Creedence Clearwater Revival were a chart juggernaut in 1969: three US Top Ten albums, four hit singles (charting at No. 2, No. 2, No. 2, and No. 3) with three additional charting B-sides. John Fogerty wrote the songs, sang them and played lead guitar. He, and the band, never stopped touring and recording for the whole twelve months.
He made one misstep that year, refusing to allow their Woodstock performance to feature in the film or on the soundtrack. They came on late, in the rain, after The Grateful Dead had lulled everyone to sleep. Who’ll Stop The Rain? was written about their experience. They made up for it by appearing on Ed Sullivan’s famous show in December but their reputation would be regarded as even more legendary if they’d been in the film.
The band didn’t get their just rewards. Fogerty had signed up to a terrible record deal previously. A huge IRS tax bill was to follow and things started to fall apart the following year. By 1971, it was all over. The record company later sued him for plagiarising one of his own CCR songs when he went solo. However, in 1969 he was on top of the world, if not exactly rolling in money.
Can anyone hold a candle to him for sheer quality and prodigious volume of music in 1969. Are any 50th anniversary reissues going to eclipse CCR? There is no need to wait. Ten years ago all three albums were beautifully remastered and some additional tracks were added. Bayou Country, Green River and Willy And The Poor Boys can be bought on CD for about six quid each.
For a man raised in California, he sounds as though he’s emerged from a swamp when he sings Born On The Bayou, track one side one of their first real success.