Videos by American Songwriter
“I used to say in 1968 that I wanted to make records they would still play on the radio in ten years,” John Fogerty said before Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1993 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
The legendary Bay Area band had 17 radio hits in a 44-month stretch (nine of which landed in the Top 10, and five of which made it to the Top 5.) Now those singles, 30 in all, have been gathered together for The Singles Collection, out November 3 on Fantasy Records. Among the well-known hits like Bad Moon Rising,” “Green River,” “Down on the Corner,” “Travelin’ Band,” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” are singles that, for some reason or other, never charted, including “Porterville” and “Call It Pretending” on Fantasy’s Scorpio subsidiary label, and later singles “Tearin’ Up the Country” and “45 Revolutions Per Minute [Parts 1 & 2].”
The two-CD set also comes with a DVD of four previously unavailable vintage music videos (for “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Bootleg,” “I Put a Spell on You” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.”) You can also geek out over a poster featuring the dozens of international single sleeves, and a 16-page booklet with liner notes by former Rolling Stone editor Ben Fong-Torres.
There will also be a special limited edition version of The Singles Collection featuring actual vinyl 45 rpm singles with rare picture sleeves.
A press release sets the story:
“The members of Creedence Clearwater Revival, of course, hailed from the suburbs of Oakland the little town of El Cerrito, lappeding up music on the radio through the late ‘ ’50s and ‘ ’60s, and eventually signeding to a small, open-minded jazz label in Berkeley called Fantasy Records. Originally known as the Tommy Fogerty & the Blue Velvets and then The Golliwogs, the band’s break came with its swampy 1968 cover of Dale Hawkins’ “Suzie Q,” which notched #11 on Billboard’s pop singles chart. Starting on San Francisco’s free-form rock radio stations, the song crossed over top Top 40, putting Creedence on the map. As Fong-Torres notes, ‘radio needed acts like CCR — reliable producers of solid tunes laden with hooks.’
Even in the South, radio was taken with CCR. DJ Scott Shannon, then on Memphis’ WMPS-AM, was a Dale Hawkins fan and thought Fogerty nailed it. “His voice and his mixes were perfect for Top 40,” he said. ‘It just screamed out of the AM radios.'”
You can catch John Fogerty on tour in support of his latest album, The Blue Ridge Rangers, this November. He’ll also play The Tonight Show on November 10.