Sound — 7
If I can say anything, it's that CCR's sound is quite diverse, to say that they were only around for 4 years. The sound is fairly different on the first couple of songs though, as they were released when the band were known as The Golliwogs. 'Porterville' and the B-Side, 'Call It Pretending' have that 60's edge to them - heavy effects on a lot of the instruments for starters. The singles/B-Sides from the first album also have a slight flavour of 60's about them, although displaying some of that country/rock that Creedence evolved to make their own sound in later years. 'Suzie Q', although having some of those peculier elements about it, is essentially a country influenced track. After this album period, the band begin to open up more and take on a lot more musical elements to enhance their sound. The single 'Proud Mary' sounds like a country song, but like a soul song at the same time. The following releases, 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Lodi' (B-Side to 'Bad Moon') and 'Green River', focus on country even more, as does 'Fortunate Son' (whilst also welcoming rock n roll). The styles tend to drift after this. Though they mostly revolve around a soulful, country atmosphere ('Run Through The Jungle', 'Lookin Out My Back Door', 'Up Around The Bend'), some songs delve deeper into other styles and sub-styles. Songs like 'Long As I Can See The Light' and 'Have You Ever Seen The Rain' sound quite like The Eagles, and their cover of 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' still sounds quite soulful while adding the Creedence country twist. The general musicianship of the record is great all over, although I find that the use of the brass section in the Cosmo's Factory album era was slightly out of place. Fogerty's guitar playing is generally something to be held in awe - he's not the greatest player ever, don't get me wrong, but he's to be respected. There's some good rhythm guitar work from Tom Fogerty too. The drumming's great, albeit quite basic for the most of the compilation, and the bass playing's good.
Lyrics — 8
Fogerty has an incredibly powerful voice for his style of music. With some songs, he can also give that soulful edge and make it sound as though he means every word ('Long As I Can See The Light', for example). On top of this, he can certainly hold the tune, with great melodies. The lyrics aren't anything overly clever for the most of it, but in the slower songs, he writes some great, powerful lyrics. The whole song 'Someday Never Comes' is laden with them. The harmonies are great too, when they're actually present. Nothing really bad to say in this department.
Overall Impression — 7
You get what it says on the tin. If you've heard the odd Creedence song, liked what you heard and want to look into what other things they've done, it's worth having a look at this. There's some good stuff on here, after all. For those who haven't listened to Creedence before, if you've heard John Fogerty's solo stuff, some Eagles or even some Status Quo, you'll have some sort of idea what you'd be in for. Personally, I wouldn't say it's an essential CD to buy, but it's certainly got its' moments.