Home Read Albums Of The Week: Creedence Clearwater Revival | Creedence Clearwater Revival At...

Albums Of The Week: Creedence Clearwater Revival | Creedence Clearwater Revival At The Royal Albert Hall

A long-lost live album & concert film capture the roots-rockers in their noisy prime.

488

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “When Creedence Clearwater Revival stepped onto the Royal Albert Hall’s stage on April 14, 1970 — just days after The Beatles announced their breakup — the California rockers had arguably just become the biggest band in the world.

Leading up to the show, CCR had enjoyed an unprecedented “magical year,” as Jeff Bridges narrates in the new concert film Travelin’ Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival At The Royal Albert Hall. “In only 12 months the band had achieved five Top 10 singles and three Top 10 albums (Bayou Country, Green River, Willy And The Poor Boys) on the American charts, outselling The Beatles. They had appeared on the legendary Ed Sullivan Show and played to over a million people across America, including the hundreds of thousands gathered at Woodstock. John, Tom, Stu and Doug may not have had the familiar ring to it of John, Paul, George and Ringo, but Creedence were challenging The Beatles for the title of the biggest group in the world.” During their two-night sold-out residency at the iconic venue, CCR not only followed in the footsteps of acts like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, but they proved they were equals.

While Creedence Clearwater Revival would go their separate ways just two years later, speculation around a live recording of that legendary concert began to permeate their fan base in 1980. That same year, Fantasy Records had released a live album by the band, mistakenly titled The Royal Albert Hall Concert. It was quickly discovered that the audio was, in fact, from an Oakland Coliseum show captured months earlier. While the label rushed to sticker the album with correct information — and properly renamed the January 1970 performance as The Concert for later runs — actual footage from the Royal Albert Hall remained the stuff of rock ’n’ roll lore … until now.

After spending roughly 50 years in storage, the original multitrack tapes from that show have been meticulously restored and mixed by the Grammy-winning team of producer Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell for the film and the companion live album Creedence Clearwater Revival At The Royal Albert Hall. Martin and Okell have helmed countless acclaimed projects together, including The Beatles’ 50th-anniversary editions of Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, as well as audio for the Elton John biopic Rocketman and Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back series.

Directed by Grammy winner Bob Smeaton (The Beatles’ Anthology and Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies), and narrated by Oscar-winning actor Bridges, the film takes viewers from the band’s earliest years together in El Cerrito through their meteoric rise to fame. Featuring a wealth of unseen footage, Travelin’ Band culminates with the band’s show at the Royal Albert Hall —the only concert footage of the original CCR lineup to be released in its entirety. On Nov. 14, both the album and film will be reissued in a Super Deluxe Edition box. The set will feature a bonus disc of other music from the film, including formative recordings from the band’s earliest incarnations (including Tommy Fogerty and The Blue Velvets and The Golliwogs).”