Pendulum is the sixth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records on December 9, 1970, their second album release of that year. A single from the album, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”/”Hey Tonight”, was released in January 1971. The pendulum is their only album to not contain any cover songs; all tracks were written by John Fogerty. It was the last album the band recorded with Tom Fogerty, who would leave the band to start a solo career. It was also the last album to feature John Fogerty as the record’s sole producer. The most sonically adventurous CCR album, Pendulum is noted for its widespread use of saxophone and keyboards, in contrast to the group’s previous albums, which were dominated by guitar. Among several lesser-known Fogerty songs (“Pagan Baby”, “Sailor’s Lament”, “It’s Just a Thought”, “Born to Move”) were two top-ten hits, “Hey Tonight” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain”. Both songs reached number eight in 1971. It also contains an uncharacteristic venture into avant-garde psychedelia, the closing instrumental “Rude Awakening #2”.
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10. Rude Awakening #2
“‘Rude Awakening #2’ starts out like a nice folk flavored happy tune. What happens after that, well, if ever there was filler on an album this is it. I have no idea what they were thinking other than filling up space to complete the record. Was this sound collage their response to those weird bits that bands like Jefferson Airplane would put out? Despite this ending, the other songs are so good that they overcome this weirdness.”
9. Sailor’s Lament
“Sailor’s Lament’ flows shuffle like at a snappy pace, with its bongos, bass, horns, drums and folk guitar swaying back and forth. Organ adds a light touch to go along with a chorus of backing vocals. A happy song for a not so happy outcome.”
“Doug’s snappy drums start up ‘Molina’. She is the towns party girl and when she spends the night in jail we can bet she is not sleeping alone. Those same snappy drums and floating cymbals highlight ‘Molina’s’ breaks, while the band keeps up the pace with its robust drive of organ, horns and guitar. The horn solo is just too cool. When ‘Molina’ comes to a complete stop you think that is it. She’s short but sweet. But then the band comes back for a few more measures and you can just sense the fun these guys are having.”
7. Born to Move
“Born To Move’ blast off with organ and guitar. John’s gruff vocals call on everyone to move to the music. Organ and horns now set the groove. A funky guitar section leads into the second verse which then winds down and stops. We are left with only bass notes and cymbal taps. We now have the top and the bottom. This sets the tone until the organ comes back into play. Slowly adding the beef, Doug’s rounded drumming patter sets a tidy bed for an organ solo.”
6. It’s Just a Thought
“The reflective song in this set is ‘It’s Just A Thought’. It sounds kind of like a lesser version of their last single ‘Someday Never Comes’. Tastefully played by Doug and Stu, this organ based song sounds like it could be played in your neighborhood church.”
5. (Wish I Could) Hideaway
“A short organ solo takes us to ‘I Wish I Could Hideaway’. The crunchy sound of the organ and the choppy rhythm guitar set this one swelling back and forth. The organ dominates as John gives us a sad song of loss. It is a beauty, more mellow than the rest of the album. And John hits his highest vocal register on this one. The long fadeout is peaceful, giving us a reverent end to it all. This would be a great ending to the album.”
“Things speed up again as a drum roll starts ‘Chameleon’. The horns really propel this one along as John talks to his deceiving two-faced woman. Doug’s drumming is strong here as he whips those cymbals into shape. I am not sure, but it sounds like there could be piano on this one. This song is a good match with ‘Molina’. They could be sisters. This fits well within the Creedence catalogue. The only difference being that instead of guitars it’s the horns that play the lead instrument.”
3. Pagan Baby
“Cymbal taps introduce us to the great ‘Pagan Baby’. A guitar run repeats itself several times before the drums kick up, leading into the rhythm, bass and drums. The band powers on this crunchy riff before stepping through some guitar hoops, then reverting back to the riff again. Another break and then the song speeds up. A bright high pitched lead solo breaks loose as John lets it rip, sounding like he’s never had so much fun playing before. He gives us his longest most agile guitar licks ever as we feel like we are flying down a long empty country highway.”
2. Hey, Tonight
“Flying guitars announce the arrival of ‘Hey Tonight’. A traditional Creedence fast rocker, the bass and rhythm guitars roll along up and down like they are once more flying down that open country road. It mixes religion with sex and good times awaiting us in the dark. It ends with the group flying down the road, our imagination sparked by what’s going to happen tonight. Simple and to the point, this great song grabbed your attention and woke you right up every time it came blaring out of the radio.”
1. Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
“Speaking of the catalogue, what’s with another rain song? At the beginning of the year they gave us ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’. Now here we get ‘Have you Ever Seen The Rain’. This one is just as good and is a fan favorite for sure. John says, unlike the first one, this one is not about Vietnam; this is about the band fracturing around him. He could see what was coming but did not let on, and the band knew not what the lyrics were referring to. It is classic Creedence, the one song on the album that everyone has heard.”