Forty-Three years ago today Credence Clearwater Revival released what is arguably the band’s best album, Cosmo’s Factory.
The follow up to the critically-acclaimed Willy and the Poor Boys (1969) was filled with songs that launched the band from being a well-known American band to an international, swamp-rock-boogie powerhouse. The album topped the charts in six countries and was certified Gold in mid-December of 1970.
Let’s explore those singles, shall we?
Travelin’ Band / Who’ll Stop The Rain
John Fogerty says “Travelin’ Band” was a song inspired by 1950s rock n’ roll songs to the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Bill Haley & His Comets. The lyrics and the meaning aren’t too tough to decipher: playing in a touring band is a bitch. Another fun fact about this song is that the suits at Clear Channel thought it was “evil” enough to remove from the airwaves after the 9/11 attacks….because that makes perfect sense, right?
Run Through the Jungle / Up Around the Bend
Everyone and their mother thought “Run Through the Jungle” was about Vietnam given the time the single was released and the title of the tune. However, in 1993, Fogerty told the Los Angeles Times the song was not about the war and that it was about the “proliferation of guns.” Fogerty said in the interview, “I just thought people were so gun-happy — and there were so many guns uncontrolled that it really was dangerous, and it’s even worse now.” Additionally, this was guitarist Tom Fogerty’s (John’s brother) favorite song the band ever did.
(we could only find a John Fogerty solo video for this song…and it’s nowhere near as good as the original…sorry)
Lookin’ Out My Back Door
Here’s another song Fogerty had to clarify the meaning of. The imagery of the fun, shuffling song — with lines like “tambourines and elephants are playing in the band; won’t you take a ride on the flyin’ spoon?” — had people thinking drugs. However, Fogerty says it was written for his son Josh who was three years old at the time and loved Dr. Seuss.
I Heard It Through the Grapevine
What can you say about this rendition of the Motown classic? It’s the only song more than ten minutes that doesn’t feel like you’ve been listening to a song for more than ten minutes. The howling, the solo, the beat, the low tuning — it’s a masterpiece.
-Chris Coyle, KZOK