Artist: John Fogerty Track: "Don't You Wish It Was True" Album: Revival
The new album from Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty, already warmly received warmly by the press, has been described as a return to form for the man who has toured and recorded extensively since perhaps the greatest-ever American band fell apart in 1972.
In one sense, though, Fogerty has never lost his form. His melodies might not have been as tight as they are on Revival, out this week, and his singles throughout the '80s often relied on a tired Americana rather than invent their own. But even when he was fighting for the right to play his own material, the man has always played and sounded as if he never left Cosmo's factory, wherever that crazy place was.
Besides music that flat-out rocked, rolled and shook, CCR's greatest achievement to pop music was the integration of radio-friendly formats with a sustained mythology. They didn't descibe the American South; in many ways, Fogerty created a place, based on the region, from which he drew ideas, characters and images.
His bayou world seemed more authentic than the surfer lifestyle created by The Beach Boys and others. It was friendlier and fuller than that diagrammed and parodied by Randy Newman. If anything was missing on a track like "Centerfield," it was the backwoods nostaliga that fueled the greatest CCR recordings and Foegrty's presence.
Not too worry: Gritty tales, anger and that goold ol' Southern feel return on Revival, a collection of work that rocks as hard as Fogerty's live show and borrows specifically from CCR albums like Green River.
"Don't You Wish It Was True," one of the more languid tracks on the album, is only a taste of the rock 'n' roll (used in its strictest sense) that you'll find on this fantasitc release.