John Fogerty’s first full length studio release in over six years isn’t exactly a new album. But it is still a fun collection of songs, nonetheless. Wrote a Song For Everyone takes fourteen of Fogerty’s most famous and beloved songs and updates them for a new generation. It goes without saying that the classics collected for this compilation didn’t necessarily need an update. But the updates do admittedly give listeners a new take on the classics. It’s actually a good thing. And that will be discussed later. The song selection itself is just part of what makes this collection of classics a hit in and of itself. Fogerty was joined by some of the biggest names in the music industry in re-recording the songs for this work. And some of the names included on the “guest list” might surprise some listeners. That’s one more reason for fans to pick up this record. The compilation’s bonus booklet is the extra spice that makes Wrote a Song For Everyone quite the musical dish. The bonus booklet includes a back story on each of the songs included on the record. Together with the guest appearances and the song choices themselves, it all combines to make this compilation one that music lovers of ages will love no less with each listen.
The songs collected for Wrote a Song For Everyone are some of John Fogerty’s best known and beloved songs. The natural reaction to these songs by those more familiar with them is to question if they really needed an update. The end result after having listened through the compilation is one of pleasant surprise. Listeners that are more familiar with the original songs will agree that needed or not, these updates are fun new takes on Fogerty’s classics. It all starts with an update of what is perhaps his most beloved songs, ‘Fortunate Son.’ Fogerty is joined by Dave Grohl and his band mates in Foo Fighters on this update, with Fogerty and Grohl sharing vocal duties on the song. It’s a great way to open the compilation because it largely sticks to Fogerty’s original song. At the same time, it gives the song new life because it amps up the song and keeps it fresh for a whole new generation that can relate to it just as easily as that generation that originally related to it. Fogerty is joined later by Zac Brown Band on the update of another of his hits in ‘Bad Moon Rising.’ The band’s update on this song is just as fun as Fogerty’s original take on the song. Unlike the update of ‘Fortunate Son’, the update of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ doesn’t stick strictly to the original song. That aside, it’s still a pretty interesting take on the song. Brown and his band mates put their own signature semi-tropical spin on the song. There’s even a little guitar solo added to the song on this take. It’s another of the compilation’s pieces that fans of the original song will enjoy just as much as younger listeners. Fogerty’s new take on ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is one of the most interesting on this new release. He is joined by fellow veteran rocker Bob Seeger on the song. The pair took the original mid-tempo country-rock piece and gave it more of a pure country vibe. It comes across as being more reserved on this take than on the original. That’s not a bad thing, either. It is just a new and equally enjoyable take on the song. It’s just one of many more songs from this compilation from which listeners have to choose as their favorite. Also included on this record are updates of ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain’, ‘Born on the Bayou’, and ‘Hot Rod Heat’ just to name a few. Again whether one is familiar with these songs or not, they all comprise a record that Fogerty fans of all ages will enjoy.
Fogerty fans of all ages will enjoy this compilation primarily because of the songs that comprise the record. The songs themselves aren’t all that listeners will appreciate. The record’s “guest list” is another of its selling points. As already noted, Fogerty is joined by the likes of Zac Brown Band, Bob Seeger, and Foo Fighters on some of the record’s updates. Also along for the ride are: Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), and Kid Rock. Even former American Idol contestant and award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson makes an appearance among many others. On the surface, one might look at the record’s “guest list” and shrug, asking why any of this is significant. It’s significant in that it shows the influence that John Fogerty has had on both his fellow veteran musicians and even younger musicians. It’s an example of actions speaking louder than words. And it’s a statement that speaks very loudly with this release.
The sequencing and “guest list” chosen for Wrote a Song For Everyone both are critical factors in the album’s success. They both play important roles in the album’s overall presentation. Just as important is the album’s bonus booklet. The booklet included with the album is such an important addition to the overall presentation because it offers a back story to each song. Those stories come from Fogerty’s own words, too. Many audiences will be amazed to learn that ‘Fortunate Son’ was written as a result of his own time serving in the Army Reserve during Vietnam. He writes in the song’s liner notes, that ‘Fortunate Son’ was the result of his person feelings about states using the term ‘Favorite Son’ for their politicians. He explains in the liner notes that he took that term and changed it to “Fortunate Son” to reflect his negative thoughts on the original term. Just as interesting to learn is that he felt so strongly about what was going on at the time and ended up writing the song in just twenty minutes. This after he and the band had originally rehearsed the song without any lyrics at all. His story behind ‘Bad Moon Rising’ is just as eye and ear opening as it is being read. He explains how the song originally was the result of a famous movie titled The Devil and Daniel Webster. He expands on this, explaining how the movie got him to thinking about the impact that music can have on people, and how that links back to the song. His anecdote is one that will move any fan. His somewhat cryptic explanation of ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ is sure to get fans discussing, too. He closes his explanation stating that the song is about “seeking the truth.” He links this to his experience at the very first Woodstock festival. Those that know the history of the original Woodstock will perhaps understand this better than anyone, especially if said individuals were actually there in person. It’s just one more story that makes the album’s booklet more a bonus for fans than just a bunch of liner notes. And together with everything already mentioned, it makes this record even more worth picking up whether for one’s own self or as a gift this holiday season. It is available now in stores and online.
John Fogerty recently wrapped up a massive tour in support of his new album. Fans can check in for more tour dates and news from John Fogerty online at http://www.johnfogerty.com and http://www.facebook.com/johnfogerty. Fans can also get his album online via either site. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.