Rolling Stone - 11/89Ranked #55
in Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums Of The 80s survey.
Recorded at The Plant Studios, Sausalito, California.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: John Fogerty (vocals, guitar).
Audio Remasterer: Bob Ludwig.
Recording information: The Plant Studios, Sausalito, CA.
Photographer: Stuart Watson .
Arranger: John Fogerty.
"Put me in coach, I'm ready to play." These are lines familiar to any baseball fan, for John Fogerty's "Centerfield" has become the unofficial song of our national pastime. Those lines also signaled Fogerty's return to the music business after a ten-year absence. The music is mighty familiar, as Fogerty works the same terrain he mined for gold with Creedence Clearwater Revival from 1968-1972. The riff of the opening track, "The Old Man Down the Road," sounds so much like the Creedence hit "Run Through the Jungle" that Fogerty was sued by his former record company for plagiarizing himself. (He won the suit, the court upholding a composer's right to sound like himself.) "Old Man" was a Top Ten single, and this album reached number one itself. "Big Train (From Memphis)" is a rockabilly salute to Elvis, while "I Saw It on TV" takes us on a trip through the '50s and '60s "from Hooter to Doodyville," via the boob tube. "Searchlight" recalls "Keep On Chooglin" and the other extended one-chord jams of the Creedence days. Fogerty also lashes out at his old nemesis Saul Zaentz, head of that former label, Fantasy Records, with whom he had battled (and lost) over rights to his own catalog of Creedence songs. On "Mr. Greed" and "Zanz Kant Danz" (renamed "Vanz Kant Danz" on later pressings due again to the threat of lawsuit), he vents his anger over these past legal battles and foretells the one to come over "Old Man." Fans hoped Centerfield would indeed mark the return of John Fogerty to the playing field, but after releasing the bitter Eye of the Zombie the following year, he disappeared again, not to return until 1997's Blue Moon Swamp. ~ Jim Newsom