John Fogerty ranks in the upper echelon of rock 'n' roll with Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. His songs, such as "Proud Mary" and "Bad Moon Rising," made Creedence Clearwater Revival the biggest selling rock group after the Beatles broke up in 1970.

But a decade ago, legal and financial problems caused an artistic paralysis that blocked Fogerty from making any new records for nine years. While lawyers worked to free him, Fogerty spent 10 to 12 hours a day in his Berkeley rehearsal studio honing his musical skills until the day he could make another album. But could he return to greatness.

In his first formal interview in a decade, Fogerty now admits, "I could see people looking at me like I was a loser. I hated that, but all I could do was keep working. I understood why they felt that. If I had been someone else looking at me alone in that studio every day, I would have thought, 'Hey, this man is crazy."'

But the problems were resolved--and Fogerty's new music is remarkable. It bristles with artistic rebirth. A single, "The Old Man Down the Road," already is moving up the charts; the album, due this week, is one of the most captivating displays ever created of pure rock vision.

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