Cosmo's Factory

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Cosmo's Factory
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 8, 1970 (1970-07-08)[1]
StudioWally Heider (San Francisco)
ProducerJohn Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival chronology
Willy and the Poor Boys
Cosmo's Factory
Singles from Cosmo's Factory

Cosmo's Factory is the fifth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records in July 1970. Six of the album's eleven tracks were released as singles in 1970, and all of them charted in the top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album spent nine consecutive weeks in the number one position on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified 4x platinum by the RIAA in 1990.


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.[4][5][6][7][8][9] 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 were 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 lead guitarist John Fogerty, who had seemingly arrived out of nowhere, but had actually struggled with his bandmates throughout most of the 1960s as the Blue Velvets and the Golliwogs, composed the group's songs and generally steered the band artistically, although his grip on the band – including his dubious role as manager – irritated the others, especially his older brother Tom Fogerty, who left 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").

"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 "Travelin' Band" bore enough similarities to warrant a plagiarism lawsuit that was later settled out of court. The song's flip side, "Who'll Stop the Rain", could not have been more different, with Fogerty telling Uncut 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." "Run Through the Jungle" mined similar territory, with many listeners believing the lyrics to be about the war. According to the band's bassist Stu Cook, the song's opening and closing both feature jungle sound effects created by "lots of backwards recorded guitar and piano."[10] The song was 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."[11]

"Lookin' Out My Back Door" was a direct tribute to the Bakersfield Sound, a style 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 lyrics. The song is known for its upbeat tempo, its down-home feel, and a change in key and tempo towards the end. The lyrics, filled with colorful, dream-like imagery, led some to believe 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 son, Josh, who was three years old at the time, and said the reference to a parade passing by was inspired by the Dr. Seuss book And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.[12]

Although CCR was well known for its concise, tightly arranged songs, Cosmo's Factory features two longer cuts: the seven-minute opener, "Ramble Tamble", and an 11-minute cover of Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine". The band had dabbled with psychedelia on their debut single, "Susie Q", but the storming "Ramble Tamble" is more ambitious, beginning with the band roaring through a rockabilly introduction before transitioning into a psychedelic wall of sound that lasts nearly four minutes and then transitioning back into the original rockabilly section near the end. The song has been singled out for critical praise,[13] with music journalist Steven Hyden calling it "the most rockin' song of all time".[14] As Cook explained to Bill Kopp of "Each album had a longish track on it, but they were never jams, per se...'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."

Several songs on the album pay tribute to the band's blues and rock and roll roots, including Big Arthur Crudup's "My Baby Left Me" (a notable cover of which had previously been recorded by Elvis Presley), Bo Diddley's "Before You Accuse Me", and the rockabilly classic "Ooby Dooby".

Album title and artwork[edit]

The name of the album comes from the warehouse in Berkeley where the band rehearsed early in their career, which was dubbed "The Factory" by drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford, because bandleader John Fogerty made them practice there almost every day.[15] In 2013, Clifford recalled to Goldmine that "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!"

The cover photo was taken by Bob Fogerty, brother of John and Tom. 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." The handwritten sign affixed to the support post at the left of the photo that reads "3RD GENERATION" is an ironic reference to something rock music critic Ralph Gleason wrote in the liner notes of the band's debut album: "Creedence Clearwater Revival is an excellent example of the Third Generation of San Francisco bands".[16]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA[18]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[19]
Rolling Stone[20]

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." An editorial review from calls the album "the peak of a prolific streak."[21]


In 2003, the album was ranked number 265 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time; it was ranked number 413 on the revised 2020 list.[22][23]

Commercial performance[edit]

In January 1970, the double A-sided "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop the Rain" single[3] peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[24] In April, the band released the double A-sided "Up Around the Bend"/"Run Through the Jungle" single,[3] which reached number four on the Hot 100,[24] and started their first tour of Europe. Cosmo's Factory was released in July 1970, as was the band's ninth single, "Lookin' Out My Back Door"/"Long as I Can See the Light", which reached number two on the Hot 100.[3][24]

The album was certified gold (500,000 units sold) by the Recording Industry Association of America on December 16, 1970. Almost 20 years later, on December 13, 1990, it received a certification of four times platinum, indicating sales of over four million copies.[25]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by John Fogerty, except where noted.

Side one
1."Ramble Tamble" 7:09
2."Before You Accuse Me"Ellas McDaniel3:24
3."Travelin' Band" 2:07
4."Ooby Dooby"Wade Moore, Dick Penner2:05
5."Lookin' out My Back Door" 2:31
6."Run Through the Jungle" 3:09
  • Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–11 on CD reissues.
40th Anniversary Edition CD bonus tracks
12."Travelin' Band" (Remake take)2:15
13."Up Around the Bend" (Live in Amsterdam, September 10, 1971)2:41
14."Born on the Bayou" (with Booker T. & the M.G.'s at Fantasy Studios, 1970)5:58





Region Certification Certified units/sales
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[31] Gold 20,000[31]
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Silver 60,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[25] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
double-dagger Sales+streaming 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
Worldwide 2008 Fantasy Records expanded CD FAN-30880-02


  1. ^ Cash Box July 18, 1970, page 42
  2. ^ a b Lingan, John (July 22, 2018). "Creedence Clearwater Revival: Cosmo's Factory Album Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits (CD booklet). Creedence Clearwater Revival. Berkeley, California, United States: Fantasy Records. 1991. FCD-CCR2-2.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  4. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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  6. ^ a b "Le Détail des Albums de chaque Artiste". InfoDisc (in French). Archived from the original (PHP) on July 20, 2015. Look for "CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL" under the drop-down menu.
  7. ^ a b "Album Info: Cosmo's Factory – Creedence Clearwater Revival" (PHP). VG-lista (in Norwegian). Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Creedence Clearwater Revival – Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 11, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Creedence Clearwater Revival | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  10. ^ "Run Through the Jungle by Creedence Clearwater Revival Songfacts". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  11. ^ The Global Satellite Network, 60's Legends
  12. ^ Bordowitz, Hank (1998). Bad Moon Rising: The Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Chicago Review Press. p. 98. ISBN 9781569769843. Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2020.
  13. ^ Larson, Jeremy D. (September 4, 2013). "Pitchfork – The Spirit of "Ramble Tamble"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on August 8, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  14. ^ Hyden, Steven (September 6, 2007). "The AV Club Blog – The most rockin' song of all time". The AV Club. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  15. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival-Cosmo's Factory". Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2014.
  16. ^ Fogerty, John (2016). Fortunate Son. US: Little, Brown, and Company. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-316-24458-9.
  17. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Cosmo's Factory – Creedence Clearwater Revival". AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 18, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  18. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: C". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019 – via
  19. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Creedence Clearwater Revival". The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-595-8.
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  21. ^ "Cosmo's Factory". Amazon. September 30, 2008. Archived from the original on November 18, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  22. ^ "News". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 28, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  23. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. September 22, 2020. Archived from the original on September 23, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c "Creedence Clearwater Revival – Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
  25. ^ a b "American album certifications – Creedence Clearwater – Cosmo's Factor". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  26. ^ Kitts, T M, 2015. John Fogerty: An American Son. 1st ed. U.S.A: Routledge.
  27. ^ Pennanen, Timo (2021). "Creedence Clearwater Revival". Sisältää hitin - 2. laitos Levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla 1.1.1960–30.6.2021 (PDF) (in Finnish). Helsinki: Kustannusosakeyhtiö Otava. pp. 53–54.
  28. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo's Factory (Album)" (PHP). Dutch Charts. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on November 9, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2011.
  29. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  30. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. 1971. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  31. ^ a b "Creedence Clearwater Revival" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo's Factory". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 8, 2021.

External links[edit]