Creedence Clearwater Revival
If ever a song was an unofficial anthem for the current state of the United States it would be FORTUNATE SON by Rock legends and Forefathers of Country Rock which in turn begat the whole Americana movement Creedence Clearwater Revival; and today we received this fantastic video for said song…….and a cryptic message foretelling a ‘Special Release’ in the Autumn to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of their self-titled debut album in 1968.
“Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1968 self-titled debut album introduced the world to guitar-playing brothers John and Tom Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, and bassist Stu Cook, four young men out of El Cerrito in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though they emerged in a place and time where trippy psychedelic visions were the order of the day, CCR bucked the trends and instead tapped into a rich, traditional seam of American music that connected to blues, country, rockabilly, gospel, folk and R&B.
While their contemporaries were unfurling mind-bending musical excursions with elaborate productions, Creedence crashed into the upper rungs of the album and singles charts with songs that wasted nary a note or word, overflowing with raw soul and unbridled energy. Although the band members were only together for four years under the Creedence Clearwater Revival appellation, they managed to accomplish more than many artists do in their entire career – they released 14 Top 10 hits, six Platinum albums, and one Gold in just four intensely prolific years, all powered by John Fogerty’s gut-level growl, with Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug Clifford providing just the right kind of gritty, in-the-pocket punch to propel CCR’s vision.
The band’s West Coast origins notwithstanding, Fogerty’s voice contained echoes of everything from the Chicago blues bite of Howlin’ Wolf to the Alabama twang of Hank Williams and the Memphis swagger of Elvis Presley, creating an archetypal example of Americana decades before anybody ever thought of using that term to define a musical genre.
For all the indelible guitar hooks and commanding vocals the CCR catalogue contains, their songs are more than catchy tunes. CCR was a people’s band in more ways than one; hand in hand with the accessibility that made their music relatable to just about everybody, there was a strong sense of identification with America’s common folks, the ones whose stories were told in the songs.
On tunes like “Born on the Bayou” and “Green River,” Creedence harnessed the sonic hoodoo of almost dangerously deep, “swamp rock” grooves to propel vivid New Orleans imagery. “Long As I Can See the Light” floats luminously with the kind of sanctified soul feel that we’ve come to expect only from the South. And the spry country two-step of “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” finds its feet in Nashville, at least in a spiritual sense. While CCR’s signature song, “Proud Mary,” is a Southern-soaked riverboat travelogue, with stops in Memphis and the Crescent City.
Even some of the covers of Creedence’s tunes have become part of history—Ike & Tina Turner’s sped-up, R&B-slathered 1971 recording of “Proud Mary” almost rivaled the original in popularity. And an astonishing array of artists, from Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson to R.E.M. and the Ramones, have recorded “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” to home in on the reach of just one of their profusely covered songs.
The group also performed a historic headlining set at Woodstock, and toured the world before disbanding in 1972. CCR’s music endures today – still in popular rotation on the radio, and heard regularly in films and TV shows. Having sold over 30 million albums in the U.S. alone, Creedence received a rare Diamond certification from the RIAA in 2016, marking 10 million units in sales for their 1976 compilation album, Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits.
The appeal of Creedence Clearwater Revival isn’t tied to any one era or milieu; whether it’s 50 years ago or 100 years from now, all you need is a pair of ears to pick up on their sound. As John Fogerty once sang on a certain 1969 hit single, “Over on the corner there’s a happy noise/People come from all around to watch the magic boys.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!