Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Creedence Clearwater Revival - The Singles Collection - Fantasy - 2 CDs + DVD

The band was a mainstay of AM radio from 1968 to 1972, was a popular stage act who barnstormed around the country and even performed at Woodstock.

Published on November 09, 2009

Creedence Clearwater Revival - The Singles Collection - Fantasy Fan-31752, CD 1: 49:47/CD 2: 49:55/DVD: 13:13 **** [Distr. by Concord Group]: (John Fogerty: vocals, guitar; Tom Fogerty: guitar; Stu Cook: bass; Doug Clifford: drums)

Creedence Clearwater Revival does not need any introduction since the band was a mainstay of AM radio from 1968 to 1972, was a popular stage act who barnstormed around the country and even performed at Woodstock, and are now ensconced as a large part of baby boomer classic rock. Look at online music stores or download web sites, check out the credits for many movie soundtracks or listen to what is often heard at malls and supermarkets and you will find CCR.

The past two years have been a bonanza for Fogerty/CCR fans. There are 40th anniversary remastered reissues of eight CCR albums. Creedence Clearwater Revival singer/guitarist/songwriter John Fogerty is continuing his successful solo career with a new country-rock covers project The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again. Fogerty's recent Royal Albert Hall concert was released on DVD, dubbed Comin' Down the Road. He also headlined a live PBS television special, "Live By Request," which used modern technology to allow Fogerty to take song requests from a worldwide audience during a two-hour show that featured numerous CCR favorites.

The appreciation proceeds with The Singles Collection, which has two discs of radio hits with attendant B-sides for a total of 30 tunes; a short DVD with four promotional videos; a poster of 45 RPM sleeve artwork; and a booklet with liner notes by former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres. Ironically, though this is a singles set, the assemblage is geared toward long-time CCR aficionados and collectors. The reason is simple: these are the original mono recordings issued on 45 RPM singles - not the stereo mixes found on CCR albums - with some rarely heard B-sides. This music is great but these specific mixes won't sound better booming out of a high fidelity audio system. They probably work best blasting out of car speakers while tearing down the road.

Disc one kicks off with three tracks from CCR's self-titled 1968 debut. First is the bluesy "Porterville," with John Fogerty's stinging guitar lines and its British Invasion-ish B side, "Call It Pretending," a chugging sing-along. That's followed by the two-part rendition of Dale Hawkins' swamp rocker, "Suzie Q." The 8:30 album version is still the most preferred way to appreciate this long-form jam, but the two-sided rendering retains the riffing groove that proved more absorbing than most drawn-out hippie excursions from the same time frame. Another stellar interpretative translation is given to Screamin' Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell on You," highlighted by bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford's vibrant, loose rhythmic drive and Fogerty's catchy guitar riffs. The subsequent B-side is the frequently overlooked "Walk on the Water," Fogerty's first foray at socially conscious writing. One listen to Fogerty's fuzzy guitar skirmishes makes one wonder why he is usually ignored as a distinguished guitar player.

Bruce Springsteen is quoted as saying Fogerty is a modern day Hank Williams. While that is a slight exaggeration, in the heyday of CCR, Fogerty wrote compelling verses with universal appeal that had a working-class sensibility. That viewpoint is plainly felt on bar-band epitaph "Lodi," about a singer who runs out of luck and ends up gigging at a small town road house. Fogerty's hallmark, though, was "Fortunate Son," a scathing indictment that revealed the disparity between poor young men who were shipped off to war and rich privileged sons who escaped the draft or got cozy National Guard postings. The alchemy for both lies in the fact they were and continue to be enormously liked whilst maintaining a pointed lyrical acumen.

Disc two mines more treasures such as "Lookin' Out My Back Door," "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" and an edited take of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," which demonstrates CCR's penchant for reworking classic soul and R'n'B into a primal-toned and seemingly spontaneous inspiration. While the single version pales in comparison to the 11-minute representation on Cosmo's Factory, it nevertheless has a relentlessly deep-pocketed groove that showcases a rhythmic verve.

However, serious CCR fans may be more interested in less common and unevenly regarded material such as Stu Cook's solid rocker "Door to Door" and Doug Clifford's country-rocker "Tearin' Up the Country," both on the amiable but dispensable release Mardi Gras, Creedence Clearwater Revival's final achievement. The two songs are not as horrible as once perceived, but are pedestrian in contrast to John Fogerty's work. Undeniably the rarest and strangest extra is the disc-ending, two-piece radio station promotional "45 Revolutions Per Minute," also included as a bonus on the 40th anniversary edition of Pendulum. Arranged as a one-joke amalgam of audio verité, DJ patter and interviews the two cuts now stand out as curious oddities from a long-gone era. Being the only stereo mixes, they also bounce around the speakers with a psychedelic giggle that isn't likely to be listened to more than once.

The 13-minute DVD is arguably the biggest draw for collectors and contains four promotional videos for "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Bootleg" "I Put a Spell on You" and "Lookin' Out My Back Door." The video and audio are noticeably rudimentary and have not been digitally restored. Scratches and tears can be seen and the audio levels are not equalized between the videos. Nonetheless, they are historically intriguing and are an admirable addition because they could have been lost to time. One particularly diverting item is the psychedelicized video for "I Put a Spell on You," which obviously was intended to place the group as an element of the San Francisco scene, replete with appropriately dated light show visuals. Viewers also get the opportunity to see what John Fogerty looked like with a mustache.

Ben Fong-Torres' informative liner notes put Creedence Clearwater Revival into the context of the late sixties and early seventies radio environment. He remarks on how the foursome transcended being typecast as just a pop band or a rock group and garnered strong links to progressive, free-form FM radio as well as rigidly-programmed AM radio stations. There is also a 14"x14" color poster of scarce CCR 45 RPM record sleeve covers.

Those who want other collectible material should note Fantasy has a companion 45 RPM vinyl box set that has the same 15 CCR singles with reproductions of the original Fantasy label designs and housed in picture sleeves.

CD 1

1. Porterville
2. Call It Pretending
3. Suzie Q. (Pt. 1)
4. Suzie Q. (Pt. 2)
5. I Put a Spell on You
6. Walk on the Water
7. Proud Mary
8. Born on the Bayou
9. Bad Moon Rising
10. Lodi
11. Green River
12. Commotion
13. Fortunate Son
14. Down on the Corner
15. Travelin' Band
16. Who'll Stop the Rain

CD 2

1. Run Through the Jungle
2. Up Around the Bend
3. Long As I Can See the Light
4. Lookin' Out My Back Door
5. Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
6. Hey Tonight
7. Sweet Hitch-Hiker
8. Door to Door
9. Someday Never Comes
10. Tearin' Up the Country
11. I Heard It Through the Grapevine [single edit]
12. Good Golly, Miss Molly
13. Revolutions Per Minute (Part I)
14. Revolutions Per Minute (Part II)

DVD (Dolby D/Digital PCM; standard 4:3 format)

1. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
2. Bootleg
3. I Put a Spell on You
4. Lookin' Out My Back Door

-- Doug Simpson

Audiophile Audition Review

I want to thank John over at for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!


Pre-Order This Set and All of Your CCR Music Here:
Creedence Clearwater Revival Vinyl Records

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Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne

I am continuing our new feature: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 23rd year of syndication (1986-2008), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on. Be sure to stop by Jerry's site ( for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.


DEAR JERRY: A recent episode in the current season of “Dancing with the Stars” featured jitterbug routines.

Some of the songs played to accompany the jitterbugging contestants were big hits of the past. I recall hearing Eddie Cochran's “C'mon Everybody”; Louis Prima's “Jump, Jive an' Wail”; and Louis Jordan's “Choo Choo Ch'Boogie,” not one of which was by the artist who made it famous.

Danceable as these are, what struck me is the complete lack of a song with jitterbug in the title.

You can bet if the Twist were the theme, “The Twist”; “Let's Twist Again”; “The Peppermint Twist”; “Twistin' the Night Away,” and the like, would be heard.

Other than George Michael's song in the 1980s, I can't even think of one noteworthy hit with “jitterbug” in the title.

Is that it, or are there more?
—Morgan Huff, Elkhorn, Wisc.

DEAR MORGAN: Mmmm. There may be more, depending on your definition of “noteworthy hit” and other fine points. Also, there may not be any.

The Wham! (George Michael and Andrew Ridgley) tune you reference does begin with “jitterbug” repeated four times; however, the actual title is “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (Columbia 04552).

This huge hit reached No. 1 in November of '84, but with its non-jitter title is disqualified.

In 1963, after four Top 40 dance hits — “Bristol Stomp”; “Do the New Continental”; “Bristol Twistin' Annie”; and “Hully Gully Baby” — the Dovells released “The Jitterbug” (Parkway 855).

The title is right, but how noteworthy can a recording be that failed to even make the Top 80?

“The Jitterbug Waltz” (Bluebird 11518), a 1942 R&B Top 10 record by Fats Waller, did not make the Pop charts, and, more importantly is indeed a waltz.

Then there is Cab Calloway's 1934 “Jitter Bug,” which has even less than “The Jitterbug Waltz” to do with the style of dance that raised your question in the first place.

As evidenced by the first verse, the jitter bug in this song is a person who is a freestyle and imaginative drinker; one with a case of the jitters:

“If you'd like to be a jitter bug, first thing you must do is get a jug. Put whiskey, wine and gin within, and shake it all up and then begin. Grab a cup and start to toss. You are drinking jitter sauce. Don't you worry, you just mug, and then you'll be a jitter bug.”

Too much alcohol here for dancing … don't think we can count that one.

Still, hundreds of jitterbug recordings do exist and most have that word as part of their title. Yet by not being hits familiar to the masses, you won't hear them played on any of the televised dancing shows. Probably not on the radio either.

Jitterbug was once a catch-all name for several different dances, most notably the Lindy Hop. However, in more recent years all of those styles gather together under the “swing dance” umbrella.

IZ ZAT SO? Indeed a monster hit, “The Monster Mash” (Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers) is such a part of pop culture that questions, er, make that answers, about it even appear on “Jeopardy.”

Issued at the same time in 1962, but virtually unknown is “The Monster Twist” (Tyron A-Saurus).

That's not the only dance you've never done. Here are 20 other pre-Disco records with wacky titles about dances you probably don't remember:

“The Clyde” (Annette); “Zig-Zaggin'” (Capitols); “Do the Pug” (Don Covay); “Do the Screw” (Crystals); “The Crumble” (Diamonds); “The Munch” (Diamonds); “The Alligator Boogaloo” (Lou Donaldson); “The Beatle Bebop” (Frenchy and the Chessmen); “The Potato Peeler” (Bobby Gregg); “The U.T.” (Harry M. and the Marvels); “The Worm” (Jimmy McGriff); “The Hootch” (Pixies Three); “The Funky Donkey” (Pretty Prudie); “Ringo's Jerk” (Ron Ringo); “The Wamboo” (Del Shannon); “Doin' the Ronde” (Shirelles); “The Frog” (Sir Frog and the Toads); “Okeefenokee Two-Step” (Larry Verne); “The Centipede” (Lew Williams); and “The Kickapoo” (Jackie Wilson).

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368, e-mail:, or visit his Web site: All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2009 Osbourne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission

Music News & Notes

Dave Grohl formed new band on 'blind date'

Dave Grohl formed his latest band through a musical 'blind date'.

The Foo Fighters singer got the other members of supergroup Them Crooked Vultures – Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist Josh Homme and Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones - to meet him at a medieval banquet to see if they could work together.

He said: 'It was weird, the blind date, but I was aware of Josh’s music obviously – I couldn’t imagine it not working.'

Former Nirvana drummer Dave organised the meet up at Medieval Times - a themed night in the US with lots of meat and a jousting show – for his birthday.

Josh added the setting was perfect, as it meant they could all relax.

He quipped: 'What was good about Medieval Times was that there was no risk of pretension. It broke the ice. With a lance.'

John recently admitted he was happy that plans for his former band to reunite permanently – without singer Robert Plant - fell through as it meant he could work with Them Crooked Vultures.

He said: "Jimmy Page and I rehearsed a bit with Jason Bonham and we couldn't really agree on singers and that fell by the wayside. Then this came along and to be honest, I'm really happy."


Ruthless Records to release Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Greatest Hits on vinyl records

Tomica Wright’s Ruthless Records is preparing to release Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Greatest Hits double-disc album on vinyl records. These vinyl records are scheduled to come out separately on November 24, 2009.

Ruthless originally released Greatest Hits on November 16, 2004. Many fans were disappointed, and rightfully so, because the greatest hits did not feature some of Bone’s major hits. In November 2005, Ruthless released another version of the album titled Greatest Hits: Chopped & Screwed, which angered fans even more. These upcoming vinyl records continue the tale of Greatest Hits, featuring the same tracklist as disc 1 and 2.


Neil Young's MusiCare's Line-Up

Neil Young's MusiCare's Person of the Year Gala looks like it's going to have a pretty spectacular lineup. At the top of the list is the first public performance in a couple of years for the Red Hot Chili Peppers as they bring their hiatus to an end. Also performing are Crosby, Stills and Nash, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Wilco, Jackson Browne, kd lang, Norah Jones, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Ozomatli, Josh Groban and Everest. The event is January 31 during the Grammy weekend.


STEVEN TYLER: 'There Is Absolutely No Validity To Rumor That AEROSMITH Is Breaking Up'

Tyler joined THE JOE PERRY PROJECT — the band led by Perry — on stage yesterday at the Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza in New York City to perform the AEROSMITH classic "Walk This Way". "I just want New York to know, I am not leaving AEROSMITH," Tyler said to a relieved crowd. "Joe Perry, you are a man of many colors. But I, motherfucker, am the rainbow!"


Bad Religion to start pre-production on next album

Faster Louder is reporting that Bad Religion is ready to begin pre-production on their next album. The magazine spoke to drummer Brooks Wackerman who explained:

Brett and Greg have already started work on some new material. I’m yet to hear any of their ideas but when we get back from Australia and New Zealand we’re going to start pre-production on the next record. It’s just a matter of getting the songs together and making the best record we can. But in 2010 we’re definitely releasing a new album.

The band last released New Maps of Hell [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD] in 2008.


Warhol Jackson Portrait Sold

A "Thriller"-era silk-screened portrait of Michael Jackson created by Andy Warhol has sold for $812,500 to an anonymous collector.

The artwork sold at Christie's in New York City Tuesday evening. Christie's estimated that the portrait would sell for $500,000.

The 1984 portrait depicts a smiling Jackson in a jacket with squiggles of red and yellow in his hair.

The auction house says the seller is an anonymous private collector based in New York who bought the image from the Andy Warhol Foundation in the 1990s. It did not say who bought the artwork

Vinyl Records: Music by students, for students

By Alex Gray

CHAPEL HILL -- The national record industry is undergoing big changes because of digitalization. But Vinyl Records, a nonprofit, student-run record label for student bands at UNC Chapel Hill, is coming on strong.

Vinyl Records, an official UNC student organization, operates out of a donated room in Hill Hall.

Student volunteers run it, providing services including music production and engineering; graphic design; event-booking, development and promotion; and fundraising.

In summer 2007, Allen Mask, now a senior journalism major and a music and entrepreneurship double-minor, developed the idea for Vinyl while studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

"What if we had a record label for students, and supported by students, to help create some kind of mechanism for student acts to get their music out?" Mask asked rhetorically. "You would have a 360-degree learning experience for everyone."

An enthusiastic Mask presented his idea to Jeff Dorenfeld, Berklee professor and former manager of Ozzy Osbourne, the famous rock singer. Dorenfeld laughed and called Mask's idea utopian.

But when Mask returned to UNC in fall 2007, he started to make Vinyl a reality.

Mask knew it would not be easy, so he contacted a friend at UNC, Tripp Gobble, to help.

"He (Mask) sent me a Facebook message shortly before school started that said, 'Big plans, hope you're down,'" Gobble said. Gobble, now a senior environmental studies major, wondered what Mask had in mind. When he found out, he liked the idea.

So over the next two years, Mask and Gobble wrote an official business plan, applied for several grants and pitched ideas to UNC staff and students.

"That was two years of blood, sweat and tears to get this thing going," Mask said.

The work paid off. In May 2008, Vinyl received a $25,000 grant from the Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative Innovations Fund, sponsored by the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. The entrepreneurial fund, launched in 2004, helps creative entrepreneurships get going.

Mask attributes Vinyl's funding success to the business plan.

"We ran it as a startup," Mask said. "Not a student organization but a business."

On a yearly budget of $7,500, Vinyl can produce three albums, operate the studio, maintain its Web site and do all the other tasks needed to run the business. Student government cannot give money for manufacturing albums and merchandise but provides fund-raising loans to support such activities. Sale of merchandise, typically at concerts, also goes toward operating costs, Gobble said.

Vinyl began buying equipment for its own studio, paying for its artists to record in other studios and recruiting new bands.

"We had already signed three bands when we got the grant," Gobble said. "With the money, we were able to get them moving along recording."

Vinyl has a community focus. All artists must apply and provide an audio sample. Gobble and Mask choose who gets to audition. Artists who pass auditions are featured in a battle-of-the-bands concert such as "September Showdown" and "February Faceoff." Students vote for their favorite band, and the winner gets signed.

Nasir Abbas, a senior communications studies major, is a member of Lake Inferior, one of Vinyl's artists.

"We were signed last fall after the September Showdown," Abbas said. Vinyl "allowed us to do a lot of things we wanted to do as a band."

"This past summer we did an East Coast tour they booked for us," Abbas said. "We got to play a couple nights in New York City, which was awesome. That's pretty much everything I wanted to do."

Vinyl "did not have everything installed in the studio yet," Abbas said, "so they paid for us to record in a studio in Raleigh." Lake Inferior's new album, an energetic indie-rock work, will be released Thursday.

Since Lake Inferior's recording, Vinyl has constructed its own studio in room 25, Hill Hall.