Why Mardi Gras By Creedence Clearwater Failed As An Album
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Creedence Clearwater Revival were at the top of their game in the late 1960s. From humble beginnings in the San Francisco bay area, these southern sounding rock icons slowly gained traction. Soon, they were topping charts and even headlined the renowned Woodstock of 1969. Producing albums such as Bayou Country in 1969, which reached number 7 platinum status, and Green River getting gold, the year saw CCR’s brightest days. One would not expect any of the band’s later material to fail. Then Mardi Gras happened. And fail it did. Miserably.
How Creedence Clearwater failed with Mardi Gras
Late of 1970 was a hard time for CCR. Rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty quit the band because of the antics of his brother John Fogerty. Now a trio, CCR’s creative collective was disturbed when Fogerty decided that the band split up responsibility of creating material, production included. Mardi Gras was conceived, and proved that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts.
Fogerty’s contribution to the album wasn’t half-bad, with “Sweet Hitch-Hiker” being good enough for a rock track, country-inspired “Lookin’ for A Reason“, a decent rendition of “Hello Mary Lou“, and a commendable ballad in “Someday Never Comes“. The two members, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford’s brainchild, were another story. “Sail Away” is hard on the ears due to Cook’s unimpressive vocals, and while Clifford’s tone is a bit easier to listen to, when put against Fogerty’s own, seemed underwhelming. But then again, even the collective effort wasn’t enough to go toe to toe with past albums of CCR. Such a shame when the band was at their prime a year ago or so.
To quote Rolling Stone magazine’s Jon Landau, “The worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band.” The band simply could not recreate, let alone surpass their past material, all due to talent mismanagement and internal pressures.