Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory
And here we come to #5, the last truly great CCR album … and what a “Great with a capital G” album it is!
You’d think at this point they’d be running out of steam, right? Nope! Instead, we get what is arguably the album that is more chock full of songwriting goodness than anything they’ve yet done!
Can it be possible that one album, one original album, could have this many killer tracks on it? Travelin’ Band? Lookin’ Out My Back Door?? Run Through The Jungle??? Up Around The Bend???? Who’ll Stop The Rain?????
That’s more greatness than most bands manage in an entire lifetime.
Plus, you get a killer cover of Bo Diddley’s Before You Accuse Me, and a possibly canonical cover of I Heard It Through The Grapevine!
Just a motherfucker of an album, to say the least …
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Willy and the Poor Boys
Having already recommended Green River at an earlier point in the series, my current CCR kick then of necessity skips up to album #4, where we find the lads still churning out some of the greatest rock n’ roll ever produced. You’d think Green River would have left them with nowhere to go but significantly down—instead, we get another masterpiece, headlined by “Down on the Corner,” one of the all-time CCR greats.
The album also of course contains “Fortunate Son,” which rightly takes its place among the ranks of many an angry “protest” song, though it does so without a hint of dogmatism or self-righteousness.
Add to that one of my favorite CCR “covers” (Cotton Fields), and one of CCR’s eeriest songs (Effigy), and you have yet another amazing rock n’ roll record.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bayou Country
My CCR kick continues with the sophomore release. What else can be said but, what a leap forward! This is the beginning of one of the great songwriting runs of all time. Born on the Bayou and Proud Mary are of course timeless classics, and were immediately recognizable as such from the moment they arrived.
Mind you, some good deep tracks here as well, including the rather underrated Graveyard Train, and Keep on Chooglin’, which includes the following classic lyric:
Here comes Mary lookin’ for Harry
She gonna choogle tonight
Here comes Louie, works in the sewer
He gonna choogle tonight
CCR is pickin’ up serious steam by album #2, and about to hit warp levels …
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Just finished reading “Fortunate Son” by John Fogerty, so am now on a full-blown CCR Bender. I already recommended “Green River” earlier in this series, but will know start at “the beginning” with the official debut of CCR.
Here, of course, we see many hints of things to come:
- the overall CCR sound
- CCR’s uncanny way with a cover tune
- some killer songwriting
We also get some things we’ll see much less of later:
- extended Fogerty guitar solos
- less-than-perfect songwriting
All in all, a great debut, and the beginning of an incredible few years of rock n’ roll history.
MC5 – The Anthology: 1965-1971
Partly recommending the anthology to ensure you get the uncensored version of “Kick out the Jams,” but also because there are a lot of other really excellent—and weird—tracks on here. I say weird because in a weird way, the underground importance of “Kick out the Jams” has kind of served to obscure how bizarre this band could actually be.
“Shakin’ Street,” “Tonight,” “American Ruse”—these are songs that could only have come from a few select brains …
Mainly tho, the anthology just hits on LOTS of what we expect from the MC5; jams. Loud, insane, oddly funky, and furiously revolutionary jams.
Kick ’em out.
Ministry – The Land of Rape and Honey
Well, given that it’s Friday the 13th, seems only appropriate that I recommend one of the most frighteningly intense albums ever made.
Townes Van Zandt – Rear View Mirror
Honestly, it’s an impossibly choice, but if I HAD to choose a favorite TVZ album, I think it might actually be this obscure little gem.
It was recorded live, with elegantly minimal and perfectly complementary accompaniment from fiddler Owen Cody and guitarist Danny Rowland, and it includes a significant selection of Townes’ greatest songs, but most importantly, the artist himself is seemingly at just a perfect point to be delivering this material.
No longer the hopelessly youthful and sweet-voiced innocent, not yet the shambolic, booze-thickened wreck of later years—no, what you ever here is simply maturity and mastery.
Virtually every song here is just bone-chillingly beautiful; it’s extraordinary that one man could contain such vast amounts of haunting beauty within him—sadly, he couldn’t, actually, and that’s understandable when you here things like “Our Mother The Mountain” as it appears on this album. It’s literally TOO beautiful. It hurts.
Django Reinhardt – The Classic Early Recordings
Without question some of the most important recordings ever made in the history of jazz, the guitar, and … music.
Ted Kendall and JSP simply outdo themselves with the mastering here.
These are 5 CDs that no jazz fan, no guitar fan, and no music fan should be without.
Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners
100 years ago today, Thelonious Sphere Monk took bodily form in the oxygen around our earth.
Monk is the champ.
This is one of the Top 5 most important jazz albums ever recorded.
My favorite Thelonious Monk quote:
“Everyone is influenced by everybody but you bring it down home the way you feel it.”
Deep bows, Thelonious Monk. Deep bows.
Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell – United
Tammi Terrell’s story is so heartbreaking, and her tragic passing at such a young age represented such a loss for a world of people whose hearts had been forever changed by the elegant and soulful timbre of her exquisite voice.
Born in 1945. First signed in 1960. First paired with Marvin Gaye in 1967. By 1970, she was gone, having fallen victim to a brain tumor that 8 surgeries couldn’t defeat.
What can be said in the face of this?
Simply, thank you. And goodbye.
Goodbye, and thank you, Thomasina Winifred Montgomery.