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Doug “Cosmo” Clifford – Magic Window

Doug “Cosmo” Clifford has accomplished more in the music industry than just about anyone taking in air. This is a man that headlined the original Woodstock Festival in 1969 with his legendary band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. An inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of ’93, he played drums on albums that have sold in excess of 89 million copies worldwide, and songs that have garnered around two billion plays on the Spotify service alone. So, when I heard that Doug had a new record from 1985 coming out, I started to get inquisitive. After some clarification and hearing the story of how this record came together, I’m not sure I’ll look at cleaning out my garage the same way ever again.

Clifford found the master tapes for this impressive record inside of a locker that he had in his garage. He knew he had kept some of his recordings in it, but discovering these 35-year old gems was more than he had bargained for. He began a baking process to see if they were salvageable, and soon found that they were not only salvageable, but they were pristine.  

As soon as you begin listening to this record, you’ll notice the sharp production quality and the snappy drum sound. Cut right around the time of the Miami Vice and Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack craze, Simmons electronic drums were all the rage. Clifford played a hybrid kit for these sessions, using only the electronic tom-toms. The result is a sound that has a nod to a Glenn Frey “Smuggler’s Blues” kind of 80’s sound without being too corny. Instead of the record coming across as dated schtick, it comes across as timeless classic rock with giant-sized hooks.

The title track leads off the record and it’s a hit that rounds the bases and scores easily. “Magic Window” has all of the elements of a great rock song. There’s a cool groove, crunchy guitar riffs and a soaring solo, and a hook that just doesn’t let go. “Born On The South Side” has all the great rock elements that were on display on the title track, but this one gives a wink and a nod to his CCR roots. With a guitar sound that harkens back to “Born On The Bayou,” this song takes a fresh, modern approach and serves as an honorable homage to Clifford’s former band. As you strut through this album, you’ll come to find that there is no shortage of great hooks. These songs are well-crafted works of classic rock art. All of these catchy hooks are surrounded by tasty guitar parts, snappy drums, and surprisingly good vocals. Clifford can be heard singing on every track, in addition to playing drums and writing or co-writing all the songs. He sang on his first solo effort from 1972, but this is a huge departure from that performance. It’s obvious that Clifford spent a lot of time working on his vocal abilities. His tone and style are a perfect fit for this music.

Since I started listening to this record, I’ve come to find that these songs are “living with me.” Much like the CCR songs that are now stitched into the canvas of American culture, these songs have had a similar effect on me. I can’t imagine life without these songs now. Some of the songs that reside closest to my heart are “Somebody Love Me Tonight” and “Just Another Girl.” These two songs make me sing and smile, as one might when looking back at the best moments in their life. The two ballads on the album are “Don’t Leave Me Alone Tonight” and “You Mean So Much To Me,” and they are really impressive. The lead vocals and the harmonies, especially on “Don’t Leave Me Alone Tonight,” are spectacular, and they float elegantly around one of the most impressive guitar solos on the record. 

There is no doubt in my mind that at least three or four of these songs would’ve been Top 40 hits had they been released in ’85, and I have no reason to believe that they can’t succeed in today’s market. This is an album of ten timeless classic songs. If I thought I might find something half as great as this I’d clean out the garage every day.



Doug "Cosmo" Clifford was a member of one of the most successful bands in music history. Creedence Clearwater Revival has sold in excess of 80 million records worldwide and has around 2 billion plays on Spotify, and those numbers get bigger every day. Clifford was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, which was a declaration of the longtime respect that the industry has had for his contributions to music as we know it. 

In this interview, Doug talks about his current record, Magic Window. His love for this music and his passion for creating is obvious. I invite you to listen in on this wonderful conversation, hear that passion, and be inspired by a true legend. Doug takes us through the creation of Magic Window, his proudest moment, his thoughts on writing a book, and so much more. Doug even takes us back to Woodstock to explain a portion of his time in exquisite detail!

Click the play button below to listen now!!

00:00 - 04:01     What is your proudest moment?

04:02 - 11:36     Tell me about the discovery of the new record, Magic Window.

11:37 - 13:09     This has a snappy electronic drum sound. Do you remember what drum kit you were playing?

13:10 - 17:16     You sing on each of the tracks on Magic Window. Have you gained more confidence in your voice over the years?

17:17 - 18:47     Doug talks about the advantages of writing with other people and discusses the musicians that played on Magic Window.

18:48 - 29:49     Doug talks about his day at Woodstock and how CCR may have been responsible for Woodstock taking place.

29:50 - 31:48     That performance was held back from release for about 25 years. How difficult was that performance for you?

31:49 - 34:48     Doug talks about CCR always being completely drug-free.

34:49 - 38:47     Doug talks about his relationship with Concord Music and what's necessary to make your dreams come true.

38:48 - 40:55     Doug talks about his love for Magic Window and what he'd like to see happen with it.

40:56 - 43:06     Have you ever considered writing an autobiography?

43:07 - 48:24     Doug talks about his love of music, the first records he ever bought, and how he taught himself to play drums.

48:25 - 57:16     What do you want to do most in your life at this point?

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