Wednesday, December 2, 2009


After about two weeks of having bought no CDs at all, I somehow felt it was not completely wrong for me to lash out a bit today and, even though it was $73, and even though the bills are piling up around me, the fact that it was a 7CD set AND of the complete studio recordings of Creedence Clearwater Revival pretty much put paid to all other considerations.

As I write this, I'm only part way through Disc One - the debut self-titled album that opens with the cracker of a song, 'I Put a Spell on You', which already feels prophetic. There's a raw honesty to this music, like it is taking rock back to the place where it belongs, that certainly is mesmerising, and I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if I were to play this thing backwards at half the speed I would find some subliminal messages there along the lines of "you are going to listen to this and not be able to stop until you've been through the whole seven discs and then you're going to go back and do it all again".

Of course, I grew up with Creedence Clearwater Revival - but, like so much else, my experience of it was mostly hearing it, and ignoring it, as it wafted through the house from my brother's record player. So to be hearing it anew now, wafting through the house from my own sound system, really feeling its earthy beat, and its easy but uniquely creative blend of rock and country and roots, all for the first time, is kind of like discovering a youth that I somehow let slip past.

And it's the way this music seems so grounded in the soil and toil of an earthy life that perhaps strikes me the most about it - the gutsy guitar riffs, the rough and ready vocals, the sweaty masculinity of the melody lines and harmonies. It all gives the music a sense of connection to people, a feeling of unpretentious humanity, a feeling that, while it is undeniably the child of the 60s and 70s, there is a kind of universality there, something that will always feel relevant and fresh.

I'm very much looking forward to continuing this journey through the catalogue of Creedence Clearwater Revival, punctuated here and there by those famous hits that even I, even in my early years of musical narrowness, could not help but be taken by - 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Down on the Corner', 'Proud Mary' - while still discovering a lot of unexpected treasures along the way.

It's never too late to rediscover your roots.


  1. Yes a great band to listen to, found them in my late teens when pop music was just that little to normal and wanting to be different was the call of the day.
    it took me a while to adjust to the fact that I was actually listening to country, somehting I had avoided so far. As it was classed as country rock i accepted it and enjoyed it. Sorry can't remeber exact songs I like, but thank you, you have reminded me there best of album is hiding in my cupbaord and derserves a spin on my cd player.

  2. Thank you Ian - you're right: neither 'pop' nor 'country' could ever feature in the language of the cool back then - or even now, I guess. Thank god for 'retro'!!