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Genre: Southern Rock
Preceded by: Green River (1969)
Followed by: Cosmo’s Factory (1970)
Related to: not available yet
Last week I spoke about the heartland rock of Springsteen, which was heavily inspired by the southern rock of the seventies. One of the big representatives of this genre and one of Springsteen’s favorite bands is the Californian formation Creedence Clearwater Revival, most of the times abbreviated as ‘CCR’.
Together with bands like Canned Heat and the Allman Brothers Band, CCR was seen as response to psychedelic and progressive rock, genres that were very dominant in the late sixties. For me, CCR was one of the first classic rock bands I discovered and still is one of my personal favorites. That’s why I highly recommend the last part of the band’s famous ‘1969 trilogy’, Bayou Country–Green River–Willy and the Poor Boys, if you want to discover classic rock. The other two parts will without any doubt follow shortly.
It’s hard to imagine nowadays that one of the big names of the music scene produces three studio albums in one year. CCR had few troubles doing this, just starting to record again shortly after the release of an album. So they did after Green River, and they came up with a great mix between blues rock and some real uptempo rock anthems.
The album starts with the brilliant sing along ‘Down on the Corner’, where the album got his name from (listen to the lyrics). Further on the album you’ll find some typical CCR-blues on tracks like ‘Cotton Fields’ (a Ledbelly cover), ‘Feelin’ Blue’ and ‘The Midnight Special’. The last one was a traditional song among prisoners in the South. The story tells that they were looking from out of their prison windows to a midnight train, which came to pick up prisoners to go home.
But the real power of the album comes from these tracks where singer John Fogerty lets his screaming guitar and his screaming voice sing together: ‘It Came Out of the Sky’ and ‘Fortunate Son’. The last one is a protest song against the Vietnam War and is still one of the few protest songs I remember with a good beat. On top of this, the album closes with the fascinating ‘Effigy’, a song which lasts over 6 minutes, a real rarity for CCR.