Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory

The album title is an appropriate one. Because if anything, Creedence Clearwater Revival were something of a factory when it came to churning out hit after hit, thanks predominately to John Fogerty, the man behind the machine and the individual responsible for the band’s popularity in the first place, someone whose convincingly working class vocals offered a refreshing natural spring compared to many contemporaries at the time.

Depending on one’s vintage, this is a record that will create memories and have the listener going back again and again, largely due to the sheer quality of what’s on display.

Quite a bit owes itself to Memphis-era Elvis, it must be said, and first cut “Rumble Tumble” is a point in fact, a song which switches from old to new, revealing the band’s grasp of the past as well as the future. “Before You Accuse Me” could have been recorded in the ‘50s, only with better microphones, while “Travelin Band” is straight out of the Little Richard songbook, albeit slightly updated for a more modern audience.

They cover Roy Orbison’s “Ooby Dooby,” an old Sam Phillips recording, before the good-time “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” a song so enjoyable one can forgive Fogerty for his overt sentimentalism. But that doesn’t prepare the listener for “Run Through The Jungle,” a masterpiece of swamp-blues, and a song many a soldier in Vietnam adopted as an unofficial anthem of their situation.

“Up Around The Bend” is the sort of song Suzy Quatro probably heard and thought “yeah, I could write a few songs based on that.” They revisit Memphis on the nostalgic “My Baby Left Me,” replete with double bass and Scotty Moore style riffs, followed by the glorious “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” one of Fogerty’s finest moments (and there were many), and a tune oozing with pathos not to mention empathy.

Their cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” is a classic, primitive but effective in every way. As far as Bronze-age rock is concerned, this is about as good as it gets, where the group even prove their instrumental skills by recording some rather serious grooves.

“As Long As I Can See The Light” is another moving number, led as always by Fogerty’s raspy vocals. In fact it’s probably one of the best tracks on here, if that’s possible. Since this is arguably one of CCR’s most accomplished albums, even if the ridiculous LP cover probably doesn’t quite represent what the listener may be expecting.

The remaster has bonus tracks, which are welcome, and help to serve out what is overall an exceedingly excellent album. One thing’s for sure, there’s no need for any ‘buyer beware’ sticker on this LP. In fact, Cosmo’s Factory will probably increase your life expectancy.