Swamp rock practitioners, steeped in soul and a heavy dose of blues, Credence Clearwater Revival were one of the brightest lights of the post-psychedelic era. They balanced great song writing with a penchant for picking stunning covers and in only four years put out seven studio albums that captured a wide range of emotional upheaval that ultimately captured the mood of their time.
Cosmo’s Factory itself is probably the best of their albums, with a virtual ton of FM classics including “Travelin’ Band” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” “Run Through The Jungle” “Who’ll Stop The Rain” and the 11 minute cover of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”
Of course, it’s well documented that upheaval was also something the band faced within. In fact, the very reason I had never previously purchased CCR was in fact because John Fogerty told me not to. Well, not directly, but he sure had a hate on for all things CCR in the 80’s and made it clear that we shouldn’t. Being an impressionable teenager, I listened. Anyway, I’ve given up on figuring out the politics of this band and have finally decided to take the plunge.
And… what a plunge! Cosmo’s Factory has no less than 129 editions to date. So let’s take a peek at a few purchasing highlights and try to narrow the choices down.
The original 1970 vinyl pressing sold over 500,000 copies in its first six months of release. Needless to say you can find a copy pretty easily, how well it plays will be the real question. It can range from a couple bucks, to… well, again if it’s near mint, you can get a fair price.
Everything in the next decade was simple reissues until 1980. Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab did a complete remaster that year using their half speed recording process. Again, due to age you might find copies while crate digging but the costs will vary wildly. Near mint ‘vinyl and cover’ will set you back anywhere between $75 dollars and up. I even managed to find a reseller offering up an unopened copy for near $200 US.
By 1984, the CD pounced on the market and in 1986 Digital Compact Classics did a complete remaster for a 24k Gold edition. These CD’s still sell for about $50 in the resale market.
It would be sixteen years before anything big happened again for vinyl lovers.
In 2002, Fantasy Records licensed Analogue Productions to do a remaster of Cosmo’s Factory. Doing strictly reissues from the original analog tapes, Analogue Productions is quite well known for quality work. Their 180 gram version of Cosmo’s Factory still sells for over $90 with some resellers asking for as much as $150. This is where things get interesting. The same two people responsible for this remaster, Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman, were brought back to do the recent 2014 200 gram vinyl remaster. Furthermore, these two are also responsible for the quality of the 2015 180 gram vinyl Newbury Comics edition that was limited to 1000 copies in red translucent wax. Going through the audiophile sites I’ve seen a couple comments praising their work with one person declaring the recent remasters are superior to the original pressing. The 200 gram vinyl is widely available at record retailers and will set you back about $40 and Newbury still has copies of their 180 gram available for only $20 US.
So of course it is a great record, and my copy sounds awesome, but now I have an overwhelming urge to get more.
Oh wait, that’s normal. I always have an overwhelming urge to get more.