Dec 062008
 

After Creedence broke up in 1972, John Fogerty made a bluegrass album called Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973. Then in 1975 he released an album simply called John Fogerty.

I’m not sure why this album went nowhere, maybe Fogerty’s time had passed or maybe there was no promotion. Wikipedia says that “Rockin’ All Over the World” was a Top 40 hit, though I certainly don’t remember that. I thought sure that song had a second life being covered by other artists, but my research (ok, the All Music Guide) only shows that Status Quo recorded it.

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But the other great song on the album, “Almost Saturday Night,” was familiar to me before I ever heard Fogerty do it. Dave Edmunds did a fine version on the Twangin’ album.

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The Searchers did it on their terrific 1981 album Love’s Melodies. AMG says The Burritos, Rick Nelson, the Georgia Satellites, and Gene Clark also did it. Actually I thought both of these songs were more widely covered, but the Edmunds and Searchers albums were big in my world back then. Also I think my memory subsequently mixed in Kimberley (Soft Boy) Rew’s “Stomping All Over the World” (from the excellent Bible of Bop album). Probably influenced by the Fogerty song.

Kimberly Rew, “Stomping All Over the World”

The John Fogerty album is a little covers-heavy, but they’re done well. There are a couple of New Orleans classics – “Sea Cruise” and “I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead You Rascal You” – but the best cover is of Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops.” That’s one of those songs you’d think should never be covered, or at least that you couldn’t cover it well, but I love this version. Fogerty throws out the cha-cha feel and just goes with a straight shuffle. He even throws out the whole middle part (“just … give … me a … nother chance” etc) and sticks to repeating the verses. But he hits a nice groove and makes it work, which is surprising since I believe Fogerty did his thing of playing all the instruments (no credits on the album).

Oddly the tracks on this record seem more fleshed out than many CCR records. My theory is that Fogerty was such a control freak with his old band that the backing tracks often seem like demos to me. So when John started playing everything himself it paradoxically gave a more liberated feeling to the tracks.

Anyway the eponymous album seems to have become a victim of Fogerty’s label/legal troubles, so it’s currently unavailable, except for here on RTH.

John Fogerty
“Rockin’ All Over the World”
“You Rascal You”
“The Wall”
“Travelin’ High”
“Lonely Teardrops”
“Almost Saturday Night”
“Where the River Flows”
“Sea Cruise”
“Dream Song”
“Flyin’ Away”

Technical note: This is a vinyl rip, and you may find the sound a little thin and brittle, contrary to conventional wisdom. For LPs I used to use the Loudness switch they always had on receivers back in the day, and that works fine. Nowadays when I listen to these mp3s I use the “bass booster” effect on iTunes. Your mileage may vary.

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  15 Responses to “John Fogerty: Eponymously”

  1. Mr. Moderator

    Thanks for posting this stuff, BigSteve. I’m digging it. I’d only heard the two hits in the past. What I find interesting, as you note, is how much looser this record sounds than a CCR record. I’m having trouble detecting signs of the artist’s landmark case of Fogerty Syndrome.

  2. 2000 Man

    Yes, thanks for getting this up. I hope I can listen to it tonight, but if not, tomorrow AM should work. I really hope I like it.

  3. alexmagic

    I didn’t get a chance to listen to this until later last night, but thanks for putting these up, Steve. I’d only heard a few of these songs and never the whole thing, and I probably did remember the Status Quo version of “Rockin’ All Over The World” that kicked off Live Aid more than Fogerty’s orriginal.

    I really enjoyed this, especially the first half, and I think the first time through at least, I liked “You Rascal You” the most. Good stuff all around, and I’ll probably be giving this a few more listens over the weekend.

  4. 2000 Man

    I’m really liking this, and I didn’t think I would. Sea Cruise is a blast, and I really liked The Wall and Almost Saturday Night a lot, too. His voice sounds good and I agree with Mod, this sounds nice and loose. Thanks a lot, BigSteve!

  5. BigSteve

    I’m glad you guys like this. Sea Cruise is a New Orleans R&B classic by Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & the Clown’s that became a bigger hit when they actually erased the original vocal and dubbed white dude Frankie Ford’s voice onto it. Growing up in New Orleans, I don’t have a good sense of how well-known this song is. Certainly in 1975 when Fogerty released his version, before all music from all eras became available digitally, it would have seemed much more like a lost classic.

    You Rascal You is much older. Here’s an awesome clip of Louis Armstrong going native and singing it in a movie in the 30s:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WQeKJT86lo

    And here he appears to sing it in a Betty Boop cartoon that is extremely trippy and extremely politically incorrect:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVIb72b12OI

  6. Thanks for the songs — screw you Saul Zaentz!

    “Almost Saturday Night” Georgia Satellites version is fantastic. It’s on the Electra Records tribute to… Electra Records. They wanted to do The Car’s “My Best Friend’s Girl” and the label wanted them to do something more “southern”

    “Rockin All Over The World” was a Bruce Springsteen live staple in the late 1970’s his version is also amazing.

    Status Quo? They slipped by me, I know Pictures Of Matchstick Men from the oldies station and then there were these old guys with Ponytails on Live Aid doing “Rockin All Over The World” they were about the only band I had never heard of from the July 13th 1985 concert. And never heard them since (or of them) until this post.

  7. I don’t know if it was a regional thing here either but a lot of cover bands and djs from the Jersey shore bars played it in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

    Also, Robert Gordon did a pretty cool version of Sea Cruise, as did the Specials, I think, with a trombone substituting for the vocals.

  8. Mr. Moderator

    I’ve always known “Sea Cruise.” Philly’s always has a strong early ’60s dance music scene, both on oldies radio stations and, as cdm notes, Jersey shore bars, where relics like Jerry “The Geator with the Heater” Blavat have been holding court forever.

  9. Mr. Moderator

    Also, if you hadn’t heard “Sea Cruise” until the release of London Calling, isn’t that the song The Clash play before songus interruptus and they shift gears to “Wrong ’em Boyo?” If there are more examples of songus interruptus on record, we might have the makings of an interesting Last Man Standing!

  10. That’s Stagger Lee/Stack-O-Lee not Sea Cruise in Wrong Emboyo.

    songus interruptus: Milk Cow Blues from the Sun Sessions, although the new songus is just a rocking version of the interrupted songus.

  11. Damnit! I forgot to say “Pince Nez!”

  12. Mr. Moderator

    You got me, cdm!

  13. saturnismine

    I wish more rock and / or roll sounded this loose and live.

    Thanks for hipping me to this, BigSteve. It has warmed the cockles of this old slop meister’s heart.

  14. 2000 Man

    BigSteve, Frankie Ford’s Sea Cruise has always got good play around Cleveland. I like Fogerty putting in the huge foghorn on that. It makes me think he’s got much less of a stick up his ass, because you can’t blast a foghorn in your song every 15 seconds and not have a decent sense of humor.

  15. […] Revival and indentify with sufferers of Fogerty Syndrome. This laid-back country cover of a solo Fogerty song I discovered through Dave Edmunds‘ balls-to-the-wall cover is very good despite all the […]

 
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