Creedence Clearwater Revival


http://www.creedence-online.net/
Creedence Clearwater Revival (often abbreviated CCR) was an American rock band that gained popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s with a number of successful singles drawn from various albums.

The group consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother and rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook, and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed rock and roll and swamp rock genres. Despite their San Francisco Bay Area origins, they are sometimes also cited as southern rock stylists.

CCR's music is still a staple of American and worldwide radio airplay and often figures in various media. The band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone. CCR was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.

While undertaking a steady string of live dates around the country to capitalize on their breakthrough, CCR also was hard at work on their second album Bayou Country at RCA Studios in Los Angeles. Released in January 1969 and becoming a #7 platinum hit, the record was the first in a string of hit albums and singles which continued uninterrupted for the next three years.

Bayou Country's seven songs were well-honed from Creedence's constant live playing. The album showed a distinct evolution in approach, much more simple and direct than the band's first release. The single "Proud Mary", backed with "Born On the Bayou", went to Number 2 on the national Billboard chart. It would eventually become the group's most-covered song, with some 100 cover versions by other artists to date, including a hit version in 1971 by Ike and Tina Turner. Bob Dylan named it his favorite single of 1969. The album also featured a blistering remake of the rock & roll classic "Good Golly Miss Molly" and the band's nine-minute live-show closer, "Keep On Chooglin' ".

Only weeks later, in March 1969, "Bad Moon Rising" backed with "Lodi" was released and peaked at #2 on the charts. The band's third album, Green River, followed in August and quickly went gold along with the single "Green River", which again reached #2 on the Billboard charts. The B-side of "Green River", "Commotion"—a one-chord two-step about the perils of city life—peaked at #30. The bar-band story of "Lodi" became a popular staple on then-emerging FM radio.[citation needed] The band's emphasis on remakes of their old favorites continued with "The Night Time Is the Right Time", which found its way into the band's live set as a crowd sing-along.

In 1969, Harry Shearer interviewed Cook and John Fogerty for the Pop Chronicles radio documentary.

Creedence continued to tour heavily including performances at the Atlanta Pop Festival and Woodstock. Their set was not included in the Woodstock film or its original soundtrack because John Fogerty felt the band's performance was subpar. (Several CCR tracks from the event were eventually included in the 1994 commemorative box set.) Stu Cook's view: "The performances are classic CCR and I'm still amazed by the number of people who don't even know we were one of the headliners at Woodstock '69." The band also complained that they had to take the stage at three in the morning because The Grateful Dead had jammed far past their scheduled set time. By the time Creedence began playing — "the hottest shot on Earth at that moment", said John Fogerty bitterly, nearly twenty years later — many in the audience had gone to sleep.

"Creedence Clearwater Revival, which disbanded in 1972, were progressive and anachronistic at the same time. An unapologetic throwback to the golden era of rock and roll, they broke ranks with their peers on the progressive, psychedelic San Francisco scene. Their approach was basic and uncompromising, holding true to the band members’ working-class origins. The term “roots rock” had not yet been invented when Creedence came along, but in a real way they defined it, drawing inspiration from the likes of Little Richard, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and the artisans of soul at Motown and Stax. In so doing, Creedence Clearwater Revival became the standard bearers and foremost celebrants of homegrown American music.” - from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's website.

Woodstock wasn't a cause for concern. Creedence was busy honing material for a fourth album, Willy and the Poor Boys, released in November 1969. "Down on the Corner", a good-time street-corner number, and the famously militant "Fortunate Son" climbed to #3 and #14, respectively, by year's end. The album was Creedence in its standard form, featuring Fogerty originals and two reworked Leadbelly covers, "Cotton Fields" and "Midnight Special". Both the latter songs also had been performed by actor Harry Dean Stanton in the movie Cool Hand Luke, suggesting a subtle non-conformist theme to an apparently tradition-oriented album.

1969 had been a remarkable chart year for the band: three Top Ten albums, four hit singles (charting at #2, #2, #2, and #3) with three additional charting B-sides. On November 16, 1969, they performed "Fortunate Son" and "Down on the Corner" on The Ed Sullivan Show. Just after the new year, 1970, CCR released yet another new double-sided 45, "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop the Rain". John Fogerty has said that the flip side was inspired by the band's experience at Woodstock. The speedy "Travelin' Band", however, bore enough similarities to "Good Golly, Miss Molly" to warrant a lawsuit by the song's publisher; it was eventually settled out of court. In the meantime, the single had topped out at #2. The band also recorded its January 31, 1970, live performance at the Oakland Coliseum Arena in Oakland, California, which would later be marketed as a live album and television special. In February, the Creedence foursome was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone, although only John Fogerty was interviewed in the accompanying article.

In April 1970, Creedence was set to begin its first European tour. To support the upcoming live dates, Fogerty came up with "Up Around the Bend", a good-time party rocker, and the brooding "Run Through the Jungle", about the burgeoning problem of societal violence in the United States. The single—written, recorded, and shipped in only a few days' time—went to #4 that spring, enjoying enthusiastic response from European live audiences and high commercial success in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

The band returned to Wally Heider's San Francisco studio in June to record what many consider the finest CCR album, Cosmo's Factory. The title was an in-joke about their various rehearsal facilities and factory work ethic over the years. (Drummer Doug Clifford's longtime nickname is "Cosmo", due to his keen interest in nature and all things cosmic.) The album contained the earlier Top 10 hits "Travelin' Band" and "Up Around the Bend" plus highly popular album tracks such as the opener "Ramble Tamble", an ambitious and snarling seven-minute cut about life in urban America with its "police on the corner, garbage on the sidewalk, actors in the White House."

Cosmo's was released in July 1970, along with yet another #2 national hit, "Lookin' Out My Back Door"/"Long As I Can See the Light". It was the band's fifth #2 single. Though they topped some international charts and local radio countdowns (such as WLS's, which rated three of their singles at #1), Creedence Clearwater Revival never had a #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit. Their five #2 singles were exceeded only by Elvis Presley and Madonna with 6 each. CCR has the odd distinction of having the most #2 singles on the Billboard charts without ever having had a #1.

Other cuts on the "Cosmo's Factory" album included an incisive eleven-minute jam of the 1967 and 1968 R&B hit "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" ( which would become a minor hit when an edited version was released as a single in the 70s a few years after the group's breakup ) and a nearly note-for-note homage to Roy Orbison's "Ooby Dooby". John Fogerty's musical range clearly had expanded. He now wove in slide guitar, keyboards, saxophones, tape effects, and layered vocal harmonies—and pushed himself vocally more than ever on "Long As I Can See the Light". The album, eleven songs in all, was Creedence's best seller and went straight to #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts and #11 on Billboard's Soul Albums chart.

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