When it comes to the great rock bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s, it’s never too late to uncover something new. With the wealth of unique live performances from groups like Led Zeppelin or The Grateful Dead, oftentimes recorded then lost for decades, studio albums are just the beginning.
The latest extensive live category being mined for a new compilation is that of Creedence Clearwater Revival—the group’s April 14, 1970 performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall will be immortalized through a twelve-track album and documentary. The tapes from the show were lost for more than 50 years, and have been “meticulously restored” for the new rollout, per a press release.
The film component, titled Travelin’ Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall, is directed by Grammy-award winner Bob Smeaton, who also helmed The Beatles Anthology and Jimi Hendrix - Band Of Gypsies. Jeff Bridges narrates the documentary, which chronicles the group’s formation in El Cerrito, California through their rise to astronomical prominence.
The significance of the Albert Hall performance rides as much on the CCR’s cemented status as one of the biggest bands in the world as it does on the changing tides in the music business at the time. The group took the stage in London just days after The Beatles announced their breakup—a closed door/opened window scenario that left them with an opportunity to prove something. Performing tracks like “Born On The Bayou,” “Proud Mary,” and “Fortunate Son,” CCR showed their merit, receiving “a 15-minute standing ovation and rave next-day reviews in the UK’s top publications.”
A first track from the compilation is out today ahead of the album’s release: the live version of “Fortunate Son.” Famously the soundtrack to Forrest Gump’s introduction to Lieutenant Dan, the track has become an iconic counter-culture anthem and was popular among the anti-Vietnam war movement of the time.
Although the documentary will roll out internationally starting September 16, the album (available as a box-set with the film) won’t be available until November 14. For one of the greatest prodigal groups to do it, the wait is surely worth the while.