Although there’s only a handful of recent, previously unreleased live tracks to tempt collectors, the mere fact that The Long Road Home is the first real retrospective to embrace John Fogerty’s entire career is in itself ample cause for celebration. Combining his seminal work with Creedence Clearwater Revival and his extensive solo output, this 25-song set marks Fogerty’s reconciliation with Fantasy Records, the label that was home to CCR in the Sixties and Seventies. After the band folded, Fogerty and Fantasy had a highly publicized estrangement, a breakup so bitter it was decades before Fogerty could even consider performing his back catalogue in concert. The scope of that loss becomes evident here; these anthems and road songs affirm the fact that Fogerty possesses one of the most indelible inventories in popular music. After all, his journeyman approach set the precedent for Springsteen’s and Mellencamp’s Everyman appeal, just as his back-porch rambles provided the blueprint for the Americana roots rockers who followed in his wake. It’s also apparent Fogerty is a master of extremes. “Up Around the Bend,” “Centerfield,” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” are rousing songs bolstered by unbridled celebration. So too, “Run Through the Jungle,” “Bad Moon Rising,” and “Fortunate Son” capture the anxiety pervading the Sixties’ cultural revolution. Adept at balancing optimism and pessimism, Fogerty provides the ideal soundtrack for this roller-coaster world.
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