20. June 2005 · Comments Off on The Greatest All-American Rock Band · Categories: That's Entertainment!

I’ve done a similar, though less incisive post on another site previously. But I don’t think the issue is dead. What brings this to mind is that I am currently watching The Eagles: Farewell 1 Tour on Bravo, and I am reminded of my good friend, Glenn Reynolds, declaring Credence Clearwater Revival The Greatest All-American Rock Band some years back. Again, and much more stridently now, I take issue with that. In fact, I wouldn’t rate CCR as any more than an also-ran.

As issue number one, take the fact that, being from California’s East Bay, CCR was a phony southern rock band. I’m not so strident on this point, as, being principally Canadian, The Band was even more phony than CCR; and I really like them. But generally, if I want southern rock, I’ll go to Jacksonville (The Allman Brothers, Lynard Skynard), not Alameda, just as, if I want the blues, I’ll look to Muddy Waters, not Eric Clapton.

The Eagles, on the other hand, were pure California (as if anything from California, short of Humboldt County sensimilla, can be considered “pure”). At the same time, they were Buck Owens, Brian Wilson, John Phillips, and Donald Fagen (after his westward migration). And inasmuch, they gave birth to an entirely new genre. This is evidenced in the fact that such songs as Hotel California are regular fare on classic rock stations, while Take It Easy, and Desperado are heard regularly on progressive country.

But the real judge is after-the-fact. After the breakup of CCR, John Fogerty took an extended hiatus (which, I understand, contract requirements had a great deal to do with). And then he came out with a triumph in cheap pop (Centerfield). Glen Frey and Don Henley, on the other hand, blazed whole new territory in popular music.

Since then, Fogarty, like oh-too-many oldies artists, is just pumping out tired retreads of old hits. While The Eagles, as evidenced by the Farewell 1 Tour, are not simply as good as they’ve ever been (like The Rolling Stones, or Pink Floyd), THEY ARE BETTER.

The Greatest All-American Rock Band, without a doubt. Arguably the Greatest Rock Band of All Time: The Eagles.

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