Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (LBS 83388) (1970)

CCRCFThings have not been well in Asbo Towers. The capitulation of my turntable’s left channel a metaphor for a communication disconnect so apt as to seem calculated. And yet, it’s true. With increasing self-flagellation the only sensible option in the face of irrelevance, hopelessness and crushed dreams, I sit down, drink(s) in hand, to cue up Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth long-player. A warm sense of ease (and relief) washes over me. What a fantastic record: people creating something worthwhile. Would that we were all so lucky. This is why, say, “Hi Ho Silver Lining” is such an abomination: You get to make records and come up with something like that? You should be ashamed. But Cosmo’s Factory is another matter.

The other day some slavering BBC radio music critic ventured, on the death of R. Manzarek, that the Doors were the best American band of the 60s. Now I really like the Doors, but really. As if. At the time, my mind immediately sprung to the Byrds and the Velvet Underground, both of whom exude more elegance than Morrison’s group. After listening to CCR, so generous of spirit and dynamically balanced, I am tempted to revise my list. True, the drummer can be a little stiff backed at times (particularly on the 2/4 sections), but when they’re in the groove, there’s no-one on AM radio to touch them.

In an article about Otis Redding, Jon Landau wrote: “Musicians see themselves in different ways. Some, the rarest, are artists prepared to make any sacrifice to preserve the integrity of their art. Others are poseurs who adopt the artist’s stance without the art, who therefore appeal to the segment of the audience that likes to think of itself as being serious but isn’t. And then there are those performers who see themselves as entertainers: they make no pretense of aiming at any particular artistic standard, but are openly and honestly concerned with pleasing crowds and being successful.” While Landau suggested Redding belonged in the latter camp, I would argue Creedence (at least at their peak) should join him; and, incidentally, without being particularly pejorative, VU and the Doors fitting snugly in the first and second groups respectively.

In conclusion, I recommend all Thrifty Vinyl readers* buy Cosmo’s Factory immediately. And isn’t that cover image perfectly banal?

*Disappointingly and inexplicably, readership is less than half of what it was in January of this year, if WordPress stats are to be believed. Indeed, following a precipitous drop in February, despite best efforts to regain ground, at least initially, you’d have to go back to December 2010 to see such low numbers. All of which, along with the summary abandon-ship of one of the founder writers, has left your correspondent a trifle deflated.

Published in: on May 27, 2013 at 6:29 am  Comments (10)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “VU and the Doors fitting snugly in the former” – which former, artists or poseurs? Surely Jim Morrison was a bit of both..

    • Agreed. Though I meant respectively, there’s more than a little crossover.

  2. Re falling stats I’m seeing the same thing and it’s a general trend in the blogging world I think. Let’s face it we (well, me and the format, at least) are old has beens.

    • It’s just that the drop was so sudden. Following a month by month increase since the word go in August 2009 (with a couple exceptions), as of now, Thrifty Vinyl is averaging 42% of its January 2013 high. While this may reflect both trends and TV’s old-fashioned subject, such a fall feels more like someone’s pulled the plug. And after working hard to get more readers, it’s a real drag.

      • Maybe WordPress stats moved the goalposts and changed the way they count hits. I remember Sitemeter announced they had changed – “refined” – the way they counted things a couple of years ago. I don’t remember it having a marked affect on Feel It’s stats though, they’ve just been on an inexorable downward slide over the last couple of years!).

  3. ccr? in my opinion just a pub band (us: bar band) that got lucky! even when it comes to the only song of theirs i’ve ever had time for, their own recording of it is lumpy and leaden – the bluegrass blackjacks did a far superior cover version…

    sorry to hear you aren’t getting the hits anymore asbo (or maybe that should read “at the moment”) – as you can see, i still take a look and contribute whenever i think i have anything of interest (or contention!) to say…

    • I would augment your CCR characterisation as “a bar band that got it right”. And you didn’t say what song of theirs it was that you had time for.

  4. sorry! “proud mary”

  5. Yeah this album is a great one. After listening to CCR a bit in my teen years I kind of left them alone but then about a year ago I found this album second hand and it just knocked me out!

    The Velvets are the greatest American band in MO, although I do love the Doors.

    As for the stats – humans are such fickle creatures and the web makes it even worse! Just do it for fun – we’ll still read it.

  6. Well, my top one (1) consists of Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Not particularly in that order, more both at the same time, but we humans are not given the ability to express two equal things at the same time, allas.

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