Every Record I Own - Day 272: Creedence Clearwater Revival Cosmo’s Factory
I know Creedence Clearwater Revival isn’t very cool. They’re not as sinister as Black Sabbath, not as hedonistic as Rolling Stones, not as subversive as The Stooges. They were the biggest band in America when Cosmo’s Factory came out, and that popularity was largely due to their deliberate negation of the trippy acid freak-outs that were so prominent in other Californian rock bands of the time. They merged all the popular American musical traditions of the time—rock n’ roll, soul, country, R&B—and crafted it into radio hits. They were a comparatively “safe” band.
But they still wrote protest songs. They still had folks calling the state militia on ‘em when they rolled into town. Three of their six studio albums came out in 1969. They played Woodstock. Maybe they seemed relatively straight, but they were in the thick of things at a pivotal time in American politics and culture.
As someone that has zero interest in modern chart-toppers, I realize there’s something odd about being so smitten for a band like CCR. If they had a modern equivalent, I’m sure I’d have no time for it. But I also generally think there was something in the air between 1968 and 1975 that imbued albums with a sense of magic that’s never been duplicated. Maybe it was the turbulence of the times. Maybe it was the era of audio engineering that preceded multi-track recording. Whatever the case, the popularity of songs like “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”, “Up Around The Bend”, “Travellin’ Band”, “Who’ll Stop the Rain”, and “Long As I Can See the Light” has done nothing to do diminish their power over me.