John Fogerty – Centerfield (1985)
Being that it’s All Star Week, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to review John Fogerty’s fourth and arguably best post-Creedence solo album Centerfield. Named after it’s classic Baseball themed title track, Centerfield was also John Fogerty’s first album in nine years and his return to the charts.
The result of a long break, after Fogerty’s previous album was rejected by Asylum records, Centerfield saw Fogerty’s transition to Warner Bros. Records and a return to his catchy rock sound of the 60s. Filled with poppy americana flavored rock (“Rock and Roll Girls”, “Centerfield”) and as usual, some of Fogerty’s more politically charged tunes (“Mr. Greed”, “Zanz Kant Danz”), Centerfield is simple, short and sweet, and perfectly suited for the summer season.
Although a welcomed return to success, Centerfield was not without it’s controversies. Most notably was the hit single “The Old Man Down the Road” which Fogerty’s former record company claimed was too similar to the classic Creedence number “Run Through the Jungle”. What would follow was a long and tiresome trial which fortunately Fogerty would win. Though it sure is something that the trial made it to the Supreme Court.
There’s a lot to discuss with Fogerty’s comeback album but most importantly it’s just a fun album. The musicianship is tight and poppy (Fogerty recorded all the instruments himself) and there’s whole splendor of great, catchy tunes. “Centerfield” is in my opinion the best rock song ever written about Baseball and ‘Old Man Down the Road” is probably one of Fogerty’s best songs since his Creedence years. Whether most people would regard it as a classic?… I don’t know, but for Creedence fans like myself it was the closest we ever got to getting a new Creedence album, check it out.
Favorite Tracks: “Centerfield”, “The Old Man Down the Road”, “Vanz Kant Danz”