Wednesday, August 11, 2010
This song is here not just because I like it, but also out of respect for—hell, make that quaking fear of—the juju that Creedence Clearwater Revival so recklessly slings around here. Concerned as it is, focused with laser clarity even, on the ineffable power of a really bad vibe, it's a sonic case of self-fulfilling prophecy, a pop song that is literally dangerous. I have seen it cast palls over moments when no one was particularly paying attention to it. Fights erupting. Auto accidents. Giant boulders falling out of the sky. Flames licking out of cracks in the earth. I'm not kidding about this. There it was playing. Even the day or two I spent listening to it for this little squib was accompanied by an incident of freaky bad luck courtesy of nothing less than the music industry itself. I better hurry up and finish with this. Creedence, of course, was famous for their string of #2s (I count four, out of eight top 10s, with one more a #3 and still another a #4) without ever hitting the #1 sweet spot. Then they broke up. All that's a doggone shame, because you can hear in this everything you need to understand why some were willing to claim the California quartet—2 guitars bass drums, Fogerty brothers and chums, flannel flying—on the verge of rivaling the Stones for status of world's greatest rock 'n' roll band. The thing virtually turns on a dime, and it's a pleasure every time. Guitar chords so crisp and snappy. A rhythm section that's all joy. John Fogerty in possession of one of the great voices of rock 'n' roll. And trouble on the horizon: "Don't go around tonight / Well, it's bound to take your life. / There's a bad moon on the rise." All elements in place. 1-2-3-4. Go.