John Fogerty is a true Hall of Famer-one of the greatest rock & rollers to ever play the game who has long been considered one of our greatest American singer-songwriters.
Fogerty's enduring songs like "Proud Mary" and “Fortunate Son" are now so firmly ingrained in our collective consciousness they seem to have come to us from the American soil as much as from any one man. But there is only one man who penned such classic songs like "Bad Moon Rising," "Who'll Stop The Rain," "Lodi," "Looking Out My Back Door," "Run Through The Jungle," and "Centerfield" to name just a few of the modern standards that Fogerty has brought us.
Of course, John Fogerty recorded many of his great songs as the leader of the now legendary band Creedence Clearwater Revival. His music for Creedence-and for his subsequent solo career-was never about fashion or hype. This was something far deeper and more lasting than your typical rock & roll success story. From the start, Fogerty blended rockabilly, R&B, swamp rock and country music into a potent mix that became all his own. Fogerty's soulful sound had the power of his beloved rock & roll forefathers but Fogerty also managed to address the burning social issues of his time in a way that has proven subtle and timeless.
Bruce Springsteen-one of Fogerty's biggest fans and the artist who has most directly tapped into Fogerty's plainspoken yet poetic populist tradition-perhaps put it best. While inducting Creedence Clearwater Revival into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Springsteen noted, "Creedence wasn't the hippest band in the world, but they were the best." First and foremost, it was the songs and the voice of John Fogerty that made Creedence the best.
Creedence Clearwater Revival split in 1972 amid personal tensions and financial mishaps. Feeling burnt by his experience, John Fogerty started a more low-key solo career, then disappeared from the music scene entirely to get some distance from what had become for him a rather painful business.
Finally in 1984, Fogerty returned in stunning form with the winning album Centerfield that seemed tied to his finest work with CCR yet sounded utterly up to date. The album marked more than simply a successful comeback-this was the welcome return of a great American artist to his rightful place. In 1987 Fogerty started to hit the road again. Initially, Fogerty refused to perform Creedence songs when he would play live, but finally decided to give them new life when asked to appear at a benefit for Vietnam Vets-the same generation for whom his music was truly the soundtrack to their lives. "Gradually I realized that these were not just my songs anymore," he explains.
To this day, John Fogerty remains a genuinely great artist-one of the defining songwriters of our time. 1997's warmly rootsy, Grammy Award-winning Blue Moon Swamp suggested it. And the vital Deja Vu All Over Again proves it beyond any reasonable doubt.