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Creedence Clearwater Revival

At a time when rock was evolving away from the forces that had made the music possible in the first place, Creedence Clearwater Revival brought things back to their roots with their concise synthesis of rockabilly, swamp pop, R&B, and country. Though the music of CCR was very much a group effort in their tight, punchy arrangements, their vision was very much singer, songwriter, guitarist, and leader John Fogerty's. Fogerty's classic compositions for Creedence both evoked enduring images of Americana and reflected burning social issues of the day. The band's genius was their ability to accomplish this with the economic, primal power of a classic rockabilly ensemble.

The key elements of Creedence had been woodshedding in bar bands for about a decade before their breakthrough to national success in the late '60s. John's older brother Tom formed the Blue Velvets in the late '50s in El Cerrito, California, a tiny suburb across the bay from San Francisco. By the mid-'60s, with a few hopelessly obscure recordings under their belt, the band -- including Tom and John with two high-school friends, drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook -- signed to Fantasy, releasing several singles as the Golliwogs that went nowhere. In fact, there's little promise to be found on those early efforts; they were extremely derivative of the British Invasion and other R&B and rock trends of the day, with few hints of the swampy roots rock that would characterize CCR. The group only found themselves when John took firm reins over the band's direction, singing and writing virtually all of their material.

On their first album, 1968's Creedence Clearwater Revival, the group played it both ways, offering extended, quasi-psychedelic workouts of the '50s classics "I Put a Spell on You" and "Suzie-Q." The latter song became their first big hit, but the band didn't really bloom until "Proud Mary," a number two single in early 1969 that demonstrated John's talent at tapping into Southern roots music and imagery with a natural ease. It was the start of a torrent of classic hits from the gritty, Little Richard-inspired singer over the next two years, including "Bad Moon Rising," "Green River," "Down on the Corner," "Travelin' Band," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Up Around the Bend," and "Lookin' Out My Back Door."

Creedence also made good albums -- Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, and Cosmo's Factory all rank among the best of the rock era -- but their true forte was as a singles band. When the Beatles broke up in early 1970, CCR was the only other act that provided any competition in the fine art of crafting bold, super-catchy artistic statements that soared to the upper reaches of the charts every three or four months. Although they hailed from the San Francisco area, they rarely succumbed to the psychedelic indulgences of the era. John Fogerty also proved adept at voicing the concerns of the working class in songs like "Fortunate Son," as well as partying with as much funk as any white rock band would muster on "Travelin' Band" and "Down on the Corner."

With John Fogerty holding such a strong upper hand, Creedence couldn't be said to have been a democratic unit, and Fogerty's dominance was to sow the seeds of the group's quick dissolution. Tom Fogerty left in 1971 (recording a few unremarkable solo albums of his own), reducing the band to a trio. John allowed drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook equal shares of songwriting and vocal time on the group's final album, Mardi Gras (1972), which proved conclusively that Fogerty's songs and singing were necessary to raise CCR above journeyman status.

It was John Fogerty, of course, who produced the only notable work after the quartet broke up. Even his solo outings, though, were erratic and, for nearly ten years, nonexistent as he became embroiled in a web of business disputes with Fantasy Records. His 1984 album Centerfield proved he could still rock in the vintage Creedence mode when the spirit moved him, but Tom Fogerty's death in 1990 ended any hopes of a CCR reunion with the original members intact. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

The Old Fogey is still goin' strong. Must be grape nuts.
This is a great version version of this song
lirope
the guy down the line in nam thank you
i love them too!
One of the best bands ever.
Lots of good times with ccr
I believe that whoever is reading my mind deserves a raise : )
One of my favorites to listen to when we are on our way to Mexico and seeing the south land of the Texas Plains
Not only C.C.R. rocks but how about this Eagles Radio they bring all of the greats back to us all every day thanks to them, < Peace to all >
;)
CCR also got me through Nam in 70-73 GB CCR
CCR got me through nam. ROLL TIDE.
BFBC2 VIETNAM
I think Fortunate Son is one of the top ten, straight up, rock N roll songs of all time that really speaks to the issues of the late 60s as I understand them....the lyrics also cross into other decades if you listen closely, politically, socially, but most of all simply.
I think Fortunate Son is one of the top ten, straight up, rock N roll songs of all time that really speaks to the issues of the late 60s as I understand them....then the lyrics crosses into other decades if you listen closely.
One of the greatest things to happen to America. I can still remember the first place I heard fortunate son, it was my 8 grade history class. One of the best songs I heard to date.
packedfunk
Creedence Clearwater Revival & Grand Funk Railroad!
Great song.
Im a very fortunate son to have CCR still beknown in USA!!!!:)
Love I love this track
Still a great band live on lengand
gmb178
CCR STILL JAMS AFTER ALL THE YEARS.
.
You want to get married?
Only one of my many favorites. Thanks creedence
magic
This song is on Forrest Gump
Great band from the past
Ugh I hate this band is there a way I can block them?
Hey
goerenm
Wooooo
Woohoo
One of the best American rock bands ever!!!
One of my Favorite rock bands
got these guys coming up w/john fogarty Friday night
The best band of the 70s :)
Makes me happy
Please follow me ps if you follow me ill follow you.
A lean, deceptively simple approach, with some of the greatest hooks ever written.
longest bio I've seen on Pandora
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paul_pilgrim
Best Southern Rock band that's not from the South.
Excuse me
Sue q
All those people who like CCR also should try out classic rock radio station on Pandora.

.
Sand out of hourglass
To me , John just like El!, His voice is mesmermizimg ! - T a k i n g Control!- Love him!
>lgmenpls... Amen
There was only one other band with this sound -- the Hollies -- but without John Fogerty -- the Hollies just couldn't compete
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