The John Fogerty Experience has always been a group that was just kind of there for me, background music that was pleasant enough, but not much more than that. Am I alone here? After having a 9-0 shutout thrown at me over Elton John, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about Creedence Clearwater Revival…
THUMBS UP: Chronicle is packed with hits, and even if you’re ambivalent – or slightly yawn-stricken – over CCR, you have to acknowledge that John Fogerty was a great songwriter. ‘Fortunate Son’ and ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ were among the best protest songs of the 60’s, while ‘Run Through The Jungle’ and ‘Green River’ have a creepy, primal quality and undeniable timelessness. These songs still sound good on the hi-fi, which is remarkable, given Fogerty’s propensity to weigh in on then-current affairs. ‘Lodi’ also deserves mention as one of the great band-on-the-road songs. This is a fine set that’s worth the 1/8th of an inch that it will take in your collection.
THUMBS DOWN: CCR has always struck me as a band with an identity crisis. They sound like they’re from the South (and play up that perception on songs like ‘Born On Bayou’) but they were really from Northern California. Not a deal-breaker, but slightly suspicious. There are plenty of hits on this set, but I’m not crazy about all of them – ‘Proud Mary’ ‘Down On The Corner’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’ have all overstayed their welcome with me. The live, 11-minute version of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ that’s included here seems totally unnecessary, but I never dug their cover of that song to begin with. I genuinely enjoy certain CCR tunes, but I’ve never found anything in their overall sound that excites me. In a word: yawn.
[What’s your take – is CCR’s Chronicle worth a spot in your collection?]