STAFF PICKS: Creedence Clearwater Revival “Cosmo’s Factory”

By: Seth Bode

"Cosmo Factory" taking over the playlist. (PHOTO, Bode)
“Cosmo Factory” taking over the playlist. (PHOTO, Bode)

“Cosmo’s Factory” is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth album. It was released on July 16, 1970.The album features Creedence iconic style that just screams CCR. Derived from the combination of Folk, Blues Rock, Country Rock influences the sound is simply awesome throughout the album. It contains several singles, including “who’ll stop the rain,” “Lookin Out My Backdoor,” “ Traveling Band,” and of course the absolutely awesome “Run Through The Jungle.” Most fans consider “Cosmo’s Factory” to be the band’s greatest album.

In “Who’ll Stop The Rain” John Fogerty, the band leader/lead singer, presents strong vocals. He paints a picture of a world tired of uncertainty and confusion, in the Vietnam War era, searching for the sun. The song picks up with clean rhythm guitar that pairs up with the drum beat creating a comforting atmosphere. In between the choruses, the lead guitarist lays down some country inspired licks, and those just add to the home like feel to it. Overall the song has this smooth yet R&B sound to it. The choruses have a Beatles-esque sound to them. The song uses a nice mix of rhythm guitar, country inspired licks, and some stellar drum playing. It has a timeless sound that takes you back to the 70’s.

“Who’ll Stop The Rain” has a more rock meets country with a tad bit of blues feel, and “Lookin Out My Backdoor” has a distinctly R&B, folk, country rock sound. It starts with a country riff over some muted rhythm guitar, which are accented by the drums, thanks to Doug Cosmo, after a few seconds. Which creates this bouncy, yet warm country sound. It reminds one of spending time with friends and family, just enjoying eachothers company. Its simple bouncy sound is very fun and warm, the song is a must listen to for all CCR fans.

“Traveling Band” tells of experiences of playing in a traveling band. It’s a lot of work, they are trying to make it big, and it involves a lot of travel involved. It definitely has a 70’s feel to it, with a nice country rock sound. It sounds like something you would hear in a shiny burger place in the 70’s. The song features Fogerty rocking the vocals, as usual, trumpets, and a piano in addition to the band’s usual guitars and drums.The tune is fun and fast paced, a nice addition to the album.

“Run Through the Jungle” is probably one of the most well known, iconic CCR songs. The song starts off strong with its iconic riff it just sounds like a rock and roll song. Following the riff the rest of the band seems to roll into the song and the tune picks up. During the chorus Fogerty kills the vocals and accents himself with the same riff that starts the song off. He then plays an awesome harmonica solo after the chorus. The songs super catchy, and just great to jam out to. It has this energy to it that just makes the song.

CCR’s cover of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” made famous by Marvin Gaye, is one of the few jam songs that made it onto the album. The cover uses the same chord progression and basic sound from Marvin’s version, until they hit the three minute mark, where a guitar solo begins. After the five minute jam sesh they go back to what they had been doing in the beginning of the cover. CCR puts this twist only they could come up with and pull off, they add a bluesy/country feel. The entire cover sounds very original with the Creedence sound throughout.

The album as a whole is great to listen to. With its country, blues, folk sound that’s just classic Creedence Clearwater Revival. Influences from the time period can be heard in different parts of the album, like the Vietnam War influence. Which had so much impact on the culture at the time. It can be heard in songs like “Run Through the Jungle” and “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” For any Creedence Clearwater Revival or Classic Rock Fan “Cosmo’s Factory” will be worth listening to at least once.