From: El Cerrito, CA, USA
Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR for short) hailed from the San Francisco area and, unlike most Bay Area rock bands of the 60s, played more straight forward rock and roll than their psychedelic neighbors like the Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead. The group was influenced by the swampy blues that came out of southern Louisiana in the late 1950s and early-mid 1960s. CCR cultivated a Louisiana connection through its choice of song and album titles, such as 'Born On The Bayou'/Bayou Country, as well as through the southern "good ol' boy" image projected by its members. The band consisted of brothers John (lead vocals, lead guitar, harmonica, piano) and Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitar, piano, backing vocals), along with Stu Cook (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Doug Clifford (drums, percussion, backing vocals).
Originally known as the Golliwogs, they were signed to the Fantasy record label in 1964 and released seven singles throughout the next 3½ years under that moniker. Heavily influenced by the British Invasion, their music during this period resulted in little to no commercial success. In 1967, the band, somewhat frustrated with their efforts to date, made the decision to reinvent themseves based on the rapid evolution of the music scene that was swirling all around them. They coined themselves Creedence Clearwater Revival after a friend of a friend of Tom Fogerty's, Credence Nuball. "Clearwater" initially originated from a beer commercial, but also reflected on the environmental movement of the time. "Revival" came from the fact that the band had already been playing together for quite some time and was ready for a positive change.
In June, 1968, they released their first single, 'Suzie Q' (a blues tune originally penned by Dale Hawkins in 1956), which was broken up into two parts to fit on the record. The A-side is what most people are familiar with and still gets played on the radio to this day, but the lesser known B-side is quite psychedelic and evolves into a hypnotic vibe/song all of its own. That same month they issued their first self-titled LP, which also includes the full version of 'Suzie Q' and another great track titled 'Porterville'.
At the beginning of 1969, the band really took off, starting with the release of their third single ('Proud Mary' b/w 'Born On The Bayou'), which hit #2 on the U.S. charts and a second LP (Bayou Country), which peaked at #7. A third LP titled Green River was then issued in the summer of 1969. This album includes the hit singles 'Green River' and 'Bad Moon Rising', and also reached #7 on the charts. At around this time, the band appeared at Woodstock, but their presence there is still somewhat unknown due to the fact that they played at around 3:00AM and also their record label didn't allow the release of any of the set to be put in the Woodstock movie or on the soundtrack. The fall of 1969 saw the release of yet another successful single ('Down On The Corner' b/w 'Fortunate Son') and LP (Willy And The Poor Boys). This album peaked at #3 on the charts and includes both sides of the 45 as well as another group favorite, the Leadbelly penned 'The Midnight Special'. All in all, they churned out a staggering four singles and three albums within the year 1969.
1970 continued to bring great fortune to CCR with the release of their fifth LP (Cosmo's Factory) in the summer of that year. This album includes a slew of classics ('Travelin' Band', 'Up Around The Bend', 'Lookin' Out My Back Door', 'Who'll Stop The Rain', 'Run Through The Jungle') and is considered by many to be their best, hitting #1 in both the U.S. and U.K. When The Beatles broke up in the winter of 1970, CCR became the most successful rock and roll band in the world, despite never landing a #1 single on either side of the Atlantic. At the tail end of 1970, the group issued a fan book titled Inside Creedence, hosted a TV special and released a sixth LP titled Pendulum. This album includes the classic 'Have You Ever Seen The Rain' and the awesome balad 'It's Just A Thought'.
By 1971, things began to come apart when Tom Fogerty had a falling out with his brother John over control of the band, which prompted him to abruptly split the scene. In 1972, the remaining threesome released a final LP titled Mardi Gras, which flopped horribly and, after a final tour of Europe, they decided to finally call it quits in October of that year.
All in all, CCR is considered by many to have been one of the most successful U.S. rock and roll bands of all time. Their truly classic music fueled a generation and is still highly regarded and played often on the radio to this day.
Artist photo by Baron Wolman.
Songs from this album played on TWOS:
(Original 45 Label: Fantasy 645, A - July, 1970)
(Original 45 Label: Fantasy 641, B - April, 1970)
(Original 45 Label: Fantasy 641, A - April, 1970)
(Original 45 Label: Fantasy 637, B - January, 1970)