Creedence Clearwater Revival

Between 1969 and 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) put together a string of hit songs that few artists/bands can (and likely ever will) rival: “Born on the Bayou,” “Proud Mary,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Down on the Corner,” “Fortunate Son,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” and “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?”

Often ridiculed for its written-for-radio songs and lack of innovation, CCR is more often than not that band you’re burnt-out on, due in large part because radio has run the music into the ground.

From the book Rock and Roll: A Social History, by Paul Friedlander,

“Creedence Clearwater Revival was another band from the wrong side of the bay [San Francisco] and was criticized for a proclivity to produce three-minute AM hits. To many Bay Area critics, Creedence was an East Bay top-40 band who wrote AM-oriented ditties that contained none of the counterculture experimentation that characterized the “authentic” San Francisco sound. They were late (their first hit came in 1968) and straight. In hindsight, however, this criticism is somewhat shortsighted; CCR was, of course, affected by the surrounding societal turbulence, and their songs do reflect, at least lyrically, some of the same issues as those of their psychedelic neighbors.”

Maybe (ok, it was) more innovative music was born in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but there is still (and always will be) something to art that permeates and remains in popular culture, for these are the works that truly make a difference, the works that actually elicit common-ground for discussion and betterment.

Also from Rock and Roll: A Social History,

“In 1969 CCR released six million-selling singles and two million-selling albums.”

Granted, the economic and art-consumption landscape is nearly 180 degrees different in 2009 than it was in 1969, but people are still people, and this is a staggering statistic for the music industry.

We’re still dealing with anti-war and warmongering mindsets in a very real way. We are still human, with a basic need for art, because art expresses what we are thinking and feeling when most of us have no idea how to reconcile this mix of emotion and thought in a way that provides any release.

Here is a video CCR’s “Fortunate Son,” set to Vietnam images, put together by Hard Rain Productions.


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