Creedence Clearwater Revival: At The Royal Albert Hall
There’s a bit of a convoluted history behind this release. From the time Creedence Clearwater Revival—as hot as any band could ever hope to be as the 1970s dawned—finished their first European tour, their show at London’s Royal Albert Hall approached mythical status. It was a given that they’d never played better. A decade later, in 1980, that set was released as an LP simply titled The Concert. The only problem was that the show captured on that record was actually not from London at all, but rather from Oakland, Calif.—oops. Now, finally, the real Albert Hall show has been issued officially, and it was worth the wait. Sometimes it’s easy to forget just how different CCR was from every other act around—a straight-ahead rock-and-roll quartet, they didn’t go for histrionics and rarely engaged in aimless instrumental extensions. They came out onstage, more or less reproduced their records and stunned audiences with their power and drive. Each of the players was a solid contributor to the whole (drummer Doug Clifford was an underrated monster), but in John Fogerty they had a triple threat giant as songwriter, singer and guitarist. The setlist here will be familiar to any Creedence fan—“Born on the Bayou,” “Green River,” “Fortunate Son,” “Proud Mary,” etc.—and their precise performance of each tune is definitive. To really get a feel for the authority of their live show, however, check out the visual companion (streaming on Netflix at the time of this writing, and bolstered with Jeff Bridges-narrated documentary material). Like many other great bands, CCR wasn’t able to work out their differences once fame arrived, but for a while they were truly something to behold.