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Centerfield [Remastered]
Format: Audio CD|Change
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John Fogerty was away from the centerfield of the music business for 11 years so it's no surprise that when he returned he hit a homerun with his album "Centerfield". Featuring three hit singles ("The Old Man Down the Road", "Rock 'n' Roll Girls" and the title track), this new edition sounds quite nice and features two b-sides that were on the singles from the follow up album "Eye of the Zombie"-"My Toot Toot" which had been a minor hit for Rockin' Sidney (Sidney Simien who wrote the song and appears on Fogerty's remake)and Queen Ida and Her Bon Temps (who revived it right around the same time and had a hit with the song as well) and "I Confess" by the Bay Area gospel group the Four Rivers. While both songs would have fit better on an "Eye of the Zombie" reissue (the latter was recorded with the band for "Eye"), the swamp rock vibe runs through both so they do sound quite nice here.

Universal if you're listening you should release "I Confess" (editing the first 33 seconds off the beginning)as a single for radio airplay--it's a killer, catchy track and it's a crime that it has been out of circulation for 24 years.

Bob Ludwig's remaster sounds a lot like the previious remaster but lacks some of the dyanmic range of the first edition mastering of this album on CD. The real reason to get this though is to have the b-sides that have been added. The one flaw I found with "Centerfield" was the fact that Fogerty didn't have a real band playing on the album; while his one man band approach had served him well on "John Fogerty" and "Blue Ridge Rangers", the material here would have benefited from a full band AND a real drummer playing REAL drums. It's a minor quibble for an otherwise strong album.

The album got considerable acclaim at the time noting that John Fogerty was in prime form and while the album has been criticized in hindsight as revisiting themes that Fogerty had tackled before, the sheer joy of hearing John play again and ENJOYING himself made up for any short comings of some of the lesser material included on the album. I also imagine that it would be impossible to include the original "Zanz Kant Danz" because of legal issues but it would have been nice to have a bonus DVD with the music videos for the three hit singles (particularly the claymation version of the last song which is a chuckle). Perhaps we'll get a DVD of his music videos and appearences from the time (including the concert he put on for veterans) some time down the road if so I'm hoping that it will be exhaustive and include those uncut videos.

The CD comes in a digipak with a booklet that includes an essay on the making of the album, clippings about the lawsuit against Fogerty for "stealing" his own riffs and style on "The Old Man Down the Road" and song lyrics. Fogerty is well known for destroying alternate takes/mixes of his stuff which is too bad--it would have been interesting to hear Fogerty's earliest demos as bonus tracks here compared to his later stuff.

A personal plea to John Fogerty:

John, now that you're reissued this would you get it together and let Concord Music Group/Fantasy reissue "John Fogerty" and "Blue Ridge Rangers" with the original singles from 1973, 1974 such as "Comin' Down the Road" (which you played on your 2008 Royal Albert Hall Concert DVD)? I realize those were bad years for you but your fans have had to listen to poor sounding bootlegs of these tracks for years and now that Concord has taken control of Fantasy (and done much to mend fences)perhaps you could supervise reissues of these two classic albums with bonus tracks and deluxe liner notes. They are, after all, strong parts of your legacy.

Highly recommended for Fogerty and CCR fans.
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on May 19, 2014
I could be wrong, but I don't think Fogerty played sax on Rock & Roll Girls. However, being a musician who plays a variety of instruments. When I recently researched into the matter and found that John Fogerty played the instruments on this recording...well...I just had to buy it and I am truly pleasantly surprised! He did a fantastic job. I'm proud of him! Plus the video for Old Man Down the Road is quite unique. Never seen anything quite like it. Very interesting and compelling.

However, how the hell is he supposed to hear his electric guitar when his little amp is that far away? Sweet mystery of life. I'll never forget the smile on his face at the end of the video. It's the smile of a winner. The smile of a person who is truly proud of himself AND HE HAD EVERY RIGHT TO BE!!!

John Fogerty is one of the truly great musician songwriters of the Baby Boomer generation. Few are those who create a whole sound of their own that becomes popular. Well, that Creedence sound is still popular. Fogerty is indeed one of my Rock/Country heroes and, I imagine, he will always be.

"Dinosaur Victrola, Listening to Buck Owens, Doo, Doo, Doo Looking out my back door"

Classic stuff!
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on September 12, 2012
This terrific album got even better with the addition of 2 good but not great tunes. I think it hurts him on his albums where he plays all of the instruments - he is a good but not great player. He should stick to guitar (where he is great) and let a top notch band help him out.

Vanz Kant Danz is pretty bad but the rest is great and a fun listen.

1. The Old Man Down The Road - Great fun tune in the old Creedence style - 10
2. Rock And Roll Girls - Another tune that would be right at home on a Creedence album - 10
3. Big Train (From Memphis) - Great song with a little country thrown in here - 10
4. I Saw It On T.V. - Could be my favorite on the album as John goes back in time - 10
5. Mr. Greed - Good song but sounds a bit awkward and off at times when it seems to slow down - 8
6. Searchlight - OK but is missing something - 7
7. Centerfield - Was a bit over played but still great - 10
8. I Can't Help Myself - Really like this one - 10
9. Vanz Kant Danz - Only dud here would sound more at home on the very mediocre Eye of the Zombie album - 5
10. My Toot Toot - Good cajun style song - 8
11. I Confess - John doesn't do R&B that well and I don't really like this one too much - 6

Overall a solid comeback album from John.
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on October 16, 2017
I bought the cassette when it first came out. Had to get digital copy.
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on March 5, 2017
Good product, excellent seller
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on June 24, 2017
Great CD.
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on October 12, 2017
Great!
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I'm not sure why it took me so long to buy John Fogerty's brilliant Centerfield. I absolutely love this album. The title song may be the greatest ode to baseball ever written. The music on the album is personal and exciting. Having read Fogerty's autobiography this past fall, I bought the CD, and it has become one of my favorites.
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on May 10, 2017
Very good quality CD and excellent album. A few personal favorites are "Rock and Roll Girls," "The Old Man Down the Road," and "Centerfield."
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on October 3, 2004
"Centerfield" was a long-needed breath of fresh air for the music scene in 1985. At the height of synthesizers, hair metal, and glam-pop, John Fogerty's first original album in nearly a decade was a down-home piece of work, as rustic as a Top Ten record could get in 1985. Sure there are little dashes of 80s technology here and there as needed (bits of keyboards and some clinical drum work show up on some songs), but for the Decade of Decadence, "Centerfield" was a rescue. The most relief was probably for Fogerty himself; after the disheartening breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1972, he recorded some now-obscured albums but his musical career was put to silence by overwhelming business disputes with CCR's old label, which would hault Fogerty for nine years until 'The Old Man Down the Road' appeared at the end of 1984 and became a smash hit. The album "Centerfield" followed and hit Number 1, much to the disdain of the hot shot executives with whom Fogerty had been battling.

Even though there were even some legal turmoils surrounding this album, it was John Fogerty who had the personal satisfaction (for both he and his fans) that the years of legal and contractual turmoil had not wrinkled his musical talent. The opening hit single is worthy of the "repeat" button on the stereo, and Fogerty follows suit with a string of memorable, down-home, personal, and celebratory songs. There's the carefree joy of 'Rock and Roll Girls,' 'I Can't Help Myself,' and the title track (which in some corners was ruined by those who constantly used it for a novelty baseball anthem). There's also the reflective sadness of 'I Saw It On T.V.,' and even personal demons and a desire for redemption in 'Searchlight.' 'Big Train From Memphis' is seemingly autobiographical, reflecting upon Fogerty's youth in which he was bored with his California surroundings and rather took an interest in a mythical bayou world and southern creoles (which was the source of CCR's legendary sound). And of course Fogerty doesn't forget to burn those who kept him down with the legal disputes as he lashes out in slick style with 'Mr. Greed' and the notorious 'Vanz Kant Danz.'

Though its follow-up, "Eye of the Zombie" didn't catch on as well with music fans, Fogerty had already claimed his victory, and the quality of "Centerfield" (and the overlooked "Zombie") was enough to hold him for another long decade, after which he would re-emerge yet again with another triumph, the Grammy-winning 'Blue Moon Swamp' and the successful 'Premonition.'
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