CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL - Green River
Creedence Clearwater Revival are unquestionably one of the greatest American rock bands ever, for many they are the quintessential rock band with a roots edge to them. They will best be remembered for their unique bayou sound popularized in songs like ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Green River’ making albums that still bear repeated listenings, reminding us that great albums are all about great songs.
If anything, CCR's third album Green River represents the full flower of their classic sound initially essayed on its predecessor, Bayou Country. One of the differences between the two albums is that Green River is tighter, with none of the five-minute-plus jams that filled out both their debut and Bayou Country, but the true key to its success is a peak in John Fogerty's creativity. Although CCR had at least one cover on each album, they relied on Fogerty to crank out new material every month. He was writing so frequently that the craft became second-nature and he laid his emotions and fears bare, perhaps unintentionally. Perhaps that's why Green River has fear, anger, dread, and weariness creeping on the edges of gleeful music. This was a band that played rock & roll so joyously that they masked the, well, “sinister” undercurrents in Fogerty's songs. “Bad Moon Rising” has the famous line “Hope you've got your things together/Hope you're quite prepared to die,” but that was only the most obvious indication of Fogerty's gloom. Consider all the other dark touches: the “Sinister purpose knocking at your door”; the chaos of “Commotion”; the threat of death in “Tombstone Shadow”; you only return to the idyllic “Green River” once you get lost and realize the “world is smolderin'.” Even the ballads have a strong melancholy undercurrent, highlighted by “Lodi,” where Fogerty imagines himself stuck playing in dead-end towns for the rest of his life. Not the typical thoughts of a newly famous rock & roller, but certainly an indication of Fogerty's inner tumult. For all its darkness, Green River is ultimately welcoming music, since the band rocks hard and bright and the melancholy feels comforting, not alienating.
A1 Green River
A3 Tombstone Shadow
A4 Wrote A Song For Everyone
B1 Bad Moon Rising
B3 Cross-Tie Walker
B4 Sinister Purpose
B5 The Night Time Is The Right Time