Craft Recordings is celebrating the brief but astonishingly prolific career of one of America’s greatest rock-and-roll bands, Creedence Clearwater Revival, with a 50th anniversary LP box set comprising all seven of the band’s studio albums on 180-gram vinyl.
Slated for release on November 30, the set includes more than a dozen timeless hits from albums spanning 1968-1972: Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968), Bayou Country (1969), Green River (1969), Willy and the Poor Boys (1969), Cosmo’s Factory (1970), Pendulum (1970), and Mardi Gras (1972).
Each album was mastered at London’s Abbey Road Studios using hi-res transfers from original analog tapes with the added benefit of an exacting half-speed mastering process that involves playing back audio at half its recorded speed while the cutting lathe is turned at half the desired playback speed. The process allows more time to cut a precise groove for more accurate frequency extremes and dynamic contrasts.
“I’ve tried to be as authentic as I could, and just make it sound like music,” explained Miles Showell, Abbey Road’s award-winning mastering engineer, whose credits include the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. “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.”
The albums are housed in tip-on jackets replicating the packaging of the original pressings and bundled with an 80-page book featuring new liner notes from music journalist Roy Trakin, archival photos, and reproductions of band ephemera.
The CCR Legacy
Although 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 more than 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.
The hardworking band delivered 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”).
In 1993 Creedence Clearwater Revival was 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.”
Creedence also had a gift for transforming other musicians’ songs in their own image with impressive covers — from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” Dale Hawkins’ “Susie Q,” and Little Richard’s “Good Golly Miss Molly” to the Leadbelly-popularized, blues-gospel evergreen “Midnight Special” and the Marvin Gaye-popularized Motown hit “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”
For more information and to pre-order, visit craftrecordings.com.
Watch CCR’s first-ever video for the rock classic “Fortunate Son”: