Review By Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
When I heard a third iteration of the Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) remasters was due I was a bit perplexed. How and why is this happening, again? Well this is the 40th anniversary of the band and they deserve it. That is just not a good enough reason for you to go out and buy all six albums again? Why not? They are all in "Full Radial Stereo" and it says so right on the CDs. I am always lured in by the enticing "never before heard tracks" tagline. It gets me every time for all the bands that I love. I am sure that I am not alone and the only sucker out there that grabs this line and gets pulled in. No time to fret CCR fans, the entire package is worth it, again.
Fogerty still forges on and even the original bass player Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford decided to hit the road with their own version of CCR recently called CCR Revisited. Although I cannot imagine how good that could be without John not singing lead on all of their classic tunes. The point is that the music is still very much alive and valid in 2008. Listening to these CDs again reminded me once again that I never tire of this music; I just appreciate it more when I hear it turned up loud and proud.
The first six studio albums are reissued with bonus tracks that are not on the first reissues or the box set, so there is the dangling of the proverbial carrot by the label unearthing some nuggets from the vaults including some nice write-ups and pictures.
The bottom line here is that if you are diehard CCR fan and want the new digipaks with the cool new bonus tracks then you need to repurchase Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy & the Poor Boys, Cosmo's Factory and Pendulum. They all stand as testaments to the legacy of John Fogerty and CCR and every issue is excellent with the patented Forgerty vocals and their blues, pop, country fried swamp rock, as only they could play it. What more could you ask for? Ummm, maybe acoustic versions of every album? Hang tight as I have a feeling that anything is possible at this point.
Creedence Clearwater Revival Video Streams:
A quick look at the individual reissues from Fantasy (Concord):
Creedence Clearwater Revival [Expanded Reissue]: This album included CCR's first smash hit, the Dale Hawkins song "Suzie Q," plus the classic cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You." The reissue contains four bonus tracks: "Call it Pretending" (the B-side of the band's first single), the band's first recording of a cover of Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me" (later re-recorded for Cosmo's Factory), a live version of "Ninety-Nine and a Half" recorded at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1969, and a full-length live version of "Suzie Q." Almost famous former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres wrote the notes.
Bayou Country [Expanded Reissue]: Creedence Clearwater's second album was chock full of hits and much-played album tracks: "Proud Mary," "Born on the Bayou," the Little Richard cover "Good Golly Miss Molly," the seven-minute "Graveyard Train" and the eight-minute "Keep on Choogling." The reissue also contains a longer alternate take of the album track "Bootleg," live versions of "Born on the Bayou" and "Proud Mary," and a psychedelic blues jam recorded live by San Francisco's seminal KSAN-FM called "Crazy Otto." Annotator was San Francisco Chronicle pop music editor Joel Selvin.
Green River [Expanded Reissue]: Green River contained the hits and notable album tracks "Green River," "Bad Moon Rising" and "Lodi" plus a cover of Ray Charles' blues standard "Night Time is the Right Time." Bonus material includes "Broken Spoke Shuffle," the instrumental track to a song John Fogerty never finished, another unfinished track called "Glory Be," plus three live tracks: "Bad Moon Rising" from the 1971 Berlin concert, "Green River/Suzie Q" from the 1971 Stockholm show, and "Lodi," recorded in Hamburg. Liner notes by the esteemed critic Dave Marsh.
Willy & the Poor Boys [Expanded Reissue]: Willy came out in 1969, when, as annotator Ed Ward writes, "a period when Creedence, surely the most anomalous band in the San Francisco explosion of the late ‘60s, was also proving its most commercial seller of them all." The album contains the anthemic "Fortunate Son" along with "Down on the Corner" and a cover of the traditional folk song "The Midnight Special." Bonus tracks include live versions of "Fortunate Son" and "It Came Out of the Sky," plus an unreleased studio version of "Down on the Corner" recorded with Booker T & the MGs for a TV special at the band's Berkeley rehearsal hall. The song features John Fogerty trading licks with guitar hero Steve Cropper.
Cosmo's Factory [Expanded Reissue]: Cosmo's Factory was the fourth and biggest of the string of five Top 10 albums Creedence Clearwater Revival released in 1969 and 1970. Included were "Travelin' Band," "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Run Through the Jungle" and covers from Marvin Gaye (CCR's signature take on "I Heard it Through the Grapevine"), Bo Diddley, Roy Orbison and Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. Bonus material includes a bare bones, horns-free remake of "Travelin' Band," a live version of "Up Around the Bend" from the 1971 European tour, plus an unreleased version of "Born on the Bayou" emanating from the CCR/Booker T & the MGs summit which took place in 1970 at Cosmo's Factory studio. Notes were penned by Robert Christgau.
Pendulum [Expanded Reissue]: Creedence by this time was the top-selling rock band in the world, coming off seven consecutive Top 10 hits. The album contained the hits "Have You Ever Seen the Rain," "Hey Tonight" and "Molina." Bonus tracks include a live "Hey Tonight" plus "45 Revolutions Per Minute (Parts 1 & 2), the rarest of CCR collectibles, which was packaged in a plain white sleeve alluding to the Beatles' White Album. Produced under the spell of the Fab Four's "Revolution No. 9," the tape montage tries to impart the elusive Creedence humor with the help of Bay Area DJ Tom Campbell. Joel Selvin wrote the liner notes.