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John Fogerty

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John Fogerty - Centerfield [Warner Bros 1-25203] (14 January 1985)

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John Fogerty



Released: 14 January 1985
Label: Warner Bros
Catalog: 1-25203
Genre: Rock, Country Rock

Matrix / Runout (Side A):
1-25203-A-SH1 B-20194-A SH1 SLM ?8145 1-2

Matrix / Runout (Side B):
1-25203-B-RE1-SH2 B-20195-Re1-SH2 SLM ?8145-X 1-1
T R A C K L I S T:
01 The Old Man Down The Road
02 Rock And Roll Girls
03 Big Train (From Memphis)
04 I Saw It On T.V.
05 Mr. Greed
06 Searchlight
07 Centerfield
08 I Can't Help Myself
09 Vanz Kant Danz
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Album Review

Stephen Thomas Erlewine []

John Fogerty pulled himself out of the game sometime after his 1976 album Hoodoo failed to materialize and he sat on the bench for a full decade, returning in the thick of the Reagan era with Centerfield in 1985. For as knowingly nostalgic as Centerfield is, deliberately mining from Fogerty's childhood memories and consciously referencing his older tunes, the album is steeped in the mid-'80s, propelled too often by electronic drums -- the title track has a particularly egregious use of synthesized handclaps -- occasionally colored by synths and always relying on the wide-open production that characterized the '80s ... plus, there's no denying that this is the work of a middle-aged baby boomer, romanticizing TV, rockabilly, baseball, and rock & roll girls. Since Fogerty always romanticized a past he never lived, these sepia tones suit him but it also helps that he's written a clutch of terrific songs: that giddy ode to his beloved game, the equally sunny rocker ''Rock and Roll Girls,'' the snappy Sun tribute ''Big Train from Memphis,'' the gently swaying ''I Saw It on TV,'' the rip-roaring ''I Can't Help Myself'' (only slightly undone by its hyper-active drum programming) and, of course, ''The Old Man Down the Road,'' a callback to CCR's spooky swamp rock so successful that Saul Zaentz, the then-president of Fogerty's former label Fantasy, sued John for plagiarizing himself. Of course, Zaentz's ire was likely piqued by Fogerty baiting the record label president on no less than two songs on this slim, nine-track LP: Fogerty howls against ''Mr. Greed'' and taunts that ''Zanz Kant Danz but he'll steal your money,'' a potshot so direct he had to retitle it ''Vanz Kant Danz'' on subsequent pressings. Perhaps Fogerty's anger is justified -- he had to give up his rights to CCR songs as a condition of leaving Fantasy -- but it's not articulated well in song, adding a slight unwelcome sourness to an album that's otherwise a cheerful, glorious comeback.

John Fogerty's Biography

William Ruhlmann []

John Cameron Fogerty achieved fame as the lead singer/songwriter and guitarist in Creedence Clearwater Revival and has since gone on to a chart-topping solo career. Born in Berkeley, California, Fogerty and his brother Tom organized the group that would become Creedence as the Golliwogs in the late '50s. As Creedence, they released nine Top Ten singles, all written by Fogerty, between 1969 and 1971, starting with the standard ''Proud Mary.'' They also scored eight gold albums between 1968 and 1972, all fueled by Fogerty's simple, driving rock songs and his burly baritone, intoning deceptively poetic (''Bad Moon Rising'') and even political (''Fortunate Son'') lyrics.

Creedence split up in 1972. Fogerty at first confused his considerable following by releasing an album of covers, on which he played all the instruments, under the name the Blue Ridge Rangers in 1973. This was followed by a formal solo album, John Fogerty, in 1975, and then silence for more than nine years while the artist worked out business problems with Creedence's old label. But Fogerty returned at the end of 1984 with a Top Ten single, ''The Old Man Down the Road,'' and a number one album, Centerfield. Eye of the Zombie was a less successful follow-up in 1986. Following the failure of Eye of the Zombie, Fogerty went into seclusion. For the next 11 years he remained quiet, finally resurfacing in 1997 with Blue Moon Swamp; the live Premonition appeared just a year later. In 2005 he released the Long Road Home: The Ultimate John Fogerty/Creedence Collection and its accompanying DVD Long Road Home: In Concert, the first compilation of its kind to feature both CCR classics and Fogerty's solo work. After a number of concert appearances, Fogerty released Revival in 2007. Revival was warmly received, debuting at 14 on Billboard and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album, and Fogerty followed it in 2009 with The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again, a loose sequel to his bluegrass-flavored 1973 pseudo-solo debut. Over the next few years, Fogerty toured with regularity and then he launched the ambitious Wrote a Song for Everyone project in 2011, an album where he paired up with other singers to perform songs from his catalog. The record -- featuring such stars as Bob Seger, Alan Jackson, Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert, and Brad Paisley -- was released in May of 2013.
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