Despite punk and the subsequent excellent revival of the 90's inspired by Britpop which is still going on to some extent today, I still think the real classic era for rock music was from about 1967 to 1975, particularly the years 69 - 73. Think of how many of 'the greats' made their best work during this period.
Unfortunately many of them weren't filmed much during this era as rock music didn't have the media profile it now has. Therefore if we want visual records of the great rock stars we can either pick up modern dvds of them performing in their 50's and upwards - that's the ones who are still alive of course - where the musicianship, sound and picture quality might be excellent; but somehow a bald Pete Townshend strumming acoustic guitar, a bespectacled Roger Daltrey straining to reach the notes, a wrinkly Keith Richards croaking his way embarrassingly through Hoagy Carmichael or a Mick Jagger virtually parodying himself somehow don't seem the same as seeing them in their hey day at Altamont, Woodstock or the Isle of Wight. As I say the sound and picture quality might be hundreds of times better, but somehow the magic has dissipated.
Alternatively we can take a chance with going for dvds actually compiled from the 'classic' period. The trouble is you never know what you're actually going to get - sound, picture and length wise, when what is often described as 'the ultimate' dvd of a particular artist turns out to be a grainy, murky twenty minute performance or a couple of mimed appearances on TOTP. 'The Best Of Rod Stewart and the Faces' dvd anyone?
I have been looking for a dvd of Creedence Clearwater Revival, one of the true greats of the 'great' era for some time. It's easy to forget that CCR were massive for a brief period around 1969/70, indeed they were I believe the most successful American rock band ever up that time! Can you imagine a simple, but brilliant, rockabilly song like 'Bad Moon Rising' actually getting to number one in the UK charts these days? It's still hard to believe it did so in 1969.
Anyway there are a couple of decidedly dodgy looking CCR dvds around, so I thought I'd forgo them and buy this, after all John Fogerty virtually was CCR anyway.
It had all CCR's classics on, together with some Fogerty solo material, some of which I knew (I have 'Centerfield'), some of which I didn't. I was just concerned that an elderly Fogerty (it was filmed in 2005 when he was over sixty) might be a parody of himself. Although never having seen film of Fogerty in his heyday I didn't know how he performed anyway - although from hearing him I knew it would be passionately.
Well, this dvd is really excellent and I'm glad I bought it rather than risk one of the old CCR dvds, which may or may not be good. It has great sound and excellent picture quality. And, most importantly, decent camera direction, something we don't always get in modern concert dvds where the camera is often all over the place, never still for one second for the viewer to take in anything properly - `Coldplay Live' dvd anyone? Fogerty himself looks and sounds fine. He still has a full head of thick hair and leaps around the stage energetically, evidently enjoying himself immensely, and it's not until the camera goes right up to him that you realise he's a relatively old man. His solo material, whilst generally not up to the standard of his classic CCR hits, is certainly listenable and not out of place. The concert features virtually every classic CCR single and the magnificent album track 'Lodi', indeed the only great CCR song I can think of that isn't included is 'It Came Out Of The Sky' but I suppose we can't have everything.
All in all this is everything a modern concert dvd should be - a classic artist, who still looks good, performing his best material in pristine sound and picture quality. As I say the direction is also excellent, with just the right balance of views of Fogerty himself, his guitar playing, his band, the audience - I do like to see the audience from time to time in concert dvds but not too much at the expense of the performers as we sometimes get - `Ziggy Stardust' dvd anyone?
Heartily recommended if you like to watch and listen to great rock n roll!