Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CCR-Boxed Set

Boxed Set

Maybe you're looking at this boxed set of CCR CDs, wondering if you should buy it or instead focus on the "greatest hits" CDs. Or maybe you're thinking of purchasing all of the individual albums in the form of the remastered CDs that were released in 2000 (or if you're like me, you already did.) I'll make the decision easy for you: buy this box. You'll end up a lot happier in the long run.

Here's why:
Creedence Clearwater Revival officially released 7 studio albums and 2 live albums. Of those 9 albums, 8 are exceptional: 8 classic albums that rock, rattle and roll. 8 albums that have no filler. 8 albums that you'll enjoy listening to repeatedly if you're a rock and roll enthusiast. (The ninth album, Mardi Gras, was the last CCR studio album and is neither up to the standards set by the other 8 albums nor is it the worst album ever released by a major band, as originally reviewed by Rolling Stone magazine; the worst I can say about it is that it's average.)

Don't bother with the "greatest hits" CDs. There's too much good stuff left out. For example: `Ramble Tamble' off of Cosmo's Factory and `Effigy' from Willy and the Poor Boys are only two of the classic CCR tracks that don't appear on the compilation CDs. They're just as good as Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising or any of the other hit singles (the first time I heard `Ramble Tamble,' I couldn't believe my ears.) Even though CCR is considered a singles band, their albums are amazingly cohesive; listening to each album in its entirety and in the original order makes for a more pleasurable experience.

You could buy all of the remastered albums on CD, but that's a bad choice for a few reasons.
1. Live in Europe has yet to be released in remastered form on CD (as of November 2001) and the original CD sounds horrible. You'll get a remastered version only in this boxed set.
2. The rarities: All of disc 1 of this boxed set is devoted to tracks from The Golliwogs and Tommy Fogerty and The Blue Velvets. While not all of these tracks are up to the quality of the later CCR stuff, most of it's great rock and roll. Also you won't get parts 1 and 2 of 45 Revolutions Per Minute outside of this set.
3. The price: Even though this boxed set is a bit pricey, you'll still save over buying the complete set of remastered CDs.

So what's so great about this set? First, you're getting everything (and I do mean everything) in order on 6 CDs. The Pre-Creedence stuff comes first, then all of the albums in their original order, and all of the tracks come just as they did on the original albums. Everything's remastered and sounds terrific. The two live sets are full of energy. The booklet contains many great essays and many great pictures. Honestly, even without the unreleased stuff, this set is exceptional. Just having "everything Creedence" in one spot, sounding so crisp and full, is worth the price of admission.

Bottom line: If you don't have a complete CCR collection already, and can spare the money, BUY THIS SET. You'll end up wanting it in the long run, so you might as well make things easy on yourself and just start here.

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