Sunday, May 25, 2014
Track of the Week: Creedence Clearwater Revival "Ramble Tamble"
This Memorial Day weekend has been pretty rainy, but today we got a burst of unadulterated sunshine and blue skies here in the Garden State, as if to say that summer was indeed here. While cleaning up the house en familie I cranked up my summer music playlist, knowing that I can now more fully enjoy songs like "Ramble Tamble" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. It's a song bursting with jangly enthusiasm, pretty much how I feel in late May when school's almost out and the last of winter's chill has passed. (My moods are unusually in tune with the changing seasons.)
"Ramble Tamble" also happens to be a song that really took me by surprise the first time I heard it. I'd loved CCR from a young age, along with the Beatles, Monkees, and Motown they were my entree into the world of sixties music, a fine antidote to the dreck dominating the charts circa 1986. I knew them mostly as a singles band and only through compilations until one day I was trolling through the back of an antique store in Texas and found a copy of Cosmo's Factory on vinyl. I brought it home, dropped the needle, and out came "Ramble Tamble," a groovy, loud, exhilarating piece of rock greatness stretched out to seven minutes, well past the usual 2-3 minute length of CCR's many single.
The next day I talked to a musically-inclined friend like a religious convert, asking if he had heard the good news that is "Ramble Tamble." I just smiled wide and said "I KNOW!" with great enthusiasm. Usually when I find out, after many years, that a musical artist is not who I thought they were, it's negative. For example, I find my deep teenage love of The Doors a little embarrassing these days. In the case of CCR, I discovered that a great singles band could also sound like Velvet Underground if they had come from the swamp instead of New York City. "Ramble Tamble" will definitely be there this summer, as I drive down the highway on a road trip, grill some hot dogs, or sip an IPA on the back porch. I can't wait.