Here is the Creedence record (and the movie with Jeff Bridges …)

«According to a shared opinion they are the greatest rock’n’roll band in the world. With them the spirit of rock is not only alive and kicking but kicking like a mule ». So, enthusiastically, wrote the Times of the Creedence Clearwater Revival concert at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall that April 14, 1970, when John Fogerty’s band had five singles (the likes of Proud Mary, defined by Bob Dylan as the most beautiful song of the years’ 70 and the committed Fortunate Son) and three albums topping the world charts. Creedence had been the highest paid band in Woodstock (10 thousand dollars) but the legendary performance of that day in London consecrated them definitively king of the Olympus of rock.

That concert, mythologized for years, is now released as The Royal Albert Hall Concert on cd and vinyl (produced by the award-winning Giles Martin) and the documentary Travelin ‘Band embellished by the narrative voice of Oscar winner Jeff Bridges. Attention, years ago an album with the same title was released, but it was a crafty commercial operation that referred to a concert held in Oakland.

John Fogerty (composer, voice and soul of the group) still very active today (he is always in concert and has recently recorded Fogerty’s Factory, a parody of his famous album Cosmo’s Factory where he reinterprets the Creedence classics with his sons) had to say about the music of Creedence: «On the one hand we assimilated the black r’n’r, which came from Chicago and Chess Records, to be clear that of Bo Diddley, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters. On the other hand, we assimilated the Sun Record Sound which was the white r’n’r of Carl Perkins, by Elvis Presley, blending it with the softer atmospheres of Johnny Cash. Put all these things together and you will have the r’n’r of Creedence. ‘

But the real miracle of Fogerty was to invent the sound of the Bayou (the swamps of Louisiana) and launch the swamp rock. “To make a swamp song – says John – you need a distorted guitar, a strong rhythm and keywords like Hoodoo Man or Cajun Queen”. Typical of this style is the powerful Born On the Bayou, with which Creedence (and Fogerty still today) opened their shows.

John’s compositional prolificacy allows him to churn out an album every four months or so (records such as Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum) whose production cost is only $ 2,000 while each of these records will yield something like $ 15 million each. Fogerty will always have a conflicting relationship with money and the band will have a very long lawsuit with Saul Zaentz, their discoverer and manager of the record company, accused of having made very large sums disappear.

Too bad that the absolute power of Fogerty has “fed up” his brother Tom, reduced to a simple rhythm guitar, who at the end of 1971 left the band. In trio Creedence released the album Mardi Gras but then after a tour, under the banner of “It’s not like it used to be, it’s not fun anymore” they broke up.

Fogerty will be on track as early as 1973 with the country album Blue Ridge Rangers in which he plays all the instruments alone, from the banjo to the violin, and then he will continue to write great music with songs like Rockin All Over the World, often reprized by Bruce Springsteen. in his live concerts. His post Creedence masterpiece is certainly the award-winning Centerfield in which there isn’t a song out of place.

Here is the Creedence record (and the movie with Jeff Bridges …)