John Cameron Fogerty (born May 28, 1945) is an American musician, singer and songwriter, early in his career best known as the lead singer, lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) and later as a successful solo recording artist. Fogerty was listed on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists (at number 40) and the list of 100 Greatest Singers (at number 72).
Artist: John Fogerty
Label: Bellaphon Records
Centerfield is the third solo studio album by musician John Fogerty. Released in 1985, it spawned the hit singles “The Old Man Down the Road“, “Rock and Roll Girls” and the title track “Centerfield“. This was Fogerty’s first album in nine years; After Asylum Records rejected his Hoodoo album, he decided to take a long break from the music business because of legal battles with his record company. In the meantime, Fogerty’s recording contract with Asylum Records was reassigned to co-owned Warner Bros. Records so this album was the first released on the Warner Bros. label.
Fogerty played all the instruments on this album himself, thanks to overdubbing. The image on the cover shows an old-fashioned, “beat-up glove”, as referenced in the title song, and text similar to a logo of a baseball team, setting the mood for the track.
The song “Zanz Kant Danz” was altered and re-titled “Vanz Kant Danz” a few months after the release of the album in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a defamation lawsuit from Saul Zaentz, owner of Fantasy Records. The altered “Vanz Kant Danz” version of this song appears on all post-1985 pressings of the album.
A Zaentz lawsuit (Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty) claimed that “The Old Man Down the Road” shared the same chorus as “Run Through the Jungle” (a song from Fogerty’s days with Creedence Clearwater Revival: years before, Fogerty had relinquished copy and publishing rights of his Creedence songs to Zaentz and Fantasy, in exchange for release from his contractual obligations to same). The defendant Fogerty ultimately prevailed, when he showed that the two songs were whole, separate and distinct compositions. Bringing his guitar to the witness stand, he played excerpts from both songs, demonstrating that many songwriters (himself included) have distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar to less discerning ears.
The album is dedicated to “Gossamer Wump“. Fogerty said in an interview, “When I was a young kid, my brothers had a record called ‘The Adventures of Gossamer Wump.’ Gossamer Wump is a little kid who saw a big parade comin’ down the road and thinks ‘Hey, this is what I want, I want to be a musician.’
1. The Old Man Down The Road (3:32)
2. Rock And Roll Girls (3:26)
3. Big Train (From Memphis) (2:58)
4. I Saw It On T.V. (4:19)
5. Mr. Greed (4:05)
1. Searchlight (4:29)
2. Centerfield (3:50)
3. I Can’t Help Myself (3:11)
4. Vanz Kant Danz (5:30)