“Wrote A Song For Everyone” is a collaboration type album by John Fogerty of his hits. If you don’t know who John Fogerty is, you don’t know shit about music and your taste in music sucks, or you’re four.
Fogerty is a complete egomaniac. His shit doesn’t stink. That’s one reason why Creedence broke up so many years ago. Everything has to be done his way, and it has to be perfect, period.
That being said, he’s sort of earned the right to be an egomaniac. His shit really doesn’t stink. Because his music has changed the world of music forever. Seriously, Fogerty’s better than Elvis. Tell me I’m wrong. You can’t. While you may not recognize his name (you fuck) you probably recognize Tina Turner’s name, right? She had a huge hit called “Proud Mary,” which was a horrible (in my opinion, I’m not a huge Turner fan) cover of an old Creedence Clearwater Revival hit of the same name, written and originally performed by Fogerty. That’s just one.
Over the years he’s recorded hit after hit. Those hits are typically great songs in and of themselves, but the songs that weren’t hits were almost always better than the radio songs. And just about everybody in music from the 60s to today have been influenced by Fogerty’s work.
Because Fogerty is an egomaniac, he decided he wanted to get a bunch of other artists to redo his songs in their style, but he was going to sing and play guitar on those songs with them, because he had to be on each song. Again, he wanted them to do his songs in their style, but he had to be there because his ego wouldn’t allow them to record his songs without him.
“Wrote A Song For Everyone,” the name of one of his early CCR hits (which was redone for this album) turned out to be an awesome album. It didn’t need to happen, so it was basically just a fun project for him. Some critics thought the album was pointless and blah blah, and really it was. It was just another way for Fogerty to stroke his ego a bit and put some more cash in his bank account.
Rolling Stone put the album on their list of the 50 best albums of 2013, at number 10. I can’t believe 50 albums came out in 2013, and I sure as fuck can’t imagine there were 50 good ones. Number 10 is a great spot regardless, but I’m honestly shocked there were 9 better ones.
From beginning to end you get 14 tracks of awesome. I can’t believe there were only 14, with so many kick ass songs he’s recorded over the years, but looking at some of the guest artists he got for the album made me realize that maybe he just couldn’t find anybody else to do songs with. Otherwise there should have been 20+ songs on this album.
The reason I say that is, there are a couple of questionable artists and/or recordings. I figured this would be a great way to have some fun with some newer, younger talent, as well as help promote those artists to people who may not have heard them before. These kind of albums are a two way street. Fogerty gets his ego stroked, while the guest artists get some publicity for their own sound, as well as a chance to record with one of the greatest singer/songwriters ever.
With all of that said, here’s my rundown of each track and what I think of them. Again, Fogerty played and sang on each track.
1. Fortunate Son – Foo Fighters: The Foo Fighters are one of the great rock bands of this era, so it makes sense to have them on this album. Surely Dave Grohl grew up listening to Fogerty. What he and his band brought to this song was great. It was heavy, it rocked, and it sounded like they had a ton of fun recording it. Great way to start the album.
2. Almost Saturday Night – Keith Urban: I’m not much of a country fan, especially for newer country and newer country artists. This song is one of my favorites of Fogerty’s and I absolutely love Urban’s rendition. This is one of those moments where I was turned on to someone to listen to that I most definitely would have never listened to otherwise. If anybody has any suggestions as to what I should check out by Urban, let me know below.
3. Lodi – Shane and Tyler Fogerty: For this track, John got his two sons, who are also musicians, involved. But instead of having them pick a song and do it their way (they’re fans of newer punk music), John told them they were going to redo the song in a roadhouse style, and John sang the entire thing. Once again his ego got in the way of the very reason he was doing this album in the first place. But it works. It so fucking works. This is an amazing version of this song, recorded in Abbey Road Studios, and I think I like it more than the original. Holy shit is it awesome. My only problem is it ends too soon.
4. Mystic Highway: One of the two new songs Fogerty recorded for this album. Both it and track 9 “Train Of Fools” are so unbelievably amazing. After 50+ years of making music he’s still not only putting out good music, but amazing music. He’s a genius and he just has a knack for writing good stuff. Once again, this is why he’s allowed to have a huge ego. He’s earned it by constantly putting out music like this. The video below is the video made for the song, and it’s awesome, but the song is 2 minutes shorter than the album version.
5. Wrote A Song For Everyone – Miranda Lambert featuring Tom Morello: Yet another artist who I would have never listened to before this, but want to listen to after. Miranda does an excellent job on this song, not just singing, but musically as well. It’s completely different than the old CCR version, but it’s well done. She brought her A-game to this one and it paid off. She also got help in the form of Morello offering up an awesome guitar solo in the middle of the song. Morello, for those of you who don’t know, got his fame playing in such bands as Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave. This song works on every level.
6. Bad Moon Rising – Zac Brown Band: Cool rendition of one of the more popular CCR hits. It’s not too terribly different, but there’s enough Zac Brown influence here to make it unique. Another band I actually never heard of until this, but I’m interested in hearing more.
7. Long as I Can See the Light – My Morning Jacket: One of my favorite CCR songs, I was really interested to see how MMJ would pull it off, and at first I actually didn’t like it. Not because it’s bad, but because I expected more. MMJ is a “jam band” even though amongst all of the jam bands out there nowadays they’re definitely one who doesn’t jam nearly as much as the others, but they’re a damn good band and they can lay down some good jams. They definitely have their own sound, and it comes through on this song. The more I listen to it the more I like it and I’m glad they were a part of this album. There’s just one issue I have with it, and it’s actually with Fogerty’s singing. Fogerty doesn’t have that raw voice he had in his younger days, and he can’t quite hit those high notes like he used to. But the song is so good that I look past his high-note-miss and enjoy the song. I’m just surprised that with his desire to be completely perfect all the time that he didn’t redo that part of the song to get it right.
8. Born on the Bayou – Kid Rock: I’m not a Kid Rock fan, but this is a really cool song that he makes his own. It’s funny though, my dad is a Kid Rock fan and he doesn’t like this version. My dad is also probably the world’s biggest Fogerty fan, so that might be why.
9. Train Of Fools: The second new song recorded by Fogerty for this album. It fucking rocks.
10. Someday Never Comes – Dawes: I didn’t know who Dawes was until this album, and I don’t care for his voice. The song is also sort of bland and doesn’t sound like he did much to change it or make it his own. He just sort of redid it as a country tune. And his voice sucks. Still though, I’m a fan of this song so I don’t skip it too much when listening to this album.
11. Who’ll Stop The Rain – Bob Seger: Bob Seger is a legend in music, but I find myself asking just what in the hell he’s doing on this album. His version of the song is good, it definitely sounds like him and all of his other songs, but seriously, there’s no younger or newer acts out there Fogerty could have put on this album instead of Seger?
12. Hot Rod Heart – Brad Paisley: Not all of the songs redone on this album are from the old CCR days. This one, for example, comes from another Fogerty solo album called “Blue Moon Swamp,” and that album is another masterpiece, so go check it out if you haven’t yet. And this is one of the better songs on that album. Up until I heard this version I had only known of Paisley by name and couldn’t really say I had ever heard his music. But holy damn can that guy play a guitar. This version is amazing and like “Lodi,” it ended way too soon. Paisley and Fogerty have a guitar solo showdown on it that dominates. For as good as a lead player as Fogerty is (he’s not amazing but he’s good), Paisley destroys him. Seriously great guitar work here.
13. Have You Ever Seen the Rain – Alan Jackson: As I said before, I’m not a fan of newer country or newer country artists, but I do actually enjoy some older country. I grew up listening to it. Alan Jackson is one of those artists I like (even though he’s really not “older”). However, I wasn’t really impressed with this song. To me it seemed as if he phoned it in. It didn’t seem amazing or immaculate, it was just there. If Jackson would have put some of that Chattahoochee energy into this song, it would have been awesome. Still good and worth a listen, but not impressive.
14. Proud Mary – Jennifer Hudson featuring Allen Toussaint and Rebirth Brass Band: Even though I’m not a fan of Tina Turner and her version of this song, and this version is laid out like her version and not the CCR version, I still actually really like this version. Jennifer has an amazing voice and she sings her ass off on this. And while the song starts off like the Turner version, it becomes something a whole lot more right after the intro. Once the Rebirth Brass Band get into it, it becomes a whole lot of New Orleans style jazz, and it’s awesome. Very good way to end this album.
So there you go. If you actually read all of this, bravo. This album is pure awesome with just a few spots of not awesome. But it’s fun and everyone (for the most part) seemed to have a fun time with it. I’m glad it came out and I’m glad Fogerty’s still around making killer music. I hope he’s around for a long time making his music. If there’s one thing I can say about Fogerty, his music has been a huge part of my life since I was born, and it will be until the day I die. He’s actually one of the two reasons (Angus Young is the second) I started playing guitar when I was 14. Thanks for the music John.
I give this album 10 of 10 stars. Even though it had more than 10 stars on it. Get it? Ahem…
Lastly, if you’re interested in more on this album, you can go to Youtube, search for these songs done by these artists, and you can find videos of the artists talking about their experience recording with Fogerty. They’re all pretty cool to watch.