Song of the Hour: “Wrote a Song for Everyone (feat. Miranda Lambert & Tom Morello)”, John Fogerty

johnfogertyWhy it rocks:  In case you don’t know who John Fogerty is, he was the frontman for the classic bayou band Creedence Clearwater Revival.  I promise you you’ve heard a CCR song, or at least heard a cover: “Proud Mary”, “Up Around the Bend”, “Fortunate Son”.  In the ’60s and ’70s, Fogerty and his bandmates wrote and performed some of the most immediate protest folk songs of their time, defining the line between folk and rock at the time.  “Wrote a Song for Everyone” was already an affecting, moving song, and it’s already been covered quite well in the past, but it was a canny move by Fogerty to update this song with Miranda Lambert on his new album, Wrote a Song for Everyone, a collection of covers of Fogerty’s songs.  From the moment Lambert begins singing, we know it’s paid off; she makes the song’s social laments and personal regrets her own.  When Fogerty’s voice joins hers, the song becomes a rallying cry, the anthem of a movement, and the feeling is that the unrest in the America of Fogerty’s youth never really went away.  Morello’s soaring guitar solo helps to solidify that this is more than just a cover song.

If you like this…:  Go listen to anything/everything by Creedence.  A good place to start is the compilation Chronicle.  They put out several iconic albums as well- Green River is the one a lot of people point to, but my personal favorite is Cosmo’s Factory.

How’s the album?:  Most albums where the artist simply covers his/her old songs end up being pretty boring and as far from essential as you can get.  But Fogerty’s Wrote a Song is actually pretty incredible; nearly every song finds a new spin, and some (like the title song and “Who’ll Stop the Rain” with Bob Seger) come close to surpassing the originals.

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