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Creedence Clearwater Revival's legendary London choogle can finally be heard

At The Royal Albert Hall finds chooglin’ chart-toppers Creedence Clearwater Revival at the peak of their powers

Creedence Clearwater Revival: At The Royal Albert Hall cover art
(Image: © Craft Recordings)

By the time Creedence Clearwater Revival rolled into London in April 1970 for two Royal Albert Hall sell-outs, they were in the middle of an extraordinary run of creativity that saw the hard-touring four-piece releasing five albums – all going US Top 10 – in just 24 months. 

They must have been exhausted. In 1980, an album of the first show was released with much hoo-ha as The Royal Albert Hall Concert. Unfortunately the tapes were in fact from the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum concert of January 1970. 

Fast-forward another 42 years, and what is (presumably) the real deal – in its entirety, albeit with a sightly different set-list from the Oakland show – is finally with us. Restored and mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell – who worked wonders with The BeatlesGet Back footage – it’s a pristine listening experience, with little between-song chat. 

It showcases Creedence Clearwater Revival’s many strengths and, on a pubby assault on Good Golly Miss Molly, their occasional weakness. John Fogerty growls his way through both the hits (Fortunate Son is especially charged) and a heroic call-and-response version of Nappy Brown’s Night Time Is The Right Time, but perhaps the real revelation is how much of their power came from thunderous drummer Doug Clifford. What a phenomenon he was.

As well as Classic Rock, John Aizlewood currently writes for The Times, The Radio Times, The Sunday Times, The i Newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and Mojo amongst others.  He’s written four books and appears on television quite often. He once sang with Iron Maiden at a football stadium in Brazil: he wasn’t asked back. He’s still not sure whether Enver Hoxha killed Mehmet Shehu…