Centerfield (album)

Centerfield is the third solo studio album by musician John Fogerty. Released in 1985, it spawned the hit singles "The Old Man Down the Road", "Rock and Roll Girls" and the title track "Centerfield". This was Fogerty's first album in nine years; After Asylum Records rejected his Hoodoo album, he decided to take a long break from the music business because of legal battles with his record company. In the meantime, Fogerty's recording contract with Asylum Records was reassigned to co-owned Warner Bros. Records so this album was the first released on the Warner Bros. label.

John Fogerty-Centerfield (album cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 14, 1985
RecordedJuly–September 1984
LabelWarner Bros. (first pressing)
Geffen (second pressing)
DreamWorks (third pressing)
BMG (fourth pressing)
ProducerJohn Fogerty
John Fogerty chronology
John Fogerty
Eye of the Zombie
Singles from Centerfield
  1. "The Old Man Down the Road"
    Released: December 1984
  2. "Rock and Roll Girls"/"Centerfield"
    Released: March 1985
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
The Village VoiceB+[2]

Fogerty played all the instruments on this album himself, thanks to overdubbing. The image on the cover shows an old-fashioned, "beat-up glove", as referenced in the title song, and text similar to a logo of a baseball team, setting the mood for the track. The RIAA has certified the album double-platinum (2 million album sales). A 25th Anniversary Edition was released on June 29, 2010 and features the original album, digitally remastered, and adds a pair of rare bonus tracks, both of which released as B-sides to 45s released in 1986; A cover of Rockin' Sidney Simien's Zydeco hit "My Toot Toot" (taken from Fogerty's "Change in the Weather" single, featuring Sidney himself on accordion) and 1950s R&B/doo wop gem "I Confess" by Teddy Vann[3] and Nathaniel Nathan[4] (from Fogerty's "Eye of the Zombie" single).[5] The review at Blogcritics incorrectly credits "I Confess" to Bay Area gospel group The Four Rivers.[6]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by John Fogerty.

Side one
1."The Old Man Down the Road"3:34
2."Rock and Roll Girls"3:28
3."Big Train (From Memphis)"2:58
4."I Saw It On T.V."4:20
5."Mr. Greed"4:09
Side two
3."I Can't Help Myself"3:15
4."Zanz Kant Danz ("Vanz Kant Danz" on later editions)"5:32
2010 bonus tracks

"My Toot Toot" (Rockin' Sidney Simien)[5]

"I Confess" (Teddy Vann, Nathaniel Nathan)[5][3][4]

Legal issuesEdit

The song "Zanz Kant Danz" was altered and re-titled "Vanz Kant Danz" a few months after the release of the album in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a defamation lawsuit from Saul Zaentz, owner of Fantasy Records. The altered "Vanz Kant Danz" version of this song appears on all post-1985 pressings of the album.

A Zaentz lawsuit (Fantasy, Inc. v. Fogerty) claimed that "The Old Man Down the Road" shared the same chorus as "Run Through the Jungle" (a song from Fogerty's days with Creedence Clearwater Revival: years before, Fogerty had relinquished copy and publishing rights of his Creedence songs to Zaentz and Fantasy, in exchange for release from his contractual obligations to same). The defendant Fogerty ultimately prevailed, when he showed that the two songs were whole, separate and distinct compositions. Bringing his guitar to the witness stand, he played excerpts from both songs, demonstrating that many songwriters (himself included) have distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar to less discerning ears.

After prevailing as defendant, Fogerty sued Zaentz for the cost of defending himself against the copyright infringement. In such (copyright) cases, prevailing defendants seeking recompense were bound to show that the original suit was frivolous or made in bad faith. This case, Fogerty v. Fantasy, became precedent when the Supreme Court (1993) overturned lower court rulings and awarded attorneys' fees to Fogerty, without Fogerty having to show that Zaentz's original suit was frivolous.


The album is dedicated to "Gossamer Wump". Fogerty said in an interview, "When I was a young kid, my brothers had a record called 'The Adventures of Gossamer Wump.' Gossamer Wump is a little kid who saw a big parade comin' down the road and thinks 'Hey, this is what I want, I want to be a musician.'

"Gossamer goes through all the instruments comin' by and does not know how to decide what instrument he wants to play. Then, at the end of the parade he sees the triangle and thinks, 'Yes, that's what I want to play.' Determined to learn how to play the triangle, Gossamer takes his belongings and 26 peanut butter sandwiches and leaves for the big city. On his way he sings 'jingle, jongle, jangle, ah'm goin' to the big city to learn to play the triangle.'

"In the city, Gossamer starts taking lessons and very soon he plays 'tingle.' After ten years of courage, determination, and hard work Gossamer plays 'tingle.' No difference? At first sight, no, but Gossamer, he can hear the difference. This is what I like about this story. After ten years in my garage, I played alone. They maybe don't hear the difference, but I do. Gossamer stuck to his dream, and that's why I dedicated this album to Gossamer Wump."[7]

Chart performanceEdit

Chart (1985) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[8] 4
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[9] 2
Canadian Top Albums (RPM)[10] 2
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[11] 9
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[12] 23
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[13] 13
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[14] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[15] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[17] 48
US Billboard 200[18] 1
US Top Country Albums (Billboard)[18] 7


  1. ^ "Centerfield - John Fogerty - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Robert Christgau: Consumer Guide Apr. 2, 1985". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Teddy Vann's artist profile". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  4. ^ a b "Nathaniel Nathan's artist profile on Discogs". Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  5. ^ a b c 25th Anniversary Edition of John Fogerty’s Centerfield
  6. ^ "Music Review: John Fogerty - Centerfield (25th Anniversary Edition) - Blogcritics". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  7. ^ "John Fogerty's Swamp Rockin' Mailing List" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St. Ives, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  10. ^ "100 Albums". RPM. 42 (3): 5. March 30, 1985. Archived from the original (PHP) on 2014-04-07. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  11. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  12. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  13. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  14. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  15. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  16. ^ " – John Fogerty – Centerfield". Hung Medien. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  17. ^ "John Fogerty | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved March 29, 2011.
  18. ^ a b "Centerfield by John Fogerty". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 29, 2011.