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CCR – Bayou Country (1969) & Cosmo’s Factory (1970)

October 1, 2013

Welcome to 2 for 1 / 2Pac / theme name is still a work in progress but something to indicate 2 albums per artist per post in October!

[Albums 242 & 243/1001]Creedence_Clearwater_Revival_-_Bayou_Country

Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) makes a hat trick of appearances on the 1001 list.  I reviewed Green River near the beginning of the project.

Nearly two years later, I’ve realized there are three things that CCR does as well or better than anybody else.  To explain, an ill-advised attempt at an acrostic poem.

C – Consistent Sound

As I get older and wiser, I see that CCR has succeeded at a difficult task: developing a distinctive ‘sound’ without sounding formulaic.

I’d argue they’re a bit like John Grisham.  Grisham manages to churn out books at an astonishing pace, with titles seemingly plucked from a legal glossary (The Firm, The Client, The Summons, The Litigators…) yet the books never feel repetitive.  He might not be critically acclaimed but he’s doing something right.

If the band sound is quickly identifiable, there is absolutely no Creedence_Clearwater_Revival_-_Cosmo's_Factorymistaking the John Fogerty growl.  That being said, his pronunciation is sometimes curious.  On the big hit from Bayou Country, Proud Mary, he announces that a “big wheel keep on tuy-ning, Proud Mary keep on buy-ning.”  If that wasn’t distracting enough, he claims to have repeatedly “huyd it through the grapevine” on Cosmo’s Factory.  Perhaps few others will notice, but the only other person I know that pronounces those words in that way is my three-year old daughter, so it’s safe to say it took me out of the moment!

C – Continuing Influence

How do you know your band has ‘made it’ in 2013?  I’d suggest one of three ways:

– Your song is covered on Glee (though Jeff Winger summarizes my feelings on that show here)
– Your band plays on SNL
– You appear, as in the Dr. Hook song, on the Cover of the Rolling Stone.

Well, Alabama Shakes played SNL and The Sheepdogs graced the Rolling Stone cover and if their sounds are any indication, between them, the groups probably have several copies (in multiple formats) of Bayou Country & Cosmo’s Factory.  Swamp rock, roots rock, whatever the name, a new generation of CCR fans are keeping the sound alive and well.

R – Repertoire for Rick McGhie-esque singalongs

If you attended the University of Western Ontario, Rick McGhie needs no introduction.  Every Wednesday, he’d play singalongs at the campus pub and people (myself included) would flock back to see him week after week.  Similar set list every time, but that was part of the charm.

It’s unlikely I’ll keep going back to either of these records (Cosmo’s was the stronger of the two) too frequently for independent listening.  It’s highly probable however that I’ll try to learn the lyrics to songs like Lookin’ out My Back Door as in the singalong context, there’s plenty of solid material here.

I was thinking while listening to these two records that a CCR Greatest Hits would be quite potent.  A quick Wikipedia search revealed although they released seven studio albums, a whopping fourteen compilations have been assembled.  So it appears others have had the same idea – but considering there have been fourteen attempts, perhaps the definitive mix has yet to be made.

Suggestions for ‘Best of CCR’ tracklist attempt #15 are welcomed!

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From → 1960s, 1970s

5 Comments
  1. Western Western Western U, College fair and square…hello fellow alum!

    Have you heard Fogerty’s solo stuff? Revival was a great album.

    • A fellow Mustang, fantastic!

      I have not – that’s good to know though. I think he toured through Ontario a year or two ago as well.

  2. “On the big hit from Bayou Country, Proud Mary, he announces that a “big wheel keep on tuy-ning, Proud Mary keep on buy-ning.” If that wasn’t distracting enough, he claims to have repeatedly “huyd it through the grapevine” on Cosmo’s Factory. Perhaps few others will notice, but the only other person I know that pronounces those words in that way is my three-year old daughter, so it’s safe to say it took me out of the moment!”

    And Archie Bunker! This is, I believe, typical of some New-York accents. “Edith, on the way home from work I saw a boyd sitting on the coyb.”

    I seem to recall that sometimes the opposite occurs (say “er” when “oy” is written) but can’t think of any examples right now.

    • Should be “On the way home from woyk”, of course.

      • Woyk, of course!

        It’s so strange how Fogerty’s singing is otherwise a mean-sounding growl but with those pronunciations, it just doesn’t sound nearly as rugged.

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