Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Creedence Country

This compilation was originally released in 1981 in the hopes of infiltrating the country market after a producer commented on the C&W influences of some of Fogerty's work and apparently it succeeded as in
1982 "Cotton Fields" did hit #50 in the Billboard country charts.

Opening with one of their most country influenced numbers, "Lookin' For a Reason", we see that Fogerty wasn't just mining New Orleans' hoodoo for his material, as this is fully as country-fied as anything from the Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo - complete with prominent steel guitar. "Don't Look Now" is a bouncin' country number, though a bit more of a fusion, as it has an obvious CCR feel, as well. The fantastically depressing tale of a roving musician, "Lodi", is an excellent example of how genres can be mixed for an original sound. They tackle rockabilly in the fairly traditional takes on "My Baby Left Me", "Hello Mary Lou"  and Roy Orbison's "Ooby Dooby", while "Ramble Tamble" is a high-energy Creedence stomper that slows down for a groovy Fogerty breakdown/jam, similar in feel to their "Walk on the Water", which then again turns into a high speed rockabilly romp. The afore-mentioned "Cotton Fields" (the Leadbelly tune) is also reasonably traditional take (with some terrific harmonies), considering that a r'n'r band is playing it. I don't know that I would normally classify Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me" as country (it's certainly more blues/r'n'r), though lines were blurring at the time that it was written. Nor would I pigeon-hole the nice ballad "Wrote a Song for Everyone" or the mid-tempo "Cross Tie Walker", though the elements are there, although "Looking Out My Back Door" is pretty darn hillbilly-esque.

For the CD release, three more tracks were added, the ballady "Need Someone to Hold", more upbeat country stylings in "Tearin' Up the Country" and an organ-based slower, melodic number in "It's Just a Thought".

Nice idea for a comp and, naturally, there is some pretty stellar material here. Good times, though I would always recommend their standard releases.