Jason’s Jukebox: Creedence Clearwater Revival

The members of Creedence Clearwater Revival
The members of Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of my favorite bands from the late 60’s. Although their career wasn’t as long as some of the other significant bands of that decade, they still made a big impact.  The quartet was on the Woodstock bill.  Many of their songs, like “Fortunate Son” and “Bad Moon Rising” are iconic of that era. They had seven albums, and I’m going to rank and review each one in this post, on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the Magnum Opus rating. The band’s members are:

  • John Fogerty: lead vocals, guitar
  • Tom Fogerty: rhythm guitar
  • Stu Cook: bass
  • Doug Clifford: drums


the album cover for the debut album
the album cover for the debut album

Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968)
Rating: *** Singles: “Susie Q”, “I Put a Spell on You”
CCR found their niche right away, blending swamp rock with blues riffs. This is a great debut, mostly for “Susie Q”, one of my favorite CCR songs. (I love the solo towards the end, especially the way John keeps altering it)
Fun Fact: Prior to CCR, the band was known as the Golliwogs. “Walk on the Water” and “Porterville” are leftovers from that period.
Best Songs: “Susie Q”, “I Put a Spell on You”

Bayou Country album cover
Bayou Country album cover

Bayou Country (1969)
Rating: **** Singles: “Born on the Bayou”, “Proud Mary”
This is a great follow-up, with not a single sign of sophomore slump. It’s one of the three CCR albums in Robert Dimery’s 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (The others are Green River and Cosmo’s Factory.) This includes their first big hit, “Proud Mary” which was later remade by Tina Turner (as much as I like Tina Turner, I prefer the original version of the song) It should be noted that despite the influence Louisiana had on their sound, no member of CCR is from Louisiana. They are actually from San Francisco, California. However, you don’t necessarily have to be from an area to appreciate its musical sound. Of all the albums, this is the one that celebrates Louisiana the most.
Best Songs: “Born on the Bayou”“Proud Mary”, “Keep On Chooglin”

Green River album cover
Green River album cover

Green River (1969)
Rating:*****, Magnum Opus Singles: “Bad Moon Rising”, “Green River”, “Lodi”
In 1997, John Fogerty said this was his favorite album. I agree, and I think it’s one of their two best albums. When you have a title track like “Green River”, you know you have a classic. It also contains their most famous song after “Proud Mary”, “Bad Moon Rising”. So many good songs on this album, I had a hard time narrowing down three that were worth checking out.
Best Songs:Green River”, “Tombstone Shadow”, “Bad Moon Rising”
Fun Fact: Sonic Youth also has an album called Bad Moon Rising.
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