The G Experience! wrote:Of all the big bands, I came latest to them. I've no idea why, but you never heard them much (apart from 'Bad Moon Rising' ) on UK radio, so perhaps that was a part of it. I've really come to appreciate them in recent years though, although I still need to get to know the albums better. Difficult to say what makes them different to their peers, but a lot of it comes down to the elemental power that Fogerty brings. There have been few bands that communicate as directly as they do.
Absolutely. I also loved snarfy's remark that "Writing songs is hard work, but writing a song that everybody's always known forever is way beyond normal songwriting" is spot on.
Yet oddly, I can't think of many songwriters who were also able to seemingly catch a moment or spirit of the times ("Bad Moon Rising", "Fortunate Son", "Effigy" and "As Long As I See The Light" all reference Nixon or Vietnam in some way), but sound so weirdly timeless. He had this amazing gift for immersion. Also, it boggles the mind just how prolific and succesful they were in such a short period of time. As for the albums, here's something I prepared earlier:
is probably their swampiest LP, and it's their first real sign of greatness- the dirty, filthy groove they conjure on "Born on the Bayou" is instinctive, but Fogerty's vocals are just freakish- how the hell do you sing like that? However he managed to conjure those demons is down to him alone, as is a song like "Proud Mary": so easy, so natural, so deep that it sounds like it's always existed. I think the record gets a bit sloppy at times, certainly "Keep on Chooglin" is a good two minutes or so too long, but it's the first real sign that they have their own sound.Green River i
s even better, it's arguably their tightest record, and there's a sense of darkness that looms throughout The title track sets the scene, but it's the howling "Tombstone Shadow", the downbeat "Lodi" and the ominous "Bad Moon Rising" that carry the record's emotional punch, and the sound is just right- sharp yet dirty, and without an ounce of fat on it. I even dig their cover of "Night-time is the Right Time."Willy & the Poor Boys
shuffles between reverie and indignation, and it's fair to say that by ending the record with "Effigy", indignation wins out. That closing track is astonishing, the way it turns on that suspended chord, the way Fogerty cries "why?" near the end tells you all you need to know. I can't think of anyone who wrote protest songs quite like Fogerty, maybe it's because his imagery was at once detailed yet concise, and maybe it's because he knew exactly when to go for the jugular- "Fortunate Son" wouldn't be half the song it was if it pulled punches. But the band knew how to have fun, and the playing throughout this record is superb, too, who knew that washboards could be so rock'n'roll before "Down on the Corner" came along? I think it's my favourite CCR LP.Cosmo's Factory
is their wiggiest, if only for the seven-minute "Ramble Tamble" which manages to get as much emotion and movement out of as few chords as possible, yet my favourite moments throughout are their most concise- whether it's the razor-wire attack of "Run through the Jungle", the screaming "Up Around the Bend" , or the amused, slightly distracted shuffle of "Lookin' Out My Back Door." Again, his protest songs ("Who'll Stop the Rain?" "Long As I See the Light") sound as universal as they are specific, not least because Fogerty sounds genuinely haunted and if their cover of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" choogles too long, we'll forgive their indulgences this time. It's probably their last great record.Pendulum
has its moments, for sure, not least the nasty "Pagan Baby", the mournful yet defiant "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and the good time vibes of "Hey Tonight", but it's "only" very good to these ears, it lacks the sense of purpose of what went before, although the fact it was their fourth LP in 18 months is phenomenal in and of itself. Even allowing for the covers, how on earth did they manage to put out so many great records and singles in such a short timeframe? True, by Mardis Gras they had burned out, but few bands burnt as brightly as them.
CCR were important to me growing up, because as I've said before, on my family's first-ever trip to the South Island of NZ, the only tapes in the car were CCR's Chronicle and a collection of short stories by Roald Dahl. So, I oddly associate their music with the wide-open stretches of the South Island.
It's before my time but I've been told, he never came back from Karangahape Road.