Album Review: Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Concert (reissue)
When something is a familiar part of one’s daily existence — when it’s sort of always there — there’s often a tendency to take that thing for granted, to not fully appreciate its value. So it was for me with the album The Concert from Creedence Clearwater Revival. Originally issued in 1980 — an era in which the term classic rock really came into parlance as a marketing tool — the album was filled with familiar hits from CCR’s run in the sixties and early seventies.
But one could turn on any number of FM radio stations — especially if living in what radio programmers call a “major market” — and hear most of this stuff seemingly all the time anyway. And because of CCR’s no-nonsense approach to arrangements and performance, there was precious little difference between the live versions on The Concert and the even more familiar renditions on the studio LPs most of us had at home. And the studio versions were a little cleaner recording-wise (though The Concert was expertly recorded and produced).
With that in mind, I nonetheless tried to approach the 2009 reissue of The Concert with fresh ears. Surprisingly, it held up better than expected. The rapid-fire delivery of fourteen CCR classics — essentially a greatest-hits show — doesn’t let up for a moment. Unlike the other live album in the CCR canon (Live in Europe) The Concert features the four-piece lineup and shows the band at the heights of their creative powers, their critical acclaim and their popular success. The performances are not especially revelatory, but what is — and this can’t be stressed enough — is that the band came out onstage that night in 1970, played fourteen songs, and now nearly forty years later, one can listen and note: “damn; every one of these songs is a bona fide classic rock and roll tune.” That’s saying something.
About the Author
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4500-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he taught a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.