Various Artists

John Fogerty: Wrote a Song for Everyone

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The music of John Fogerty may be quintessentially American -- rootsy, rocking, and unpretentious -- but it took a Finnish label (Rubber Rabbit) to put together this tribute album (which was released domestically by Pravda). Several American acts do make an appearance, however, and all of the artists take a fairly faithful approach to the material. Some versions are faster, some harder, but there's nothing that quite qualifies as punk or metal -- it's all still rock & roll. Al Perry & the Cattle take the biggest risk by combining the lyrics to "Fortunate Son" with music that sounds more like the Go-Go's' "We Got the Beat" -- not necessarily a bad move, but certainly the most unusual. Wisely, none of the bands attempt to sound exactly like Fogerty or Creedence Clearwater Revival. That's for the best, although the originals remain definitive. Highlights include Girl Trouble's harmonica-spiked "Commotion," DM3's rollicking "Sweet Hitchhiker," and Steve Wynn's intense "Graveyard Train" (recorded live at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 club). With plenty of great Fogerty songs from which to choose, a sequel would not be unwelcome. That would give other musicians the opportunity to sink their teeth into the likes of "Down on the Corner," "Lookin' out My Back Door," and "Bad Moon Rising" (among countless others). Like those classic compositions, the song from which the compilation took its name, "Wrote a Song for Everyone," was not included. The liner notes were provided by Wynn, who credits Fogerty for turning him on to artists like Bo Diddley, Hank Williams, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins.

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