The Creedence Clearwater Revival 40th Anniversary reissues are a handsome collection, with packaging that reproduces, as nearly as a CD can, the cover art of the original vinyl editions. The supplemental material accompanying each disc enhances the historical significance of the band’s short career, and the remastered sound is flawless. Though a case could be made for packaging the reissues as a boxed set, hearing them as individual works, and savoring them in the context of the time they were released is more satisfying. Creedence was a band based on individual songs, not concepts. They had no pretensions to art, and it’s only in retrospect that we realize their importance in the rock canon. Creedence and their mythical American South paved the way for Springsteen’s equally mythical Jersey. Mellencamp’s Midwest and countless other bands still sweating it out every night in seedy rock and roll bars.
It’s all about the song, after all.