Tuesday, October 06, 2009

At Least 10 Albums Far Better Than The BLUE RIDGE RANGERS RIDES AGAIN

As you might know, I created something of a controversy here with some John Fogerty fans over my scathing album review of his very disappointing new BLUE RIDGE RANGERS RIDES AGAIN. Many fans loved the album, but I sure didn't. I thought that it was a very poor selection of so-so country songs combined with a not very good country music style that made this easily the worst John Fogerty item that I've ever heard. But, my opinions are my own. Here's a few of my suggestions for at least 10 albums far better than this one.

CCR was always a "swamp rock" styled band. And if you love that "swamp rock" sound, then I'd suggest several great entries from the king of swamp rock, Tony Joe White. THE BEST OF TONY JOE WHITE is a great overview of his earlier works such as "Polk Salad Annie", "Soul Francisco" and "Willie And Laura Mae Jones". This guy is just plain fantastic. His later album DEEP CUTS has a really heavy guitar sound but laid back in a unique swamp style. It's an interesting experiment for this artist. But his early works really get into that swamp sound thing. This is great stuff.

If you love rockabilly, Welsh artist Dave Edmunds does old 50's style rockabilly almost better than American artist ever did. And his 1971 album ROCKPILE is a real gem. The album has been reissued by German oldies lapel, Repertoire, and includes extra tracks such as the mono single version of his biggest hit, "I Hear You Knocking" and the followup single "I'm Coming Home". This early album by Dave Edmunds is a real gem. A great Cd by all means.

Some folks liked the country style of John Fogerty on his new album. And the album included his version of "Haunted House". Well, country star John Anderson performed a far superior version of "Haunted House" back in the early 1980's. And with a voice that has a unique tone, John Anderson is one of the greatest underrated country stars out there. His early albums featured some pretty rockin' country songs such as "Swingin'' and "It's All Over Now". In fact, his version of "It's All Over Now features some pretty searing guitar work and is far superior to even The Rolling Stones version of the song. But the later albums by John Anderson began to mellow out some when he began to catch too much of a reputation as the "king of hard country music", and didn't want to be typecast as a hard rocker. John Anderson has many great early albums worth a listen. His TOKYO OKLAHOMA is the closest to hard rock album that he ever issued. There's plenty of cool hard country songs to go around on this album. Some folks seem to think that John Anderson sounds a little like Levon Helm. But I feel that his voice is uniquely his own. Regardless, he's a great new traditionalist country performer who went from doing roofing work on the Grand Old Opry building to performing in the Grand Old Opry, but whose career has seen many ups and downs since. He has many very worthy albums.

Some folks liked the version of "Heaven's Just A Sin Away" by John Fogerty. But the truth is that The Kendalls did a far superior version of this classic country song. And likewise the John Denver version of "Back Home Again" is far superior to the John Fogerty version. Further, the 1972 hit song by music legend Rick Nelson, "Garden Party" is the far superior version of that song as well. The albums containing these songs are all worthy to give a listen.

THE BLUE RIDGE RANGERS RIDES AGAIN opens with the John Prime piece, "Paradise". However, no one seems to do John Prime any better than John Prime himself. John Prime knew what to say and how to play it far better than any second guess. Look to John Prime's own albums instead.

John Fogerty seems to like to do some country girl songs on his album for some odd reason. However, his version of "When Will I Be Loved" sure pales against the stronger performance of great vocalist Linda Ronstadt by far. Look for albums with her version instead. Ronstadt will remain one of the greatest country-rock female vocalists of all time.

Further John Fogerty attempted to do versions of both Ray Price and Buck Owens as well. But both of these artists have done the superior versions of their songs and interpret themselves better than no one can. And Buck Owens often wrote with a great sense of humor as well. Look to albums by these country greats for superior versions of their songs.

So there you have it. At least 10 albums of superior quality to what I believe that John Fogerty attempted and seemed to fail at here. What do you think? Let's have another spirited discussion here.


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