Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford may not have intended it, but their band Creedence Clearwater Revisited has taken on a startling life of its own. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rhythm section (bass and drums respectively) from the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival launched the Revisited project in 1995 to play live Creedence Clearwater Revival hits - touchstones of a generation. Though the pair initially planned to play private parties, Revisited is now performing up to 100 shows a year at venues like the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and has announced the release of a double live album, RECOLLECTION.
“We never really had any intention of playing in the public,” says Cook, “but a friend wanted to promote a couple of concerts. We got talked into it but didn’t know how it would go over.”
The reaction to those shows was astoundingly positive, Cook observed, and driven in part by a generation of kids “who weren’t even born when the music came out.” Likewise, the release of RECOLLECTION - a 22- track double CD on the MCA/Universal distributed Fuel 2000 label, which features passionate, authoritative versions of classic Creedence Clearwater Revival hits - was the result of public demand. “It was generated by requests of the people who came to the shows, “Clifford acknowledges. “Over and over they would go to the concession stand and ask ‘Do you guys have a CD?’”
Having now performed all over North America, Europe and Asia knocking out crowds who have missed the experience Creedence Clearwater Revival members performing the songs that are still repeatedly played on the radio and are a staple in films, Creedence Clearwater Revisited has come a long way.
“We thought if we could find the musicians that could capture the sound and recreate what the music was about, we’d do it,” recalls Cook. “If we couldn’t we wouldn’t.”
But they found the musicians, one in particular, in a surprising place. “Every interview we do, people say ‘Well isn’t this a weird combo’”, says Cook referring to Revisited lead guitarist Elliot Easton. Though Easton gained famed playing lead guitar in the cool detached New Wave band The Cars, “his guitar had the bluesy rock feel,” Cook says, “In fact, Elliot has the same musical roots and grew up in the same stuff we did.”
Cook and Clifford also found a lead singer, John Tristao, with the energy to power the songs. The group is rounded out by talented multi-instrumentalist Steve Gunner.
“I couldn’t imagine [the band] coming together and staying together better than this organization,” offers Cook who likens Revisited’s intraband rapport to that of early Creedence Clearwater Revival, when the band was slugging it out in Central California as the Golliwogs.
RECOLLECTION captures that sense of teamwork and joy. Vigorous and agile takes in classics like “Susie Q,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Run Through The Jungle,” “Bad Moon Raising,” “Fortunate Son” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” RECOLLECTION is clearly the work of a tight, muscular band that brings authenticity and authority to the Classics Rock standards. RECOLLECTION celebrates the music that earned a three-decade long following that continues to grow. Creedence Clearwater Revival Albums are among the best selling catalogs of the rock era.
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s distinctive rock captured the imagination of the pop world - the songs made great three minute radio gems - and the more politicized subculture, and the successfully bridged the gap between the underground and mainstream audiences. Writer Greil Marcus wrote that “rarely in rock and roll history has there been so close a relation between creative achievement and audience response.”
Creedence Clearwater Revisited’s RECOLLECTION adds a new chapter to that legacy with the vibrant American spirit and exhilarating energy inherent in the songs. “People don’t want to be involved in an endless debate,” Clifford sums up about the Creedence Clearwater Revival break-up. “They want to hear music. Creedence Clearwater Revisited is an experience they’re not going to get anywhere else.