty)

- The Blue Velvets

- Doug Clifford (solo efforts)

- Creedence Clearwater Revisited (Doug Clifford and Stu


- John Fogerty (solo efforts)

- Tom Fogerty (solo efforts)

- Don Harrison Band (Doug Clifford and Stu Cook)

- The Golliwogs

- Ruby (Tom Fogerty)





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Pendulum

Company: Fantasy

Catalog: FANT 8410

Year: 1970

Country/State: Oakland, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve, small cut out notch along lower edge; original inner sleeve

Available: 3

Catalog ID: 4383

Price: $10.00



For some reason 1970's "Pendulum" tends to get overlooked by critics and fans alike.  That's unfortunate since song-for-song it matches up well with any of the band's earlier works.  Not only does it stand up to the earlier catalog, but in some ways it's the band's most polished and experimental effort.  Doubt that statement?  Simply check out the keyboards and horns scattered throughout songs such as 'Born To Move', or the Caribbean-flavored 'Sailor's Lament'.  The band's last John Fogerty-dominated release, Fogerty seems to have been out to prove something to the band's critics (who thought them too commercial), turning in a blazing mix of radio ready rockers and more topical FM-oriented material.  Frankly there's so much good stuff on this one that I don't even know where to start.  'Pagan Baby', 'Molina' and 'Chameleon' were three of Fogerty's most impressive rockers, while 'Have You Seen the Rain?' and the somber 'Its Just a Thought' ranked among his prettiest melodies.  To be honest, the only let down was Fogerty's weird slice of experimentation - 'Rude Awakening, No. 2'.  The song started out as a pretty acoustic piece before breaking down amidst screaming guitars, backward tapes and strange studio effects.  Stretched out over six minutes, imagine CCR trying to replicate 'No. 9' off of The Beatles' "White Album" and you'll get a feel for this oddball effort and it's clear that this wasn't the band's strength.  Still, overlooking that one misstep, this is simply a must own for any 1960s rock fan ...  


Fantasy tapped the album for a single:


- 1970's ' Have You Ever Seen the Rain' b/w 'Hey Tonight' (Fantasy catalog number FANT 655)

- 1970's 'Sailor's Lament' b/w 'Molina' (Fantasy catalog number )

"Pendulum" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Pagan Baby   (John Fogerty) - 6:25

2.) Sailor's Lament   (John Fogerty) - 3:49

3.) Chameleon   (John Fogerty) - 3:21

4.) Have You Ever Seen the Rain?   (John Fogerty) - 2:40

5.) (Wish I Could) Hideaway   (John Fogerty) - 3:47


(side 2)
1.) Born To Move   (John Fogerty) - 5:40

2.) Hey Tonight   (John Fogerty) - 3:58

3.) Its Just a Thought   (John Fogerty) - 3:58

4.) Molina   (John Fogerty) - 2:54

5.) Rude Awakening, No. 2 (instrumental)   (John Fogerty) - 6:22



SRB 11/2009




Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Mardi Gras

Company: Fantasy

Catalog: F 9404

Year: 1971

Country/State: Oakland, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+./VG+

Comments: embossed cover

Catalog ID: 1124

Price: $15.00


The first CCR album that took me awhile to warm up to ...  


With Tom Fogerty having previously decided to give it a go as a solo act, 1972's self-produced "Mardi Gras" found Creedence Clearwater Revival down to the trio of drummer Doug Clifford, bassist Stu Cook, and lead guitarist/lead singer John Fogerty.  While brother Tom's departure wasn't particularly noticeable, the decision to democratize the band's creative process was a major change in operating procedures.  Perhaps burned out by the band's blazing four year string of successes, or maybe holding on to material for a forthcoming solo album, the album only reflected three John Fogerty originals, with the rest of the collection showcasing six Stu Cook and Doug Clifford compositions, along with one cover tune).   Most critics argued the changes weren't for the good.  Certainly not a major surprise, but Fogerty turned in two of the album's standout performances - the earlier single 'Sweet Hitch-Hiker' and the country-tinged ballad 'Someday Never Comes'.   Less impressive was his third contribution - the plodding country ballad 'Looking for a Reason'.   And what about the Clifford and Cook contributions.   Well, Clifford actually had a likeable Americana-styled voice turning in a surprisingly good performance on 'Need Someone To Hold'.  Cook wasn't quite as appealing, seemingly trying to compensate for his vocal limitations by over-singing everything.   Giving credit where due, he didn't sound all that bad on the breezy rocker 'Door To Door'.   


"Mardi Gras" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Looking for a Reason  (John Fogerty) - 3:25   rating: ** stars

Hard to imagine a bad Fogerty tune, but 'Looking for a Reason' was simply too country for the band's own good.   I'm not a psychiatrist, but I've always wondered if the lyric was an autobiographical reference to the forthcoming CCR breakup.

2.) Take It Like a Friend   (Stu Cook) - 3:01   rating: ** stars

Cook finally gets one of his compositions on an album and takes the spotlight handling the lead vocal.   Not to be snotty, but you can quickly see why it took so long.   'Take It Like a Friend' actually wasn't a bad little rocker with Fogerty turning in some nice guitar licks throughout, but Cook's bellowing voice just wasn't up to the task.  

3.) Need Someone To Hold   (Doug Clifford - Stu Cook) - 2:59   rating: ***** stars

Giving credit where due, even with Clifford on vocals, 'Need Someone To Hold' was nice with an enjoyable, war-weary lyric and a Band-styled Americana feel.  probably the best non-Fogerty CCR composition (not that there were many to chose from).  

4.) Tearin' Up the Country  (Doug Clifford) - 2:13   rating: ** stars

Country-rock with an emphasis on the country influence.   Did nothing for my ears.    

5.) Someday Never Comes   (John Fogerty) - 3:59   rating: ***** stars

Fogerty just has such a unique voice when it comes to personal pain and he's seldom used it as well as on this tune.    One of his overlooked masterpieces.  Fogerty's gone on record as saying the song was a reflection of his parents divorce and the break-up of his first marriage.  Still, you had to wonder if it was simply a metaphor for the end of CCR.  'Someday Never Comes' was also tapped as a single, providing the band with their final chart 45.


(side 2)
What Are You Gonna Do?   (Doug Clifford) - 2:53   rating: *** stars

Easy going, breezy number that would have sounded better if it had appeared on Clifford's solo LP. 
2.) Sail Away   (Stu Cook) - 2:29  
rating: *** stars

Give Cook credit for writing one of the album's best tunes.   Unfortunately he handled the vocal.  Shame Fogerty didn't sing it  ...  
3.) Hello Mary Lou  (Gene Pitney) - 2:14
   rating: ***** stars

Their cover of The Everly Brothers 'Hello Mary Lou' was an oddity given CCR's penchant for original material.   Regardless, Fogerty's affection for the tune came roaring out of the bouncy arrangement.  One of the album highlights which probably explains why it gets included on so many of the hits sets.  
4.) Door to Door   (Stu Cook) - 2:09
   rating: ***** stars

Excellent bluesy rocker that finally showcased Cook's voice in a forum where it sounded good.  The album's biggest surprise.  
5.) Sweet Hitch-Hiker   (John Fogerty) - 2:50
   rating: ***** stars

'Sweet Hitch-Hiker' had already been released as a stopgap single prior to the release of 'Mardi Grad'.   Marketing saw it included on the band's final studio set.   Regardless, it was a classic CCR tune and one of the best pocket rockers Fogerty ever composed.   It was also one of the few tunes on the album where the band actually seemed to being having a good time.  YouTube has what appears to be a promotional clip for the song:

Is it my favorite CCR album ?  Nah, not by a long shot, but perhaps because its largely forgotten amongst all of the earlier mega hits, I find it a modest pleasure - particularly the two Fogerty classics, the Gene Pitney cover (and you thought The Everly Brothers wrote it), and the two surprisingly enjoyable Clifford and Cook compositions.


The album included two singles:


- 1971's ''Sweet Hitch-Hiker' b/w ''Door to Door' (Fantasy catalog number  F-665) # 12 pop

- 1972's 'Someday Never Comes' b/w 'Tearin' Up the Country' (Fantasy catalog number F 676) # 25  pop


Even though critics weren't kind, the album still managed to hit # 12 on the US charts though it wasn't enough to save the band.   Amidst finger pointing and bitter accusations that linger on till today, CCR formerly called it quits in October 1972.



Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Creedence Gold

Company: Fantasy

Catalog: F 9418

Year: 1972

Country/State: Oakland, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gimmick sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5925

Price: $10.00


Released as Creedence Clearwater Revival was falling apart, the 1972 retrospective "Creedence Gold" served a purpose gathering together eight of their biggest successes.  Hardly the ultimate 'best of', but you also got a clever gimmick sleeve and a priceless group photo on the back cover.  So I dare you to pick a favorite from this glistening collection ...  okay I'll go with the album length "I Heard It Through the Grapevine".


"Creedence Gold" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Proud Mary   (John Fogerty) - 3:07

2.) Down On the Corner   (John Fogerty) - 2:43

3.) Bad Moon Rising   (John Fogerty) - 2:17

4.) I Heard It Through the Grapevine   (Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong) - 11:05


(side 2)
1.) The Midnight Special   (traditional arranged by John Fogerty) - 

2.) Have You Ever Seen the Rain?   (John Fogerty) - 2:39

3.) Born On the Bayou   (John Fogerty) - 5:10

4.) Suzie Q   (Hawkins - Lewis - Broadwater) - 8:34



SRB 11/2009


Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The Royal Albert Hall Concert

Company: Fantasy

Catalog: MPF-4501

Year: 1980

Country/State: Oakland, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 5747

Price: $15.00


Every music fan has a wish list and I'll readily admit that CCR is at the top of my dream list of bands I wish I'd been able to see (course there's plenty of good company along with The Beatles, Cream, Hendrix, and Zeppelin).


Released in 1980, "The Royal Albert Hall Concert" originally attracted more attention as a marketing blunder rather than as an artistic statement.  As it turned out, shortly after the set was released Fantasy discovered that the tapes were actually from a January 1970 concert at the Oakland Coliseum.  Nobody would have known the difference, but Fantasy came clean, quickly pulling the album, replacing it with "The Concert" - same album, but minor change to the cover.



Compared to the way live sets are now marketed this one seems positively primitive.  To start with, it was a single album (unimaginable in an age of seemingly endless double live sets), without anything in the way of bonus tracks, previously unreleased materials, extra features, etc. etc.).  Instead, what you got was the band effortlessly blasting their way through a dazzling collection of 14 hits and crowd favorites.  Fans could argue endlessly about the track listing and changes that would have made it even better (my personal choice would have been to drop 'Midnight Special' in favor of 'Heard It Through the Grapevine'), but because their studio sets were all pretty straightforward and raw, the live versions all ended up sounding pretty good.  In fact, with the exception of a couple of extended solos ('Born On the Bayou and 'Keep On Chooglin''), the live versions compared favorably to studio originals.  That made it kind of hard to pick a favorite, though I'd give the nod to 'Who'll Stop the Rain' (one Fogerty's best songs) and the extended 'Keep On Chooglin'' (which was the closest thing to a surprise on the album and caught the band really starting to catch on fire).   As you'd expect the focus was clearly on John Fogerty who wrote most of the 14 tracks, sang all of the songs, and turned in some blazing lead guitar throughout the collection - check out the killer lead on 'Night Time Is the Right Time'.  In fact the only criticism was his somewhat wooden between-songs patter.  He's still pretty stiff in that department some 30 years later.   


Most of these songs are so well known there simply isn't much point in going through them individually, so here are a couple of comments on the more obscure selections:


One of my all time favorite live sets.

"The Royal Albert Hall Concert" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Born On the Bayou   (John Fogerty)  - 5:12

2.) Green River    (John Fogerty)- 3:03

3.) Tombstone Shadow    (John Fogerty) - 4:05

4.) Don't Look Now   (John Fogerty) - 2:25

''Don't Look Now' found the band at their most country-influenced and while Forgerty and company sounded suitably energetic, the song simply didn't make much of an impression on me.   rating: *** stars

5.) Travelin' Band   (John Fogerty) - 2:07

6.) Who'll Stop the Rain   (John Fogerty) - 2:38

7.) Bad Moon Rising   (John Fogerty) - 2:22

8.) Proud Mary   (John Fogerty) - 3:29


(side 2)
1.) Fortunate Son   (John Fogerty) - 2:25

2.) Commotion   (John Fogerty) - 2:35

Supported by Doug Cook and Stu Clifford's rock steady work, the band's hyper-speed 'Commotion' may have been even better than the studio version.    rating: **** stars

3.) The Midnight Special   (traditional arranged by John Fogerty) - 3:47

I'll readily admit that CCR's version of 'Midnight Special' was the first time I'd ever heard the traditional folk song.  I'm guessing that I'm not alone.  Killer performance.    rating: **** stars

4.) Night Time Is the Right Time   (Lew Herman) - 3:24

The band's 'rocked up' version of Lew Herman's 'Night Time Is the Right Time' was simply amazing.  Fogerty sounded like he was literally shredding his vocal chords.    rating: **** stars

5.) Down On the Corner   (John Fogerty) - 2:49

6.) Keep On Chooglin'   (John Fogerty) - 9:04

Unlike most '60s bands, CCR largely stayed away from extended jams 'Keep On Chooglin'' ...  one of the rare exceptions was the smokin' 'Keep on Chooglin''.  Just over nine minutes long and not a second wasted.      rating: **** stars



SRB 11/2009