Earlier this year, the music world was buzzing over the re-issue of the Rolling Stones' classic 1972 disc, "Exile on Main Street," because of the inclusion of several "new" tracks. With a couple of exceptions, these tracks were slightly (and not-so-slightly) doctored and worked upon so that they'd be suitable for public consumption. While some of the hardest of the hardcore Stones fans were a little wary of a 66-year-old Mick Jagger adding vocals to tracks that a 27-year-old Jagger started, this Stones fan was quite satisfied with the results.
But it got me thinking: how often is it that musicians several decades beyond their peak productivity suddenly look through the treasure chests and release something that proves to be worth the wait? The Stones have now done it, the Beatles very successfully did it with their Anthology series in the '90s, but is anyone else really sitting on anything worth salivating over?
No sooner had I started pondering this than I stumbled across my answer. It just so happens that John Fogerty, the songwriting powerhouse (and the unmistakable voice) behind 60s roots-rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival, has been sitting on a vintage release for decades. After splitting from CCR circa 1973, Fogerty put out a couple of excellent solo discs ("The Blue Ridge Rangers" in '73, and "John Fogerty" in '75)...and then seemingly went quiet for the rest of the decade.
However, it turns out that he recorded a follow-up to "John Fogerty" in 1976, although "Hoodoo" was never officially released. Fogerty, who has earned a reputation as being a perfectionist in the studio, is said to have decided at the last minute that this disc wasn't up to his standards, and the record was indefinitely shelved. It's a pity, because the record is actually quite enjoyable, and it stems from a time when he still had the vocal chops of his CCR days. Not necessarily a classic, but definitely worthy of release.
The only bootlegged copies floating around are multiple generations removed from the clean studio sound that one might hope for, but I'm attaching an mp3 of the kick-off track, which still sounds pretty cool. Here's hoping Fogerty eventually relaxes his perfectionism enough to release a crisp, clean version of this music....