Album: Cosmo’s Factory
It goes without saying that Creedence Clearwater Revival were American originals, and still one of the greatest singles bands ever.
And in fact, those singles were so dominant on the radio of my youth and in the albums that I own, I’ve only ever loved one of their albums start-to-finish: 1970’s titanic Cosmo’s Factory
Of course, that just might be because Cosmo’s Factory starts with their greatest non-single — and quite possibly their greatest song — the onomatopoetically-named “Ramble Tamble,” which was once named by The A.V. Club as “The Most Rockin’ Song of All-Time.”
Album: Willy and The Poor Boys
One of John Fogerty’s heaviest and most passionate songs, “Fortunate Son” is also a song that has not aged even a whit in the 40 years since it first burst out of Willy and The Poor Boys.
Which sucks. Because you want songs about economic disparity and how the rich take advantage of their privilege to get out of military service in a way that the poor never ever can to feel completely anachronistic. No such luck.
Album: Bayou Country
Ahhh, here we go. With its feedback lick rising like an alligator from the swamp, “Born on the Bayou” is 5:14 of mysterious sonic pleasure.
On one level it’s so simple: Tom Fogerty’s guitar is in one channel and John Fogerty’s guitar in the other, while Stu Cook and Doug Clifford are holding down the fort in the middle. So in that respect, it’s not that different from many other CCR songs. And yet, it’s totally different from not just other CCR songs, but every other song ever.
Album: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
2015 is only halfway over, but I somehow doubt I will love a song this year more than I love “Depreston,” Courtney Barnett’s brilliant ode to a moment of realization that the world is bigger and more complex than you could have ever imagined.
“Depreston” is hardly the only great song on Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit, but its aching guitar hooks and strong sad melody — and the matter-of-fact way she sings it — jumped out at me from the very moment I heard it. That the lyrics tell a singular, relatable story just makes it that much more fantastic.
Album: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
Ever hear a song and instantly recognize that the artist singing was a completely new and original voice?
That’s what happened to me the first time I ever heard Courtney Barnett’s “Avant Gardener.” I was blown away by how she was able to combine elements of previous things I loved into something totally fresh.