Be transported back to the ’60s
The British invasion and psychedelic rock may be the first genres to come to mind when thinking about the music of the 1960s and ’70s. However, one group from the era, Creedence Clearwater Revival (also known as CCR) didn’t fall into either category. They instead played what is called swamp rock, a style bridging the gap between country and rock. All seven of the legendary band’s studio albums have been released as a box set for the group’s 50th anniversary in Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Complete Studio Albums, allowing old fans and new listeners alike to enjoy CCR’s albums all over again. From 1968’s self-titled Creedence Clearwater Revival to 1972’s Mardis Gras, each of CCR’s albums sounds just as fresh as ever before.
The set features a lot of covers, and those covers happened to be hits for the group that even new fans should recognize instantly. “I Put A Spell On You” showcases lead singer John Fogerty’s bluesy vocals perfectly. “Suzie Q” is another cover that CCR has claimed for their own. Something about the fast-paced guitar and the rhythmic drumbeat makes it a memorable hit that many know and love.
Bayou Country came out the next year in 1969, and it’s a noticeably different album with heavier bayou influenced sounds and lyrics written almost exclusively by Fogerty. Some fan-favorite hits came from this album, including “Born On The Bayou” and the often-covered “Proud Mary.” It also contains some more obscure songs like the soulful “Graveyard Train” and the more experimental “Penthouse Pauper.”
Green River was released in August of 1969 and is the home of the ever-popular “Bad Moon Rising.” It also features “Green River,” which despite the Cajun influence of all of their songs, Fogerty told Rolling Stone it was inspired by Putah Creek in Winters, California where he would go as a child. Another song that is definitely worth listening to is “Wrote A Song For Everyone,” which feels like it should be sung around a campfire. Though maybe not as strong of an album as Bayou Country, Green River and each groovy guitar solo within it sound as great as ever remastered.
Willy and The Poor Boys was the group’s third release of 1969, and it brought the world one of the best counterculture songs in music history, “Fortunate Son.” An anti-Vietnam War song, like many others of the era, its even been featured in movies, TV shows and even video games. Releasing three full-length albums in one year sounds like a lofty task nowadays, but CCR did it well, and each of the three unique albums can really be listened to seamlessly in this box set.
Cosmos’s Factory is the next album in CCR’s discography, and it features some of the group’s best songs, including “Travelin’ Band,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and “Up Around The Bend.” It’s a longer album, coming in at 11 songs, but no quality is lost in the quantity. The album was certified gold, and if anyone were trying to get into CCR, this would be the best album to introduce them to.
1970’s Pendulum comes next in the box set. It’s the only album where all of the songs are written by John Fogerty and includes “Have You Ever Seen The Rain.” Beyond that popular song, some other notable songs on the album are “Born to Move” and “It’s Just A Thought.” This version of the album also comes with three extra tracks that were featured on the 40th-anniversary edition, one of them being a live version of “Hey Tonight.”
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s final album Mardi Gras came out in 1972, and though it’s a far cry from their previous masterpieces, it’s still a part of the group’s history. What makes this album stand out from the rest is the departure of Tom Fogerty from the band after a dispute with his brother. It’s the only album to only feature three members, and it also features all three of them in creative positions.
Creedence Clearwater Revival’s music is timeless. No matter how old a person may be, “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” or “Fortunate Son” remain just as appealing. That’s why Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Complete Studio Albums is a perfect addition to anyone’s music collection. Now more generations can enjoy some swamp rock.