Creedence Clearwater Revival

Lodi

Composed by John Fogerty

Song Review by

During the alt-country trend of the late '90s/early '00s, fans of country-rock would often speak in reverential tones about Gram Parsons and his various groups -- sometimes the Byrds and sometimes the Flying Burrito Brothers -- as the foundation of the genre. It was not even unusual to hear that the early Eagles records were coming back into vogue. Not as often mentioned, however, were the contributions that Creedence Clearwater Revival made to the forging of country and rock. Yet, CCR had far more commercial success with such country-rock chestnuts as "Lodi" -- and thus a farther-reaching impact -- than the music of the criminally overlooked (by commercial forces, anyway) Parsons. CCR also had great mainstream success while exemplifying what Parsons termed "cosmic American music": an amalgam of rock, soul, gospel, country, rockabilly, etc. "Lodi" was the B-side to another country/rockabilly-informed tune, "Bad Moon Rising," the single selling gold. From their Top Ten record Green River (1969), "Lodi" is a melancholy tune with a rockabilly-inspired guitar riff. John Fogerty's lyric is about a singer trapped in a nightclub/bar purgatory in small-town Lodi, after running out of money while on the road doing one-night stands. The pathos of the lyric is convincing, Fogerty obviously having done his time playing "while people sat there drunk" and wanting to "catch the next train" back home. It is evident that, before he and his band struck gold with repetitive hit singles, Fogerty wondered if he would ever be trapped in his own private hell, reliving the same night over and over again like a rock & roll Groundhog Day. The song's bouncing tempo does not mask the heavy-hearted tenor of the melody and lyric. Even Stu Cook's bass line veers off from its standard country fifths to walk down half-steps, three or four notes that alone are heartbreaking. Fogerty abandons his Little Richard-inspired howls and screams for a wistful, mournful approach, his voice periodically cracking vulnerably during the bittersweet melody. The arrangement throws in the curveball key change during the last verse, a classic pop trick that heightens the drama: "If I only had a dollar for every song I sung...."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Green River 1969 Fantasy 3:13
More Creedence Gold 1973 Fantasy 3:08
No Image 1976 Fantasy
Creedence Country 1981 Fantasy 3:10
No Image 1982 Fantasy
No Image 1985 Fantasy
Creedence Clearwater Revival [Time Life] 198? Fantasy 3:11
No Image 1990 Fantasy
The Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival [Fantasy Canada] 1998 Fantasy 3:09
Ultimate Collection 1998 Mushroom Records 3:09
Collection 1999 Fantasy 3:22
Keep on Chooglin' [Festival] 1999 Festival Records 3:12
Positively 60's 2000
Various Artists
Capitol 3:11
Creedence Clearwater Revival [Box Set] 2001 Fantasy 3:12
Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival [EMI] 2003 EMI Music Distribution 3:11
Platinum 2004 BMG International 3:12
Greatest Hits [2005] 2005 Rock 3:11
The Long Road Home: The Ultimate John Fogerty/Creedence Collection 2005 Fantasy 3:09
Absolute Originals 2006 APO (Analogue Production Originals) 3:13
The Best of the Songs of John Fogerty 20th Century Masters the Millennium Collection 2007 Hip-O 3:10
Forever Creedence Clearwater Revival 2007 Madacy 3:12
Rock Legends 2008 Concord Neu 3:12
Best Of 2008 Universal International 3:11
Collected 2008 Universal Distribution 3:11
40th Anniversary Editions Box Set 2009 Universal Distribution / Concord/Universal / Fantasy 3:19
The Singles Collection 2009 Concord / Fantasy 3:12
Sixties: Collected 2010
Various Artists
USM 3:11
Ultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival: Greatest Hits & All-Time Classics 2012 Concord / Fantasy 3:16
Greatest Hits 2014 Fantasy 3:10
No Image Phantom