Creedence Clearwater Revival

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>0/5

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Bayou Country

Green River

Willy and the Poor Boys

Cosmo’s Factory


The Bob Marley–equals-Legend latter-day listener has mostly discovered John Fogerty’s songwriting through CCR’s two Chronicle anthologies—proof at least that some Creedence is better than none. The collections reveal that Fogerty’s strongest material transports the swamp blues of the black South into white Northern California and, consequently, the American mainstream. But as with any hits assemblage, the representation is partial. These reissues of the band’s first six studio records—mercifully stopping before 1972’s Mardi Gras, a failed experiment on which Fogerty allowed the other members to pen tunes—serve two functions: reminding anyone not intimately familiar with The Big Lebowski just how important CCR was, and allowing the full potency of the band’s sonic grit to come through. (The extra tracks—especially a couple of live bootlegs—are nice, but don’t hold a candle to the meat.)

The necessity of being introduced to or revisiting these records is blatant from the start. The self-titled debut includes “Susie Q,” a sprawling, eight-plus-minute psychedelic haunter (a staggering leap from the half-length radio edit on Chronicle). Throughout the catalog, unheralded gems vie for prominence with the band’s hits: “Effigy” closes out Willy and the Poor Boys in pensive harmony, and “Ramble Tamble,” the opener of Cosmo’s Factory, demonstrates an epic instrumental power that gives Skynyrd a run for its early-1970s money. In particular, Willy proves—from the opening hat hits of “Down on the Corner” to the protest plucks of “Fortunate Son”—a roots-rock standard-bearer. Across the board, masterstrokes like “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising” and “Run Through the Jungle” do what they should: sparkle with originality, vision and purpose.

Buy Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, Pendulum now on