Creedance Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory
Shortly thereafter they had their first hit with a cover of Susie Q in 1968. They then proceeded to pour out 5 full-length albums from 1969-1970, all chocked full of hits like “Proud Mary", “Bad Moon Rising", ‘Down of the corner", “Fortunate Son", “Lookin’ out my Backdoor", etc. Fogerty did all the songwriting on these albums and was the band’s single creative force.
In 1971 Tom Fogerty left the band to pursue his own solo career and Creedance released their final and weakest album, Mardi Gras, in 1972 after Cook and Clifford demanded equal participation in the creative process.
Cosmo’s Factory was the fifth album released by CCR and the first in 1970. It was a follow-up to the immensely successful ‘Green River" and ‘Willy and the Poor Boys" and it was hard to not expect a bit of a let-down. What the band delivered, however, was anything but.
Cosmo’s factory contained six singles that rose to the top five or higher on the pop charts. The album also saw 7 of it’s 11 tracks make it on to ‘Chronicle’, CCR’s best of album. (It also contained the most glaring omission).
The album’s title comes from what drummer Doug ‘Cosmo’ Clifford called the warehouse space the band rehearsed in due to Fogerty’s insistence that they maintain regular daily practices.
Ramble Tamble - This is a good first track for what turns out to be the group’s most musically interesting and experimental album to date. It begins with a typical short and simple, yet quality song of just less than two minutes and then, when the track first feels like it should be over, the band launches into a 5 minute Jam session. The cyclical nature of the guitar in this part is simply mesmerizing, after this, the band works it’s way back the chorus from the beginning, creating a feeling that the journey that the narrator needed to take might be over and he is now ready to face his problems. 5/5
Before you Accuse Me - This song is a bit of a letdown after Ramble Tamble. It goes back to the Soul side of CCR and is considerably more simplistic, yet still very groovy. It has an impressive vocal performance by Fogerty, who was one of the first white artists to be able to pull off black music convincingly and emotionally, as seen on this Bo Diddley original. 3/5
Travelin’ Band - This is the first of many Classic Rock Radio standards on this album. Fogerty totally abandons his soulful singing style and nearly yells throughout this frantic song, which is faster and harder than most CCR songs but still expertly preserves the grooviness that every CCR song has always had. Sax and Piano worked into the background blend perfectly and serve to add depth to this. 4/5
Ooby Dooby - This is a cover of a Roy Orbisison song. CCR effectively adds their unique touch to Oribison’s Rockabilly style and comes away with a song that is energetic and fun, but little else. 2.5/5
Lookin’ out my Backdoor - This, at least in my experience, remains the most oft-played song on the album. It has an incredible groove and utterly nonsensical lyrics, which paint incredible imagery in the mind of the listener. The song is held together by the regular call of ‘Doot Doot Doo’ by Fogerty. It has been suggested that the song is about an acid trip, although this hasn’t been substantiated. Regardless of this, ‘Bother me tomorrow, Today I’ll find No sorrow" remains one of my favorite lyrics ever. 4.5/5
Run through the Jungle - This is the “swampiest" song on the album. It is heavy and gloomy in a pretty unique way. Fogerty’s vocals are usually raspy, which accentuates the creepiness. Fogerty playing a rare harmonica is present on this track also. 3.5/5
Up around the Bend Yet another Classic Radio Standard here; this song, about a desire to escape the city and return to “Where the neons turn to wood", is just typical CCR. This song does very little to stand out, and I resent it for becoming a hit while Ramble Tamble has been ignored. 2/5
My Baby Left Me - This is a cover of an Elvis song. Like Ooby Dooby, it is up tempo and fun. CCR certainly adds their own unique style to the song, but it still remains just a fun and energetic song. 2.5/5
Who’ll Stop the Rain - This baleful Anti-war song has always felt too short to me. The ghostliness of the singing, especially in the chorus, can’t help but conjure up images of the great beyond as does the staticness of the repetitive guitar, with most of the song’s changes being supplied by the drums. 4/5
I heard it through the Grapevine - This is THE definitive version of the R&B standard. Everything about this 11 minute extended jam is perfect and there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said. It is without doubt the best song CCR ever recorded. 5/5
Long as I can see the light - This is a slow and very emotive song. Heavy Sax is present on this track along with Fogerty at his raspy best. This is the most soulful Fogerty original on the album and I feel it closes it out perfectly. 4/5