The Legends of Laurel Canyon
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best
Transfiguration of Vincent
Christmas in the Heart
Glitter and Doom Live
Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
Playing for Change
I think we have finally found the lost ingredient missing from today’s pop music. For a while, John Fogerty provided the greatest pop songs in the United States of America. His recordings with Creedence Clearwater Revival represent some of the most universally beloved songs that ever hit the airwaves. They were simple, but they were damn good, and will probably still sound great in 3007. It is easy, though, to underestimate the talent that it takes to create something so pure and simple, and yet so fresh and unique. Eventually that is just what happened. Even his own band underestimated Fogerty’s talents, and insisted on turning CCR into a democracy. Once everybody started submitting material, the band floundered and lost its true strength; what good is a Creedence song unless it features John Fogerty’s magnificent voice and his addictive brand of swamp pop? Fogerty’s band imploded, and then his record label turned against him, denying him royalties to the songs that made so many people happy.
“Revival” not only signals a return to form, it also represents a call to arms. Once again, it is time for the master to take control of the pop charts. John Fogerty has not played with this much conviction and focus since 1972. Even over his sporadic series of solo albums, Fogerty never played with such gusto. “Revival” represents a fresh start, and it does so by embracing the past that he kept so long in denial. “Don’t You Wish It Was True” is simple as dirt, and yet it immediately evokes days when the radio was overflowing with soon-to-be classic melodies. It is so instantly appealing that it could have been the leadoff track for “Willy and the Poor Boys.” “Creedence Song” takes that point head on, with Fogerty giving himself a well-deserved pat on the back for stocking jukeboxes all over America with songs that are worth your pocket change. “Summer of Love” is a timely throwback to an era when music truly mattered, and Fogerty sings the track like it still does. As for “It Ain’t Right,” I only hope that the latest generation of talentless hacks is paying attention, because he’s having a ball at their expense.
“Gunslinger” had me thinking Fogerty was shying away from political confrontation, because it only implies discontent; ”Fortunate Son” it ain’t. A few tracks later, though, he starts naming names. In “Long Dark Night,” he sings, “Georgie’s’ in the jungle…wants to have a war”, and “Brownie’s in the outhouse, Katrina on the line.” “I Can’t Stand It No More” is even more blunt, as Fogerty vents his rage directly at Bush, singing “You know you lied about the WMD’s, you know you lied about the detainees”, and rocks out all over the place for 1 minute, 50 seconds. Oh, and as for “Fortunate Son,” he goes on to sing, “I bet you never saw the National Guard. Your daddy wrote a check and there you are, another ‘Fortunate Son’.” From a musical perspective, it must suck to be a conservative, since all the really good protest music leans left. Can a red-blooded American claim to dislike Fogerty and CCR on idealistic grounds? Who would you prefer to hear, Ted Nugent or John Fogerty?
I’ve been waiting 35 years for John Fogerty to make an album like this. Better late than never, John. Now if only Sly Stone could get his act together…
Buy it now! -