The one that turned him into a recluse again and the one that topped the Swedish chart. John Fogerty’s 1985 US
No.1 album Centerfield suggested that after years of strops and legal misery following his departure from Credence Clearwater Revival, his career was back on track. But the following year’s Eye Of The Zombie (6/10) didn’t make the Top 20, and after a tour on which he disappointed his audience by refusing to play any Credence material, Fogerty went into another huffy hibernation. It was a startling and startlingly fast decline.
Thirty-one years later, for all that his songwriting was peaking again, the problems with Zombie are clear. It was an anti-80s album – almost hysterical with grumpiness on the title track and Violence Is Golden – but Fogerty’s own production was unashamedly of that decade: all shimmering synthesisers and electronic drums, at the very moment his fan base were wondering whether Proud Mary was still rollin’ down the river.
Blue Moon Swamp (’97) got him back on track, but seven long years later Déjà Vu All Over Again
(6/10) (reissued, like Zombie, without extra tracks) was an attempt to reclaim old ground. On the protest title track, on the gentle I Will Walk With You and on Nobody’s Here Anymore (featuring a Mark Knopfler cameo) it was as if Credence had never disintegrated, although Honey Do showed that his penchant for filler still loomed.