274 of 285 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2003
CCR may not have been revolutionary--their style was by-the-numbers blues, country, and rockabilly. But damn, John Fogerty could pen a great tune without ever sounding crass or poppy.
Although Chronicle Vol.1 will not cover everything they did, it is comprehensive enough for all but the most hardcore fans. Tracking down the original LPs is not an easy task these days, so it's good to have this single-disc retrospective of CCR's career on hand.
These guys were sincere in what they did and although CCR had many popular singles over their five-year existence that enjoyed heavy airplay, they never really got the recognition they should have. John Fogerty and his band deserve to rank up there with the Rolling Stones and Beatles for crafting superb rock 'n' roll straight with no chaser. Fortunate Son, Up Around The Bend, Travelin' Band, Green River, Run Through The Jungle, and everything else are all timeless. However, if I had to name a favorite, it's probably their take on Heard It Through The Grapevine, which becomes a menacing and focused blues jam that goes for a solid 11 minutes without dragging.
When you become a parent, buy two copies--one for yourself, and one to hand down to your kids. In this age of manufactured pop-punk and tepid nu-metal, parents should show their children how true rock 'n' roll is done. This is the perfect start to their library.
112 of 115 people found the following review helpful
I bought this CD half-heartedly, just for old time's sake, apprehensive that the music might have gone stale. Wow! I couldn't have been more wrong! All the old magic is still there, but the sound captivated me more than most contemporary rock. I now realize how unique this band was and that there has been nothing even vaguely similar on the radio for many years now. Their songs are powerful, melodic, soulful and captivating, perfectly delivered by that VOICE (John Fogerty) and the harmony vocals. There's the wistful yearning of Have You Ever Seen The Rain, the spooky unease of Bad Moon Rising and the funky, bluesy rendition of I Heard It Through The Grapevine. There's also the catchy Down On The Corner with its swaying rhythm. Every one of these songs is a winner, but I must point out my other favourites like Proud Mary, Hey Tonight, Up Around The Bend and of course the divine Lodi, a lament of a disillusioned rocker on the road. This collection is as golden as golden can be - brilliant, emotionally captivating songs infused with gritty soul that have not merely survived the decades, but shine as brightly now as in the late 60s and early 70s. This is the most authentic rock 'n roll you'll ever get.
61 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 1999
With all due respect, there were many great American bands from the 1960's. But none as successful as CCR (who deserved their success, I may add). This features all but one essential hit ("Born on the Bayou" can be found on Chronicle Volume 2). All of the songs are great, but some of the best songs include "Proud Mary", "Fortunate Son", "Green River", "Travelling Band", and the 11 minute "I Heard It Through The Grapevine". John Fogerty is very versatile in his talents, being able to play guitar and sing as well as he could/can and write clever and meaningful songs which are still fun to listen to. Listen to this one for yourself and hear why CCR was as successful as they were!!!
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the best singles bands in rock history. That their original studio albums were also first rate was because they were all essentially collections of great singles. "Chronicle" has to be one of the best and most intelligently programed single-disc anthology albums ever. The CD moves in chronological order, starting with the ace covers "Susie Q" and "I Put a Spell on You," recorded when the band was just warming up. Then it roars through the classics starting with "Proud Mary" and ending with another ace cover, "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," that amazingly were all released in about a two year period from 1968-1970. All of these songs are staples of classic rock radio and prove that John Fogerty was a master songwriter who could be mentioned in the same sentence with Lennon/McCartney. The album finishes with a quartet of fine singles that were highlights from the band's final two less successful albums. "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" may not be that distinguishable from the earlier "Who'll Stop the Rain," but its still a top notch rock song.
For the casual fan, "Chronicle" is all you will ever need, though "Chronicle 2" will help satisfy those with additional CCR cravings. If all great bands were as well served with their anthology albums, being a music consumer wouldn't be so frustratingly expensive.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This disc contains EVERY single that charted (including b-sides) during CCR's brief career. As such, it makes it an indispensable part of any serious music fan's collection. Beginning with their first million-seller "Susie-Q (Part I)" through their 11-minute version of the Motown classic "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (released in 1976, three years after the breakup of the band, when it peaked at No. 43), CCR put out a string of hits unparalleled by any other artist of the era. With John Fogerty's gift of melding a variety of influences into a truly American brand of rock 'n' roll, coupled with his signature guitar sound and smooth as sandpaper vocals, CCR produced such classics as "Proud Mary," "Green River" and "Travelin' Band." Although CCR never had a No. 1 single, they did reach the No. 2 spot five times. In addition, eleven of their singles sold more than a million copes and five sold over two million! As further testimony to their popularity, CCR did something few bands other than the Beatles had accomplished--many of their b-sides also charted, including "Lodi" (No. 52), "Commotion" (No. 30), "Fortunate Son" (No. 14), "Who'll Stop the Rain" (No. 13), "Run Through the Jungle (No. 48), "Long As I Can See the Light" (No. 57--it went to No. 20 in the UK!), and "Hey Tonight" (No. 90). If you're going to own only one CCR album, this is it. Chronicle Two contains no hits, but plenty of strong album tracks (including part II of "Susie-Q"). ESSENTIAL
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
No anthology can really do justice to CCR. Like The Beatles, Stones, Who or any other band from that era, CCR is best appreciated by a quartet of classic albums; Bayou Country, Green River, Willie & The Poorboys and Cosmos' Factory. Still, this is a great overviw of the band's essential singles and album tracks. What's missing are some important songs (Effigy, the scorching version of Good Golly Miss Molly and It's Just a Thought among many others) but hardly essential for the novice or casual CCR fan.
This fine collection's flaw is the sound quality. The original mastertapes sound like they weren't used on some of these tracks. The entire CCR catalog (with the exception of Live Europe which is available as part of the boxed set)has been remastered with stunning results. The sound quality here is tinny and flat by comparison. The "sound" of any CCR recording is as essential as the song itself and, in that regard, this collection is definitely lacking.
John Fogerty's songs have stood the test of time. Born on The Bayou, Down on the Corner, Who'll Stop The Rain and many of his other songs still retain the freshness they had decades ago. Hopefully Fantasy will remaster this collection. I'd recommend purchasing the quartet of albums mentioned previously. Additionally, Fogerty's first solo album (entitled John Fogerty)and available as an import has a number of moments equal to his best CCR songs. In fact, most of Fogerty's solo recordings although not as essential as CCR, are important and strong albums (the exception is the misguided Eye of the Zombie).
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2004
Creedence Clearwater Revival logged 15 Top 40 songs, so it's a bit of a stretch to label a compilation such as this as their "20 Greatest Hits". In addition to the 15 charting songs, what we have are several b-sides that received considerable airplay. I suppose those songs survived the gauntlet and were chosen as the most salable product to complement the a-side, but they aren't necessarily Creedence's best efforts, and this collection could be better had Fantasy Records taken the risk of putting together a 'very best' compilation instead, using their hearts rather than their heads.
That being said, it is hard to criticize most of the selections. Creedence may have logged more number two songs than any other band (they never hit number one), registering five: 'Bad Moon Rising', 'Green River', 'Proud Mary', 'Lookin' Out My Back Door', and 'Travelin' Band'. Other Top 10 hits for the band included 'Down On the Corner' (#3), 'Have You Ever Seen the Rain' (#8), 'Sweet Hitchhiker (#6), 'Up Around the Bend' (#4), and 'Who'll Stop the Rain' (#9). All are obviously deserving of inclusion on the disc.
Two of Creedence's best songs, 'Suzie Q' (#11) and 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' (#43) undoubtedly would have fared better on the charts except fans acquired the extended album versions. Purchasers of this disc should be aware that while the entire 11 minute version of 'Grapevine' is included, only the single version of 'Suzie Q' appears. You can certainly question the marketing logic of that one.
Other Top 40 songs of unquestioned merit include 'Fortunate Son' (#14) and 'Commotion' (#30). After this, the choices get a little hairy. Since 'Someday Never Comes' reached number 25 on the charts, I suppose it's inclusion was a given, and it does add a second selection from the weak 'Mardi Gras' LP. But is this song comparable to 'Born On the Bayou' or 'Good Golly Miss Molly' from the 'Bayou Country' LP, which claims only one song on 'Chronicles' ('Proud Mary')?
Other questionable selections include the flip side of 'Lookin' Out My Back Door', the album closer for 'Cosmo's Factory', 'Long As I Can See the Light', and the flip side of 'Up Around the Bend', 'Run Through the Jungle'. While 'Run Through the Jungle' received considerable airplay, does 'Long As I Can See the Light' compare with 'It Came Out of the Sky' or 'The Midnight Special'? I've always enjoyed 'Hey Tonight', but that song also did not chart for Creedence, and may have been selected as a second nod to the weak 'Pendulum' LP.
Two selections I won't argue with are 'Lodi', which rose to only number 52 as a single, and 'I Put a Spell On You', which was a number 80 hit for the Alan Price Set in 1966, but never a hit for Creedence. Both songs are excellent, and 'I Put a Spell On You' adds a second selection from the band's debut LP.
Creedence is one of those bands that did so much good work that it's hard to arrive at their 20 best songs. Fantasy didn't do a bad job despite the above criticisms. I've settled for compilations that I had similar complaints with, such as the Beach Boy's 'Made In USA' disc simply because I wasn't a big enough fan to make the effort to collect all their essential work. So I can understand people opting for this compilation, but if you're a more serious CCR buff, you'll want to skip this collection and start compiling the 4 classic CD's Creedence produced: 'Creedence Clearwater Revival', 'Bayou Country', 'Green River', and 'Willy and the Poor Boys'. 'Mardi Gras' and 'Pendulum' are only necessary for completists.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2005
My father is not a huge fan of rock and roll. He is an avid jazz fan who sees rock as a simplified form of his favorite genre. My father loves CCR. I remember the first time he played this compilation, and sitting amazed as I listened to John Fogerty send forceful grit flying from the speakers. To me, no American band can match Creedence Clearwater Revival's groove, melody or intensity. This collection provides 20 examples of their fine work.
CCR is perhaps the most concise band in history. The vast majority of the songs on this album clock in at under three minutes, yet never suffer from underdevelopment. It's been said that great bands build their style around their limitations, and CCR embodies this doctrine fully. Nearly every song begins with an insanely catchy, simple riff, while the rhythm section pounds out a tight groove, waiting for John Fogerty to command the world to listen to him. With the exception of the extended piece, "I Heard It Through The Grape Vine," the songs never stray from these basic elements, and that's a good thing.
Most of the songs here are justifiably common fare on classic rock radio, but these songs are so raw and elementally good that I will never tire of hearing them. Fogerty is a tremendous lyricist, and his topics range from love to life on the river to politics without ever sounding like products of their times. There is no pretention, no attempt at stardom, nothing trite in these songs, just the gritty sound of honest Americans. CCR shares stylistic element with the Rolling Stones, but to me is the far better band, obtaining a more serious, intense sound.
This album is probably the best compilation I have heard, and an excellent introduction to this truly classic band.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2001
What can I say?. Creedence Clearwate Revival are rock and roll gods. This 20 song collection has the best of the best all put together. One rocking ride from start to finish. Many people have called this southern fried rock band the 'Backwoods Beatles'. They couldn't be more correct. Lead singer and writer John Fogerty is a genius. He was the master at crafting hook filled rock songs. "Proud Mary", "Born On The Bayou", "Bad Moon Rising" and others are pure rock and roll classics. There are other tracks on here that were hits, but not as well known or as often played. Those songs being "Commotion", "Sweet Hitchhiker",
"Hey Tonight", and "Lodi". Fogerty's voice had a very distinct wail to it. You instantly knew who it was when they started singing. His guitar playing is nothing short of brilliant, Yet, he never gets the credit for it that he deserves. There's even a nice remake of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine". I think Marvin would be pleased. Volume 2 of hits is great as well, but does not feature as much essential material. This album is for rock and roll lovers. Because this is, pure and simple, real rock and roll. A band with great music to be treasured for years and years to come.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2000
The songs on this CD are probably responsible for more speeding tickets than beer and women. This is "rip off your head and spit in the hole" rock and roll with "Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising", "Traveling Band" and an 11 minute version of "I Heard It Through the Gravevine" to help you cool off after dancing to this music. (You will dance even if you are two days dead)
The one notable missing song from this CD is "Born on the Bayou" which can be easily remedied by ordering volume two of these chronicles at the same time you are ordering volume one. While you are in a shopping mood, I would highly recommend John Fogerty's newer works, notably "Blue Moon Swamp", "Centerfield" etc. His voice has lost a little of that "gritty" sound that we love so well, but he still rates 4&1/2 stars compard to what else is available these days.