Thursday, March 12, 2009
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL
How four guys from California came to be associated with "swamp rock" is kind of funny when you think about it. Then you hear John Fogerty's distinctive vocal cords wrapped around the dirt-under-the-fingernails riff that frames "Born on the Bayou" and it all makes sense.
"Bayou Country" was the first of THREE albums that CCR would release in 1969 and it is a fantastic slab of rock and roll. Just to remind the kids of what was going on prior to the sixties revolution in sound, the group tears through a cover of "Good Golly Miss Molly" for good measure. There was never any aural hint that these guys would be taking listeners on trips involving flashing lights and multi colored imagery. Fogerty remained a consistent producer of straight ahead, melodic, yet hard hitting music.
"Proud Mary" is the monster hit in that vein here.
Timeless in their construction, these songs have had a long life beyond the period in which they were originally popular. In the early 90's, I was in a clothing store at a local mall and overheard two young girls chatting about this "great new band" that they had just discovered. One of them went on to say that, "every song they have is, like, great and I think they're called CCR or whatever."
I nearly suffered internal injuries from laughter. Though that instance more than makes the point.
So forget about the legal battles, family estrangement, quitting, disowning, death and a host of other extremely sad events that cast a shadow over the band's legacy. Bigger than all of this is an amazing body of work that they left behind in only five years as an active recording unit.
Pretty staggering when you go through a laundry list of their hits.
They were a top class live band, too.