I recently decided it might be fun to share with you my favorite albums of all time, covering all genres and eras. Deciding where to start was exceptionally difficult for me as I love such a wide variety of music and many of the albums I consider great are close to my heart.
With that being said, I recall as a child listening to my dad sing in local bands and one band stood out as his favorite to use as cover material and as material to listen to at home; Creedence Clearwater Revival. In fact, his band was named The Travelin’ Band in their honor. I can recall, as can most people who grew up at any point from the late 60’s through today. They may not be considered trendy or groundbreaking now, but I defy you to cite another band who churned out so many memorable hits during their recording career, with the possible exception of The Beatles.
With all those great hits, and the corresponding albums, how do I choose a favorite? Well, it’s all subjective of course and many of their discs should be considered classics. Each of their seven albums included classic songs covered by countless garage bands ever since. But, for my money, Cosmo’s Factory set the standard for a great CCR record.
While it actually contained fewer hits than some of their other albums, the particular sound it had and the interesting and eclectic mix of styles really made for a great listening experience. I particularly enjoyed the blues/soul leanings the album exhibited. Long As I Can See the Light is still my favorite Fogerty performance vocally. Similarly, Before You Accuse Me showed what a great blues voice John Fogerty really had. Add to the mix such radio classics as I Heard it Through the Grapevine and Who’ll Stop the Rain and you have one great album.
Mixed into this stew of soul,blues and rock is a healthy dose of country-influenced music, particularly Lookin’ Out My Back Door and My Baby Left Me. This band, or more specifically Fogerty was at the top of it’s form. They of course covered Grapevine famously, but also Roy Orbison’s Ooby Dooby.
As I mentioned earlier, Long As I Can See the Light is my favorite John Fogerty vocal performance, my favorite CCR song is also on this album. Run Through the Jungle is a great tune anyway you approach it. Certainly it was a song written with a message regarding the Vietnam conflict, but 36 years later it is both an eerie and a hauntingly beautiful song that really stays with you.
So, all in all, CCR is one of the great rock and roll bands ever, despite the rock critics arrogance considering them to be on a lower tier than the Beatles and the Stones (both of which are rock royalty). They inspired innumerable garage bands as well as some that progressed to stardom. I think, if they were to be honest, most rock bands today would acknowledge the greatness of and inspiration by this phenomenal quartet (and sometimes trio). To me, great music is music you remember with fondness, and I certainly think CCR, and especially Cosmo’s Factory fits that criteria.
Give this album a listen and soon. I’m sure it will inspire you to hunt down the rest of their catalog as soon as budget and time permit.