on November 27, 2001
Maybe you're looking at this boxed set of CCR CDs, wondering if you should buy it or instead focus on the "greatest hits" CDs. Or maybe you're thinking of purchasing all of the individual albums in the form of the remastered CDs that were released in 2000 (or if you're like me, you already did.) I'll make the decision easy for you: buy this box. You'll end up a lot happier in the long run.
Creedence Clearwater Revival officially released 7 studio albums and 2 live albums. Of those 9 albums, 8 are exceptional: 8 classic albums that rock, rattle and roll. 8 albums that have no filler. 8 albums that you'll enjoy listening to repeatedly if you're a rock and roll enthusiast. (The ninth album, Mardi Gras, was the last CCR studio album and is neither up to the standards set by the other 8 albums nor is it the worst album ever released by a major band, as originally reviewed by Rolling Stone magazine; the worst I can say about it is that it's average.)
Don't bother with the "greatest hits" CDs. There's too much good stuff left out. For example: `Ramble Tamble' off of Cosmo's Factory and `Effigy' from Willy and the Poor Boys are only two of the classic CCR tracks that don't appear on the compilation CDs. They're just as good as Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising or any of the other hit singles (the first time I heard `Ramble Tamble,' I couldn't believe my ears.) Even though CCR is considered a singles band, their albums are amazingly cohesive; listening to each album in its entirety and in the original order makes for a more pleasurable experience.
You could buy all of the remastered albums on CD, but that's a bad choice for a few reasons.
1. Live in Europe has yet to be released in remastered form on CD (as of November 2001) and the original CD sounds horrible. You'll get a remastered version only in this boxed set.
2. The rarities: All of disc 1 of this boxed set is devoted to tracks from The Golliwogs and Tommy Fogerty and The Blue Velvets. While not all of these tracks are up to the quality of the later CCR stuff, most of it's great rock and roll. Also you won't get parts 1 and 2 of 45 Revolutions Per Minute outside of this set.
3. The price: Even though this boxed set is a bit pricey, you'll still save over buying the complete set of remastered CDs.
So what's so great about this set? First, you're getting everything (and I do mean everything) in order on 6 CDs. The Pre-Creedence stuff comes first, then all of the albums in their original order, and all of the tracks come just as they did on the original albums. Everything's remastered and sounds terrific. The two live sets are full of energy. The booklet contains many great essays and many great pictures. Honestly, even without the unreleased stuff, this set is exceptional. Just having "everything Creedence" in one spot, sounding so crisp and full, is worth the price of admission.
Bottom line: If you don't have a complete CCR collection already, and can spare the money, BUY THIS SET. You'll end up wanting it in the long run, so you might as well make things easy on yourself and just start here.
on May 25, 2006
The Creedence Clearwater Revival box set is very much a mammoth enterprise in its own right. Containing all seven original albums and two live albums, not to mention a whole disc full of material from their stints as Tommy Fogerty & The Blue Velvets and The Golliwogs, this is very much a unique offer.
All tracks have been superbly remastered, thus salvaging their legacy for forthcoming generations. Once you possess this set, you need not even browse through the other compilations, since all of it is here, and a little bit more.
The undoubted highlight of the set is the first disc, focusing on the pre-Creedence period. The Blue Velvets singles make their debut appearance here (the most devout Creedence fan may have noticed that the third single is absent, because of its scarcity). The Golliwogs singles made their first appearance on vinyl on the 1975 Pre Creedence compilation, which also included the first single under the name of Creedence Clearwater Revival. To top it all off, there are even extra tracks among the singles that prior to this set never saw the light of day: "I Only Met You Just An Hour Ago", "She Was Mine", "Gonna Hang Around", "Instrumental #1", "Little Tina", and "Try Try Try", which in all sound a lot different compared to the Blue Velvets material, which harked back to '50s style rock'n'roll. Another additional treat is the "abandoned" single "Tell Me"/"You Can't Be True" (second version) that was never released; the disc finishes off with an Action USA radio promotional spot.
The B-side of the first Creedence single "Porterville", "Call It Pretending", opens Disc 2, which, up to Disc 5, focuses on the original Creedence albums until reaching Tracks 3 and 4 on Disc 5. Probably the rarest of gems in the Creedence catalog, "45 Revolutions Per Minute (Parts 1-2)" was originally a promo disc recorded in late 1970 and distributed to radio stations. It is basically a group interview interspersed with added effects (not to mention a very amusing sequence where John Fogerty can be heard speaking backwards!) and musical backdrops to boot. This particular track is as yet not available elsewhere. The remainder of Disc 5 and the sixth (and last) one display Mardi Gras plus the two live albums In Concert and Live In Europe (with additional tracks apparently taken from Live In Germany, which was recorded at the same time period as Live In Europe).
Along with the discs is a full booklet with extensive liner notes and a review for each album, by various writers and chroniclers. The Early Years (by Alec Palao), especially makes for very interesting reading, with additional input from Stu Cook and Doug Clifford discussing the olden days. The only major shame is that John Fogerty did not contribute to the reminiscences. One could assume (given the current situation between him and the others) that he was not very much interested in their early history. Simply by reading the booklet it could easily evoke memories of a bygone era, especially among those who grew up listening to Creedence in the late '60s; without doubt one of the best and most significant bands America could ever boost. Therefore this box set is a milestone on behalf of their enduring legacy which ever continues to inspire and beguile thousands or even millions wherever Creedence is known, played, and loved.
Hats off to CCR!
on July 20, 2003
CCR is high on the list of bands that made me glad I saved all my old records. As was the case with most bands from the pre-CD era, the first CD reissues of their albums had sound quality that seemed thin enough to tear, so you were better off with the pops and skips on the original vinyl. That finally changed a few years ago with the remastered versions of all their albums, and this collection features all of those (including liner notes and pictures) plus a bit more.
With nearly every note the four guys from El Cerrito are known to have recorded under their various band names from 1961-1972, this is about as close to a complete collection as we're ever likely to get. (The infamous "lost" 1962 single of "Yes You Did" and "Now You're Not Mine" is still lost, but everything else appears to be here.) So unless you bought all the remastered CDs individually, this collection is well worth the price tag to any serious fan. Creedence was all but unique among singles-oriented bands in that most of their album cuts have aged just as well as their hits, and it shows here. If anything, relatively obscure songs like "Wrote a Song for Everyone" and "Ramble Tamble" sound fresher than "Proud Mary" and some of the other classics which oldies and classic rock stations have done their best to play into the ground. Even the much-maligned "Mardi Gras" album proves not to be the disaster it was once made out to be (although it is still their weakest link). Stu Cook's "Door to Door" actually rocks pretty convincingly, and most of the other selections have their moments as well.
One word of advice: If you're thinking about buying this collection only for the pre-CCR songs, I wouldn't recommend it. Some of the early sides are quite good ("You Better Be Careful" and "Fight Fire" would have sounded at home on their first album) and even the weaker efforts are an interesting look at the roots of one of rock's all time greatest bands; but bottom line, there is a reason why they didn't become famous until 1968. But if there are any other holes in your collection, this is the perfect addition to it.
on January 1, 2002
A longtime CCR and John Fogerty fan, I asked my friends to give me this box set for Christmas. Its comprehensiveness is impressive, but I'm sorry to say the sound quality falls far short of what I would consider the archival recording this magnificent American band deserves. The problem is what I take to be azimuth misalignment in playing back the original tapes, or whatever the analog source they used to master these CDs. The result is the distorted "swooshing" cymbals you hear when such a problem exists, and it mars many of the tracks here, including virtually every cut on Green River. I DO NOT remember the original LPs having this problem, or even the first generation of CCR CDs of the original albums. I therefore have to say that I am very disappointed with this box set and hope that Fantasy will go back to the original tapes and try this remastering thing again, until they get it right. Otherwise [it] is a high price to pay for the nice CCR illustrated booklet included, containing essays which have already appeared in previous reissues.
UPDATE: It's now 2010, and recent comments attesting to first-class sound suggest that Fantasy, these days under the more enlightened management of Concord Music Group, may have remastered these discs and fixed the problems I alluded to back in 2002. If so, please disregard my review. If you order the box and do still hear "swooshing" cymbals, however, you'll know what I was talking about...
on February 16, 2005
This would be a good purchase for people who either A: have Chronicle and want to hear more, B: have their songs on tape, C: younger fans who enjoy classic rock music, D: People who might have one of their CDs, but haven't gotten around to picking up the remastered copy.
I still recommend "Chronicle" vol. 1 and 2 but nothing truly beats this collection.
CCR have had their songs repackaged time and time again, and this is the first time their work has been properly put together.
First off, you get a full length CD of the pre-CCR Golliwogs and Blue Velvets, which showcases the Fogerty brothers trying to find their own style and trying others. Starting with "Little Tina" and "Walk on the Water" (which they'd rerecord as CCR) you start hearing the style they'd run with. On the second CD, you hear them start off with the rare 45 "Call it Pretending" into more familiar terrotory. The second through the fifth CDs cover all their studio recordings and some promos here and there. Part of the fifth and all of the sixth CD showcase CCR in a live setting (some of which are repeated), and even though the audio is not as good as it should be, it's still pretty energetic and sounds almost as good as the studio albums. The closest we can get is John Fogerty's "Premonition" DVD which covers a healthy amount of CCR-era material.
Finally, this would have been a good time to put out a video collection exclusive to the box set (a lot of which people have rarely if ever seen). On American Bandstand, they did "Commotion" and "Green River", on Ed Sullivan they did "Fortunate Son" and "Down on the Corner", on Johnny Cash they did "Bad Moon Rising" and "Proud Mary", Beat Club in Germany, and had full length shows filmed at the Royal Albert Hall and in Oakland Arena in 1970 for TV as well as Roundhouse in the UK in 1968, promo videos for "Bootleg", "Looking Out My Back Door", "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "Sweet Hitch-Hiker" as well as possible Woodstock footage. Overall it would've made for a decent 2 hour collection of video footage.
on November 5, 2001
Based on the music contained on this box set, it surely ranks 5 stars. To date, no other American band has been able to recreate the musical success that CCR had in the late 60s/early 70s. To some, the music may seemed cliched, but that's only because the songs have become American standards.
And unlike many other bands, the album cuts rank right up there alongside the singles in terms of quality. In fact, it's a shame that some songs are forgotten through the pile of hits CCR created. A song like Effigy is as powerful as any of the hits.
If you only own Chronicle or a handful of the original vinyl or the first pressing CDs (not the remasters), then this box is in every sense of the word essential. It is the beginning and the end of your CCR collection. The early CCR CDs are basically junk compared to the remasters (one listen will verify this). Even those who have accumulated the individual remasters may want to consider selling them off in favor of owning just this box. The first discs covers the early years and much of the material is appearing in public for the very first time (even bootlegs have missed some of this stuff). And while the Golliwogs (pre-CCR) material isn't always up to the same snuff as the later material, there are some wonderful songs to be had (Fight Fire is the hit they should've had...it had my wife singing after one listen).
If the first disc is all you're after, you may want to wait and see if Fantasy decides to release that one seperate from the box (the Doors did the same with their box set...though they put one extra track on the single disc, making fans shell out the money once again). But really, one can't go wrong in buying this box.
on November 30, 2007
This box set would easily rate five stars if most of Disc 6 didn't sound like a scratchy used record!
For some reason, all the tracks from Live in Europe are fuzzy, indistinct, and distorted. The horrible sound sticks out like a sore thumb because virtually everything else is pristine, even the pre-CCR stuff and the songs from The Concert which start off Disc 6. Perhaps Fantasy lost the master tapes. There really isn't any excuse, though, no matter what the explanation may be.
Everything else about this box is great. It is somewhat annoying that Fantasy chose to jam everything onto six discs so that each disc contains two albums, but that's just a minor quibble. Besides, anybody with an iPod isn't going to be bothered by how the tracks are divvied up.
Bottom line: a great collection and worth picking up if you find a good price, despite the problems on the sixth disc. However, if you *love* Live in Europe and/or you're the sort of person who wants the albums in their original configurations, you will be disappointed by this box set.
on January 5, 2002
I once owned all of the original issues of CCR CDs from the late eighties.
They have passable sound quality. But this Box Set is Creedence Done Right. The Guitar notes at the end of "Who'll Stop The Rain"
are so clear and lifelike you can not only hear the harmonics in them but you can taste them as well. "Up Around The Bend" jumps out of the speakers with renewed vigor.
The same is true for the rest of the set. Live In Europe sounded a little fuzzy and on CD. Not a complete tragedy just a little muted. Here it sounds fresh and spirited.
It also includes two songs (Door To Door & Sweet Hitch-Hiker) that were left off of the original CD.
For the true CCR fan this is a must have. It is a well deserved, and well done digital overhaul of the songs of a classic band.
on February 1, 2014
It's the same 'Box Set' than the other released in 2000 with diffenrent cover art, The inside booklet is the same.
If you don't have yet the complete studio and live 'CCR' collection, here it is.
There are not included the bonus tracks of the '40th. Anniversary' edition of 2009, it's a pity because by this way, ALL of ALL could be included in this great 'Box Set'.
on September 7, 2005
What an awesome box set. I have 17 box sets and this is the best one so far. This set features everything by Creedence Clearwater Revival from the very early days of Tommy Fogerty and The Blue Velvets to the Live In Europe Concert. There is a 76 page booklet included giving the history of Creedence and the struggles they had to make it. During the Tommy Fogerty and The Blue Velvets Tom Fogerty took the leads. In the Golliwogs, Tom Fogerty took some of the leads while John did most of them. The sound quality on disc 1 (Velvets and Golliwogs) is not that great but then we have to consider the technology of the early 60s which just wasn't up to the standards we have today. The booklet clearly spells out the progression from the Blue Velvets to the Creedence we all know and love today. It's great to hear how the voices mature over time as you listen to these recording. The thing I love about this set is that the first disc is comprised of the T.F. & The Blue Velvets, then The Golliwogs. Discs 2 through 5 includes all 7 Creedence albums in the order they were released with the track order of each album in tact. Disc 5 has the last studio album and part of The Concert album on it. The Concert album is continued on disc 6 and followed by the Live In Europe album. I have been looking for the Live In Europe album for some time and now I finally have it in this compilation and remastered to boot. If you don't have any Creedence albums and are contemplating buying them, forget it. Buy this box set and you have everything they ever did even the pre-Creedence material which you are probably not going to get. It is well worth the money and all you have to do is pop in all 6 discs in your CD player, sit back and have an evening of Creedence Clearwater Revival without ever having to get up to change the record or disc.