I would have loved to have titled this review after another of their sultry, Southern-drenched songs, Born on the Bayou, but John Fogerty and his band, by his own admission, had never even laid eyes on a bayou back in the late 60s/70s when they recorded these wonderful tracks, being sons of California. You wouldn`t have known, as these timeless songs sound as authentic as anything from that era.
I place Creedence in the very top echelon of rock bands - up there with Little Feat, The Band, Free, The Kinks and The Stones - and their music still sounds as fresh today as it did forty-odd years ago. Try the frenzied rock of Travelin` Band or the classic Bad Moon Rising. Or, if you want to visit the bayou by proxy, as it were, listen to the edgily atmospheric Green River, one of their finest songs, or how about the five-minute yell of Born On The Bayou itself.
This is Rock`n`Roll, as surely as anything by Chuck, Jerry Lee or Little Richard.
There are also one or two more thoughtful numbers, from the great mid-tempo Lodi to the heartfelt Long As I Can See The Night and the lesser-known Someday Never Comes.
Their workouts on Susie Q and I Heard It Through The Grapevine (the 4-minute edited version here, I`m relieved to say) are less indispensable, but still good to have.
I haven`t even mentioned such terrific songs as Proud Mary, Up Around The Bend, the furious-sounding Fortunate Son or the joyously abandoned Sweet Hitch-hiker.
John Fogerty has one of the greatest voices in all rock music, as well as one of the most powerful, and is still making albums to kill for - 2007`s craftily named Revival is as good as his best.
This is as good a compilation as you`ll find of this one-of-a-kind band in its rough and ready heyday, with excellent sleevenotes, plenty of pics, and full chart listings.
CCR were a great little band who made a big beautiful noise.