Classics Du Jour


Creedence Clearwater Revival Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Complete Studio Albums Release

Creedence Clearwater Revival 50th Anniversary
Creedence Clearwater Revival. Photo credit: Jim Marshall. Courtesy: Craft Recordings

The arrival of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 50th anniversary brings an unprecedented celebration of everything the band contributed in their short but startlingly epochal time together (1968 – 1972). To commemorate this milestone, Craft Recordings is releasing a deluxe box set comprising the band’s complete seven-album studio output: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Cosmo’s Factory, Pendulum and Mardi Gras.

Each album in the collection has been mastered at half-speed at Abbey Road Studios, benefiting from an exacting process that allows for an exceptional level of sonic clarity and punch, bringing these classic recordings a new vibrancy. The 180-gram LPs come housed in handsome tip-on jackets replicating the packaging of the original pressings. Along with the complete studio album collection comes an 80-page book featuring new liner notes from music journalist Roy Trakin, archival photos and reproductions of band ephemera – offering something for both new and the most diehard of Creedence fans.

The 7-LP Deluxe Complete Studio Albums Box Set is available for pre-order now.

Using high-res transfers from the original analog tapes, the half-speed mastering process involves playing back audio at half its recorded speed while the cutting lathe is turned at half the desired playback speed. The technique allows more time to cut a micro-precise groove, allowing more accuracy with frequency extremes and dynamic contrasts. Abbey Road Studios’ award-winning engineer Miles Showell explains, “I’ve tried to be as authentic as I could, and just make it sound like music. Not over-hyped, not over-processed. Up until now a lot of processing has been done on these recordings, so my approach was to strip them right back and just expose them for what they are – because what they are is great music.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival Unboxing Video

Although the band members were together for only four years under the Creedence Clearwater Revival appellation, they managed to accomplish more than many artists do in a lifetime. Powered by John Fogerty’s visceral growl, along with Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford’s gritty, in-the-pocket punch, they’ve sold over 30 million records in the U.S. alone, releasing 14 Top 10 hits, six Platinum albums (two of which went to number one) and one Gold album. They also managed to play over 150 tour dates around the world, including a headlining spot at Woodstock.

Over the last 50 years, Creedence Clearwater Revival’s canon has become a part of the Great American Songbook. Songs like “Bad Moon Rising,” “Down on the Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?,” “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Travelin’ Band” and “Up Around the Bend” have been ingrained into pop culture – not just as rock staples, but as classic standards.

This hardworking band offered beautifully simple and relatable music for the every-man or -woman. Blue-collar Americans saw their experiences and sociopolitical concerns reflected in Creedence’s class-conscious broadsides (“Run Through the Jungle,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Fortunate Son”) and portraits of working class life (“Cotton Fields,” “Proud Mary”).

Creedence Clearwater Revival 50th Anniversary Complete Studio Albums
Creedence Clearwater Revival Complete Studio Albums box set

In 1993 Creedence Clearwater Revival were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During his speech honoring the band, Bruce Springsteen noted, “I stand here tonight still envious of that music’s power and its simplicity. They were hits filled with beauty and poetry and a sense of the darkness of events, of history. An American tradition shot through with pride, fear and paranoia. They rocked and played great together… they weren’t the hippest band in the world, just the best.”

The Studio Albums Collection is set for release on November 30th.

Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968)

Liner notes extract: “Released in the summer of 1968, Creedence Clearwater Revival begins with the faint sound of gongs, then the rat-a-tat of Doug “Cosmo” Clifford’s snare drum before John’s snarling take on Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” announcing the arrival of an important new rock ‘n’ roll voice.”

Side A:
I Put a Spell on You
The Working Man
Suzie Q

Side B:
Ninety Nine (And a Half Won’t Do)
Get Down Woman
Walk on the Water

Bayou Country (1969)

Liner notes extract: “Instead of delving into the underground,” Fogerty told Uncut’s Bud Scoppa, “…my Elvis-and-Beatles upbringing came directly into play. And I was able to write songs that would go on Top 40 radio, because that’s what I had wanted to do since I was four. I wanted to make hit singles.”

Track Listing
Side A:
Born on the Bayou
Graveyard Train

Side B:
Good Golly Miss Molly
Penthouse Pauper
Proud Mary
Keep on Chooglin’

Green River (1969)

Liner notes extract: “The album became the band’s first chart-topper, lodging at #1 on the Billboard 200 for the entire month of October, in between Blind Faith and Abbey Road, fulfilling their ambition to become the American Beatles.”

Track Listing
Side A:
Green River
Tombstone Shadow
Wrote a Song for Everyone

Side B:
Bad Moon Rising
Cross-tie Walker
Sinister Purpose
The Night Time Is the Right Time

Willy and the Poor Boys (1969)

Liner notes extract: “It’s a very powerful anti-war message, but even more so, it’s an anti-class-bias message,” Fogerty told Uncut’s Bud Scoppa in 2006. “When I sing it now, it still has teeth.”

Track Listing
Side A:
Down on the Corner
It Came Out of the Sky
Cotton Fields
Poorboy Shuffle
Feelin’ Blue

Side B:
Fortunate Son
Don’t Look Now (It Ain’t You or Me)
The Midnight Special
Side O’ the Road

Cosmo’s Factory (1970)

Liner notes extract: “Cosmo’s Factory represents the apogee of Creedence Clearwater Revival, playing like a greatest hits album despite the fact the songs (and covers) are all appearing on disc for the first time…”

Track Listing
Side A:
Ramble Tamble
Before You Accuse Me
Travelin’ Band
Ooby Dooby
Lookin’ Out My Back Door
Run Through the Jungle

Side B:
Up Around the Bend
My Baby Left Me
Who’ll Stop the Rain
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
Long As I Can See the Light

Pendulum (1970)

Liner notes extract: “With Pendulum, the band decided to experiment in the manner of Sgt. Pepper, without any preconceived ideas, which ran against Fogerty’s notions of organization and control…”

Track Listing
Side A:
Pagan Baby
Sailor’s Lament
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
(Wish I Could) Hideaway

Side B:
Born to Move
Hey Tonight
It’s Just a Thought
Rude Awakening #2

Mardi Gras (1972)

Liner notes extract: “…the now-threesome went into the studio in the spring of 1971 to record a new single, “Sweet Hitch-Hiker,” with the B-side a song written and sung by Stu Cook, “Door to Door,” an amiable rockabilly number. “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” would be the band’s last Top 10 single, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. ”

Track Listing
Side A:
Lookin’ for a Reason
Take It Like a Friend
Need Someone to Hold
Tearin’ Up the Country
Someday Never Comes

Side B:
What Are You Going to Do
Sail Away
Hello Mary Lou
Door to Door
Sweet Hitch-Hiker

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