Friday, March 22, 2013

John Fogerty/Blue Ridge Rangers--Jambalya (1972/3)

     John Fogerty ranks easily as one of great songwriters/singers of the early days of modern rock. Having said that, it seems like much of his career has been spent fighting for his own self significance. Some of the fights, like with Fantasy records were wholly justified, others, like with his brothers and band-mates left one scratching their head and wondering what the fuss was really about.
     Without going too deep into it here, John's brother Tom had already left the band, over wanting more control in the band along with the remaining members, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford. They made it clear they didn't want total control, but they desired to work more as a cooperative then "John Fogerty and his band". Instead of working with the others to craft songs, an ultimatum was for each to take a third of the album and write their own music or else the band would be dissolved.
     The result, "Marti Gras" was a disaster (at least by CCR standards) and the band broke up in early 1972. With Fogerty feuding with Fantasy and his musical family, he retired into the studio to make an album of just songs that influenced him. No one else was involved in it as John played all of the parts, and produced it as well. To continue to separate himself from his own legacy, there was no picture of him on the cover of the album, and he took the name, "Blue Ridge Rangers" instead of promoting his own name. Of course, with that distinctive vocal sound, it was not hard to know who was doing the singing. The Hank Williams Sr. classic, "Jambalya" was chosen as the first single (released in late 1972)  off the album and reached the bottom part of the top 20 early in 1973.


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