John Fogerty

Eye of the Zombie

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He may have taken a decade to cut his third album, but John Fogerty wasted no time in delivering a sequel to his blockbuster 1985 comeback Centerfield, rushing Eye of the Zombie into stores in 1986. Eye of the Zombie bears every mark of being a rush job from this notorious rock & roll perfectionist, containing only a couple of songs that rival those on Centerfield -- chief among them is the doomy groove “Change in the Weather,” a tune he later salvaged with a stripped down re-recording on 2009’s The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again -- but what really sinks the record is its absurdly synthesized production, a clanking, cavernous collection of keyboards, squealing controlled distortion, and conflicting drum programs. To a certain extent, this unpleasantness may be intentional because at its core Eye of the Zombie is a very angry album, finding Fogerty railing against all manners of ‘80s evils, whether it’s crass consumerism, blaring headlines, or the violent policies they chronicle. Instead of pairing this doom to some swampy choogle, Fogerty sets it to too-tight synth rhythms and encases it in glassy production that not only is the antithesis of his rage, it undoes otherwise amiable cuts like the seemingly sunny soul-pop “Knockin’ on Your Door.” Track for track, it’s a misfire of staggering proportions, one that halted Fogerty’s comeback and sent him back into seclusion for another decade.

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