“Come on the risin’ wind, we’re goin’ up around the bend…” One begins to ask, out of sheer perversity, if John Fogerty will ever come up with a dud. He certainly hasn’t this time. “Up Around the Bend” will capture your heart with its lyricism and your body with its glorious hard rock. The guitar tone is different this time, a bit like Keith Richard in sound but still Fogerty’s lines. The voice sounds younger–it has the emotion of a young kid out on a new adventure, without the experience of the man who rode Proud Mary. It’s the delight of novelty. “Up around the bend, where the neon turns to wood.” What a lovely image!
As “Bad Moon Rising” re-created the Sun sound, “Up Around the Bend” extends it. The old mechanics are there but Sun never put out a record with this single’s natural loudness. The record has the jolting power of the best car songs–you can tune in at any moment and get it all. Three bursts of guitar–the introduction, the bridge, and a finale that can reduce the listener to a state of helpless ecstasy–structure the song, but perhaps it’s those lines that really create its impact: “You can ponder perpetual motion… Always time for good conversation.” You can ponder perpetual motion. Leave your radio on, and the song comes back at you every hour or so, and it can make your day. It sure makes mine.
Rolling Stone, May 28, 1970