This is another example of what I like about the sourcing direction for titles by The Godfather Records. It's just a great idea that gets expanded and lets get the kudos out of the way outright.
A little bit of history, you can actually find out all about the story around this unreleased project if you just Google "John Fogerty Hoodoo LP", but the long story -short is that back in 1976 Fogerty had plans to release a project titled "Hoodoo" and follow up with a tour. The label had released a the single "You Got The Magic" b/w "Evil Thing" which basically flopped, thus delaying the release of the LP, although it was catalogued by Asylum Records and covers printed -then scrapped altogether. Being that John Fogerty isn't one to let tapes lay around and usually destroys unused tapes, didn't this time...and a a tape of the LP was illegally 'leaked' and soon circulated in the underground to collectors/fans. With expecatations running high that the tracks would be leveraged with or in conjunction with other projects, John ordered Asylum Records to destroy the master tapes back in the 80's. What The Godfather Records has presented to us with this disc is the illegally circulating tape, along with a great batch of bonus tracks digitally transferred from vinyl singles from various sources. A pretty cool proposition and those are the positives.
As you listen to the short LP that was "Hoodoo", Fogerty's playing chops are sharp and the arrangments pretty solid - for the most part. It is also clear why this LP was withdrawn. There are some questionable choices for production and one could also argue there is even a high percentage of filler in the mix as well. Easy for me to say! I really like the John Fogerty legacy. I also feel that if he had played his cards a little differently with this project, he could have leveraged a surge of support with what the underground had done with this project. There are some great moments over the 9 tracks, the aformentioned "You Got The Magic", even "Evil Thing" and the Fogerty treatment of "Leave My Woman Alone" - really great! But then you get "Marching To Blarney"...what in the hell is that? And "Henrietta" seems a little weak at first listen but oh well, after a second and third round even these seem acceptable given who the artist is. What is puzzling with this disc is where the "Hoodoo" tape is sourced from, as it seems that all the tracks that make up the first nine tracks of the CD - supposedly from the scrapped LP, or the illegal tape that has been in circulation - seem to be taken from different sources. There isn't any information on the source tapes utilized but with the striking changes in quality between the tracks, it's clear several different ones were indeed utilized. Then, there is the re-emergence of an old GFR conversion problem, that digital shrill is back. Not sure what the problem is with the production facility or equipment used by the label but it plagued early releases from the Godfather family and it's here again on "Hoodoo". Even with this audio issue, and maybe it's just my issue, the production is enjoyable. Again, what really brings this release to a recommended acquisition level are the bonus tracks. GFR gathered several import singles that were officially released and converted them digitally here and they are great. I need to also question the methods by GFR in converting a couple of these as they shouldn't have suffered from the digital conversion at all - but a couple of them were compromised a bit, sonically. A great idea anyway!
The packaging is stellar and would probably even make John Fogerty smile. We get essential liner notes procured from the web and nice graphical art treatment that includes scans of the 45 picture sleeves for some of the singles converted to disc in this effort. A cool project that could probably even be improved with some better technical controls on the execution side of the material conversion. Nonetheless a big thanks to The Godfather for getting this done.