Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River

Green River
Year :
The Who / Buffalo Springfield / Wilco

Creedence Clearwater Revival might be one of the most successful underrated bands of all time. I realize calling them underrated probably sounds ridiculous, but you can pull a stranger off the street, have them listen to Chronicle, and they would probably recognize at least half the songs on the album. The Beatles are sort of the gold standard when it comes to prolific songwriting, but the sheer number of hits CCR put out in the four years they were active is unbelievable. In their brief time, they released seven studio albums, five of which charted in the top-10. They had 20 songs hit the top-100, with five of those peaking at number two. (Somehow, they never managed to have a number one single.)

They are, in my mind, the greatest southern rock band of all time—which is insane, because they are actually from northern California. No one sang more convincingly about swamp living than John Fogerty. His semi-bizarre drawl was the perfect cross of southern hospitality and terrifying redneck, which makes it perfect for singing about catfish, dragonflies, and hobos traveling by train track.

(On a somewhat related note: I saw Fogerty live a few years ago, and while he put on a fantastic show with tons of energy, I still can’t get over how well his voice has aged. For a guy who sang as high as he did, and yelled as often, he has lost exceptionally little of his ability over the years. Of course, I was pretty well intoxicated, so it could have been me.)

Green River is a CCR favorite of mine, and is a great showcase for a lot of what they did so well. Creedence Clearwater Revival did more things better than you probably give them credit for.

Now, if I could only find me a barefoot girl dancing in the moonlight.

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Matthew Belair (@14Belair42) grew up on the classic rock of his parents and the 90s alt-rock of his older sister before discovering other genres to love, all of which are cool, hip, and in no way embarrassing to admit publicly.

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