// Album Recommendation

John Fogerty

Wrote A Song For Everyone

(2013)

“Out across the constellations
There’s a place behind the sun
Everything is connected
Everything and everyone.”

Wrote A Song For Everyone Album Cover John Fogerty Volt and Volume

Often when you think of duet albums, you think of lazy, calculated marketing aimed at prolonging or reviving an artist’s career. If the artist has reached a certain advanced age, the duet partners chosen for the project are often much younger/commercially viable artists. Frank Sinatra did it with Duets and Duets II, Tony Bennett has released all of three duet albums (Duets: An American Classic, Duets II and Viva Duets), and Paul Anka recorded Duets in 2013 - just to name a few. These albums consist of re-recordings of old classics and came off as rather feeble attempts to stay commercially relevant that ultimately only served to enhance the superior quality of the originals.

This common aversion to duet albums is something John Fogerty was very much aware of throughout the recording process of Wrote A Song For Everyone. John Fogerty: "People kept calling it “Duets” and I would just cringe, “No, no, no, that can't be the name of it”. It has just such a dorky sound to it." Not calling the album “Duets” was a good decision, but even if Fogerty had done so, it wouldn’t have put Wrote A Song For Everyone in the same category as the above-mentioned duet albums – it’s far too warm and uncalculated for that. Wrote A Song For Everyone alternates between Classic Rock, Swamp Rock, Country, and Folk-Rock. Named after a track on legendary Swamp Rock/Americana group Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Green River album (1969), Wrote A Song For Everyone sees Fogerty revisiting several of his old band’s classics (see Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Greatest Hits), as well as a couple of solo tracks, all in the company of primarily much younger guest stars.

The energetic Foo Fighters add a raw power to Fogerty’s sound by virtue of an endearing, typically ferocious interpretation of Fortunate Sun that kicks off the album in high gear. Almost Saturday Night is less gritty than Fogerty’s original (from his 1975 solo album John Fogerty), but Australian Country singer, songwriter, and guitarist Keith Urban delivers a heartfelt vocal performance and lovely banjo work. On the title track Wrote A Song For Everyone, Fogerty shares lead vocal with Platinum-selling Country songstress Miranda Lambert, and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave) plays a gripping, characteristically distinctive guitar solo. My Morning Jacket turns the rustic charm of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Long As I Can See The Light into a smooth Country/Folk song that likewise breaks into a blistering guitar solo, and ‘70s/West Coast revivalists Dawes join Fogerty for an engaging Soft Rock reading of the poignant Someday Never Comes, a less well-known track from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s last LP, 1972’s Mardi Gras. However, the most inspired choice of duet partner is ‘70s singer/songwriter Bob Seger whose weathered, gravelly voice is such a perfect match for Fogerty’s rustic approach to songwriting that it makes you wonder why Seger didn’t record a cover version of one of Fogerty’s songs years ago. On Who’ll Stop The Rain, keyboardist/pianist Bob Malone’s piano style evokes the sound of the classic Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band hit Against The Wind (from 1980’s Against The Wind album).

John Fogerty and Country Picker Brad Paisley actually manage to improve on Fogerty’s original recording of Hot Rod Heart (off Fogerty's 1997 solo album Blue Moon Swamp), sparks flying as they trade vibrant licks during prolonged guitar interplays. Interspersed among the reworkings of the old classics are two new songs, Train Of Fools and Mystic Highway, both of which are of a high quality, the latter in particular. Mystic Highway, the first single released from the album, is a rumination on this journey called life, the trials and tribulations, the joy, love and happiness, and, ultimately, mortality (“Out across the constellations / There’s a place behind the sun / Everything is connected / Everything and everyone”). John Fogerty: "Those can stand alongside anything on the album, and I'm not sure I'd say that about songs on (2007's) Revival. These seem more effortless. I allowed them to be what they're supposed to be, and that's my process from the old times.”

How much you’ll like, or perhaps even love, Wrote A Song For Everyone depends on your willingness/ability to not compare these re-recordings to the originals (they’re not meant to replace them) and listen to the album on its own merits. If you can do that, Wrote A Song For Everyone is a fine and very enjoyable release in its own right. Personally, I’d love a second volume featuring like-minded guest artists that would be absolute perfect collaborators for John Fogerty such as The Black Keys and Ray LaMontagne. If anything, Wrote A Song for Everyone is a testament to Fogerty’s enduring musical legacy.

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