Underrated Swamp Thing
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 01/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John Fogerty in the 80's was a very angry man. While the triumphant Centerfield had enough retro-charm and a hero's return back-story to make it a five star perfect record, Fogerty's demons ate away at him as he prepared for the follow up. Recalling that "Centerfield" had the vindictive "Vanz Can't Dance" (changed from the original pressings 'Zanz') and "Mr Greed," the rustic charms of "Old Man Down The Road," "Rock and Roll Girls" and the title song made it easy to mask the seething resentment that Fogerty unleashed on what remains his best solo album.
"Eye of The Zombie" was even angrier, fueled by lawsuits over self-plagiarism and a disdain for pop-sellouts, yet it is easily as good an album as any Fogerty has released over the years. I enjoy this more than I did Blue Moon Swamp, which always seemed kind of neutered to my ears. But this CD was slagged at the time, probably because everyone was still longing for good-time John to keep on chooglin', when he had some gasoline left to burn. As a result, the swamp-voodoo of the title track and the timely ferocity of "Violence is Golden" put off folks expecting the more lighthearted fare of "Centerfield."
This was also a harder rocking album, as Fogerty let go of the one man band routine and allowed guest players to add flavor to the sounds. It really kicks in on "Change In The Weather," easily the most CCR-ish song on the album. It's got a heart to it, albeit a rather venomous one, but one that pulses with righteous indignation. By the time the CD closes with "Sail Away," even Fogerty seems a bit worn out by the anger exerted, as he sings of longing for (I think) aliens to come and whisk him off to a better place. More telling is that after "Eye of The Zombie," Fogerty remained silent for another 11 years before making peace with his Creedence past and ultimately releasing a live show of career hits (1998's Premonition). Fogerty is still capable of the righteous anger exhibited here; one listen to Revival will prove that. But this under-rated CD is probably a lot better than you remember it to be, and has a special spot on my CD shelf."
There Always Have Been Two Sides To This Man
Duaine E. Stewart | Missouri | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Centerfield" was 'Who'll Stop The Rain' and 'Down On The Corner'. "Eye Of The Zombie" was 'Born On The Bayou' and 'Fortunate Son'. People went for his softer side but turned their back on his harder side after a decade away from the spotlight. Their loss. You cannot enjoy John C. Fogerty for his poetry without also enjoying him for his scathing commentary. A much harder edge to this album compared to his others. Some great songs though. Listen to the title track, 'Change In The Weather' and 'Knocking On Your Door'. What I call Side 2 (I bought this on vinyl in the 1980's)( on CD tracks 6-9) is pretty caustic but still worth a listen. An underrated album."