Cosmo's Factory

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Cosmo's Factory
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory.jpg
Studio album by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Released July 16, 1970 (1970-07-16)[1]
Recorded 1969–1970 at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, California
Genre Roots rock, country rock, blues rock, southern rock
Length 42:28
Label Fantasy
Producer John Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival chronology
Willy and the Poor Boys
Cosmo's Factory
Singles from Cosmo's Factory
  1. "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop the Rain"
    Released: January 1970 (1970-01)[1]
  2. "Run Through the Jungle"/"Up Around the Bend"
    Released: April 1970 (1970-04)[1]
  3. "Lookin' Out My Back Door"
    Released: July 1970 (1970-07)[1]
  4. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
    Released: January 1976 (1976-01)[1]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau A link
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars link

Cosmo's Factory is the fifth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), released by Fantasy Records in July 1970 and released as Fantasy 8402, the same month as the single release of "Lookin' Out My Back Door" b/w "Long As I Can See the Light".[1] The name of the album comes from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed early in their career. It was dubbed "The Factory" by drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford, because bandleader John Fogerty made them practice there almost every day.[2] The album is regarded as the band's best in their catalogue by critics and fans.


With the release of Cosmo's Factory in July 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival hit their commercial zenith. It was their fifth album in two years and became an international smash, topping the album charts in six countries.[3][4][5][6][7][8] The band also toured Europe in 1970, playing the Royal Albert Hall to enthusiastic audiences, and had emerged as the most popular band in America by largely ignoring the trippy acid rock indulgences that was typical of the era. However, despite the band's infectious blend of rockabilly, folk and R&B, some peers and rock critics dismissed them as a singles band with no substance. In a 2012 cover story Uncut observed, "While San Francisco longhairs across the bridge scoffed at their commercialism, Creedence henceforth made a point of releasing double A-sides. And invariably both songs would have an uncanny knack of cutting through to all sections of the population." Singer and guitarist John Fogerty, who had seemingly arrived out of nowhere but had actually struggled with his bandmates throughout most of the sixties as the Blue Velvets and the Golliwogs, composed the group's songs and generally steered the band artistically, although his vice grip on the band - including his dubious role as manager - irritated the others, especially his older brother Tom Fogerty, who would leave the band by the end of 1970.


Perhaps more than any other Creedence album, Cosmo's Factory displays the wide range of musical ingredients that provided the foundation for their "swamp rock" sound: R&B ("Before You Accuse Me," "My Baby Left Me"), soul ("I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Long As I Can See the Light"), country ("Lookin' Out My Back Door"), rockabilly and classic rock and roll ("Ooby Dooby," "Travelin' Band"), and psychedelia ("Ramble Tamble"). The manic "Travelin' Band" was inspired by 1950s rock n' roll songs, particularly those by Little Richard. In October 1972, the company that held the publishing rights to Richard’s "Good Golly, Miss Molly" felt that "Travelin' Band" bore enough similarities to warrant a plagiarism lawsuit that was later settled out of court. The lyrics of the song describe what life is like for a musician on the road, something the band knew about all too well. The song's flipside, "Who'll Stop the Rain," could not have been more different, with Fogerty telling Uncut's Tom Pinnock in 2012, "'Travelin’ Band' was my salute to Little Richard, but 'Who’ll Stop The Rain?' was part of the fabric of the times. From ’68 to ’74, Vietnam was probably the most important thing on the minds of young people." The menacing "Run Through the Jungle" mined similar territory, with many listeners inevitably believing the lyrics to be about the war. According to the band's bassist Stu Cook, the song's opening and closing both featured jungle sound effects created by "lots of backwards recorded guitar and piano."[9] The harmonica part on the song was played by John Fogerty. The song was also rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty’s favorite CCR song: "My all-time favorite Creedence tune was 'Run Through the Jungle'...It’s like a little movie in itself with all the sound effects. It never changes key, but it holds your interest the whole time. It’s like a musician’s dream. It never changes key, yet you get the illusion it does."[10] "Lookin' Out My Back Door" was a direct tribute to the Bakersfield Sound, a form of music that influenced John Fogerty and the Creedence sound. Buck Owens, one of the architects of the Bakersfield Sound, is even mentioned in the song's lyrics. The song is known for its upbeat tempo, its down-home feel, and a signature change in key and tempo towards the end. The song's lyrics, filled with colorful, dream-like imagery, led some to believe that the song was about drugs; according to the drug theory, the "flying spoon" in the song was a cocaine spoon, and the crazy animal images were an acid trip. Fogerty, however, has repeatedly stated in interviews that the song was actually written for his then three-year-old son, Josh. Fogerty has also said that the reference to a parade passing by was inspired by the Dr. Seuss book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.[11]

Although Creedence were well known for their concise, tightly arranged songs, Cosmo's Factory features two longer cuts: the seven minute opener "Ramble Tamble" and the eleven minute cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." "Each album had a longish track on it, but they were never jams, per se," Cook explained to Bill Kopp of "'Heard It Through the Grapevine' had a little jammy character to it, but they were all pretty structured. There was no space to noodle. Live, there was a little bit of noodling, but in the studio we always tried to nail the arrangement." Although Creedence had dabbled with psychedelia on their debut single "Susie Q," the storming "Ramble Tamble" is more ambitious; the song begins with the band roaring through a rockabilly introduction, featuring Fogerty's fiery guitar licks and blistering vocal, before transitioning into a psychedelic wall of sound that lasts nearly five minutes. The song transitions back into the original rockabilly section at its conclusion. The song has been singled out for critical praise,[12] with music journalist Steven Hyden calling it "the most rockin' song of all time".[13] Several other songs pay tribute to the band's blues and rock and roll roots, including Big Arthur Crudup's "My Baby Left Me," Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me," and the rockabilly classic "Ooby Dooby." The album closes with the soulfully optimistic "As Long as I Can See the Light."

Singles & LP[edit]

In January 1970, the double A-sided single, "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop the Rain",[1] peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.[14] In April, the band released their next double-sided single, "Run Through the Jungle"/"Up Around the Bend",[1] which reached #4 and #2 on the Hot 100, respectively,[14] and started their first tour of Europe. Cosmo's Factory was released in July 1970, and their ninth single "Lookin' Out My Back Door"/"Long As I Can See the Light", both of which reached #2 on the Hot 100.[1][14] The album was certified Gold (500,000 units sold) by the Recording Industry Association of America on December 16, 1970. Almost twenty years later, on December 13, 1990, it received a certification of four times platinum with sales of over four million copies.[15]

Album Cover[edit]

The album cover for Cosmo's Factory is one of the most memorable of the era, largely for its unpretentious quality. As David Cavanagh of Uncut wrote in 2012, "The album's front cover showed the four of them caught by a camera in an off-duty moment, a proudly uncool quartet who looked more like lumberjacks than rock stars." In 2013, Doug Clifford recalled to Goldmine, "John knew the press would be all over us for the album, so he said that he would name the album after me and that I would have to deal with it. He wanted the pressure off of him. It was our biggest album ever and I tell people that they named it after me so it had to be a hit [laughter]. That’s a joke!"


In its original review, Rolling Stone opined, "It should be obvious by now that Creedence Clearwater Revival is one great rock and roll band. Cosmo's Factory, the group's fifth album, is another good reason why." AllMusic states, "On 'Long as I Can See the Light,' the record's final song, he again finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove. It hits a comforting, elegiac note, the perfect way to draw Cosmo's Factory - an album made during stress and chaos, filled with raging rockers, covers, and intense jams - to a close." calls the album "the peak of a prolific streak."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by John Fogerty, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Ramble Tamble"     7:09
2. "Before You Accuse Me"   Ellas McDaniel 3:24
3. "Travelin' Band‡"     2:07
4. "Ooby Dooby"   Wade Moore, Dick Penner 2:05
5. "Lookin' Out My Back Door"     2:31
6. "Run Through the Jungle†"     3:09
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Up Around the Bend†"     2:40
2. "My Baby Left Me"   Arthur Crudup 2:17
3. "Who'll Stop the Rain‡"     2:28
4. "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"   Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong 11:05
5. "Long as I Can See the Light"     3:33

Note: All tracks recorded June 1970, except for † recorded March 1970 and ‡ recorded late 1969


Popular culture[edit]


In 2003, the album was ranked number 265 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[16]


"Long As I Can See the Light" was covered by Monkey Mafia and released as a single in 1998 from their 1998 album Shoot the Boss.[17]


Chart (1970) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 1
Canada RPM 100 Albums[4] 1
France Top Albums[5] 1
Netherlands (Top 100)[18] 2
Norway (Top 40)[6] 1
UK (The Official Charts Company)[8] 1
US Billboard 200[7] 1
US Billboard R&B Albums[7] 11
Date Single Position
Pop Singles UK Top 40
"Travelin' Band"/
"Who'll Stop The Rain"
#2 #8
"Up Around The Bend"/
"Run Through The Jungle"
#4 #3
"Lookin' Out My Back Door"/
"Long As I Can See The Light"
#2 #20


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[19] 1× gold 20,000[19]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
North America July 1970 Fantasy Records stereo LP 8402
Cassette 58402
8-track 88402
United Kingdom 1970 Liberty Records stereo LP LBS 83388
Germany 1970 Bellaphon Records stereo LP BLPS 19005
unknown March 1973 Fantasy Records stereo LP FT 502
United States 1980 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab Half-Speed LP MFSL 1-037
United States 1983 Fantasy Records stereo LP ORC-4516
United States August 1987 Fantasy Records CD CDFE 505
World-wide 2008 Fantasy Records expanded CD FAN-30880-02


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits (CD booklet). Creedence Clearwater Revival. Berkeley, California, United States: Fantasy Records. 1991. FCD-CCR2-2. 
  2. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival-Cosmo's Factory". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Kent, David. Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  4. ^ a b "100 Albums" (PHP). RPM 14 (2). August 29, 1970. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste" (PHP). InfoDisc (in French).  Look for "CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL" under the drop-down menu.
  6. ^ a b "Album Info: Cosmo's Factory – Creedence Clearwater Revival" (PHP). VG-lista (in Norwegian). Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "Artist Chart History: Creedence Clearwater Revival". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference autogenerated1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ The Global Satellite Network, 60’s Legends
  11. ^ Bordowitz, Hank (1998). Bad Moon Rising: The Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Chicago Review Press. p. 98. 
  12. ^ Larson, Jeremy D. "Pitchfork - The Spirit of "Ramble Tamble"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Hyden, Steven. "The AV Club Blog - The most rockin' song of all time". The AV Club. Retrieved 13 August 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 21, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database". (PHP). Recording Industry Association of America. Type in "Creedence Clearwater Revival" under Artist to see search results.
  16. ^ "News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  17. ^ "Monkey Mafia Discography at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  18. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo's Factory (Album)" (PHP). Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 13, 2011. 
  19. ^ a b The first web page presents the sales figures, the second presents the certification limits:

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External links[edit]