Creedence Clearwater Revival

This band was rock, country, blues, pop and a little of everything. Their music is played on practically every jukebox and by every self-respecting bar band. The songs are not intricate masterpieces like Bohemian Rhapsody or A Day In The Life but masterpieces all the same.

Bands go their whole career without writing one song that is NOT a love song…this band wrote about everything else but love. Many of their songs have become standards today.  They had songs about rivers, swamps, backdoors, jungles, and riverboats.

The band…or should I say John Fogerty wrote one song after another and kept hitting the charts. At the time it must have felt like the well would never run dry. Their songs were simple but so effective. John has a distinctive sound with not only his guitar but his voice. His voice was an instrument itself that drove his songs.

They were together in the public eye from 1968 to 1972. Creedence was one of the biggest bands in the world during those years. Songs kept coming like Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Green River, Looking Out My Back Door, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Lodi, Traveling Band and etc… They were a singles band and they were an album band. Albums such as Cosmo’s Factory, Green River, Willy and The Poor Boys are classic albums.

Many people thought they were from the south…maybe Louisiana but they were from El Cerrito, California. Hard to believe they were from the same area as the Grateful Dead and the San Francisco music scene of the late sixties. Creedence was not a jam band like many of their peers, they played songs to the letter. They were called rock, country rock and swamp rock.

The band had 9 top ten hits and 16 songs that charted.

They were originally signed to Fantasy Records by Saul Zaentz to a bad record deal that kept John enslaved to the company long after the band broke up. Saul held the rights to John’s songs. Saul had promised the band, to begin with, that he would renegotiate the contract when the band got more successful…he never did.

The band included guitar player, lead singer and writer John Fogerty, drummer Doug Clifford, bassist Stu Cook and Tom Fogerty (John’s brother) on rhythm guitar. Eventually, Tom, Stu, and Doug started to feel like John’s backup band and wanted more control. Tom quit and Creedence became a trio and took off on a tour and made an album.

The band broke up in 1972. It was a sad thing because who knows how many more songs Creedence could have created. Instead of music, the band bickered back and forth and still will file lawsuits from time to time against each other.

I’ve tried to read a few books about them but it’s hard to get through the name calling and the lawsuits that flew back and forth. They all were friends earlier but Stu, Tom, and Doug would usually take Saul Zaentz’s side against John. The brothers rarely talked to each other before Tom died in 1990.

Creedence at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970


Creedence Clearwater Revival Discography


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

23 thoughts on “Creedence Clearwater Revival”

  1. Great band, no doubt. Everybody focuses on John Fogerty and rightfully so, but Doug Clifford is one of the rock’s best drummers in my opinion. They owe a lot of their sound, especially the swampiness, to Dale Hawkins.

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    1. Clifford and Cook were very good… and Tom Fogerty sounded a a lot like his brother. It was just sad. If they could have comprised it would not have ended like it did. I see both point of views in some points but it depends on what side you listen to.
      To me John should have found a real manager instead of taking that on…that may have helped the tensions.
      Yes Hawkins did influence them strong.

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  2. the business and personal end of the story with Saul and the Fogerty tensions is depressing but one hell of a good band. Some of my fondest childhood memories musically, before I had my own radio or was aware of who they were

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    1. They were a strong tight band. It’s just a shame…because to me Saul played it dumb…if he would have renegotiated the contract…. tensions wouldn’t have been as bad and they would have had a longer career and he would have made more in the long run.

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  3. For a couple years there wasn’t a better hit making machine going than CCR- John Fogerty. He was money in the bank. I’ve always been a big fan of CCR. I always wonder did John write himself out during those few years- he went from being so prolific to not writing much at all. Maybe he ran out of things to say. The whole bitterness between the brothers is so unfortunate.

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    1. I’ve tried to read a couple of books but I’ve stopped. The author seems to take the other three or just Johns side. It’s a sad mess.
      John could have written himself out like you said. He was so prolific during that time for a lifetime. It’s also odd he could write that many non-love songs.

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      1. One of the most bitter bands I’ve read about. Saul seemed at the heart of it.
        For a while though they were huge…and really still are.

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      2. You know…I’ve met people…very few people and mostly Stones fans who don’t like The Beatles…I’ve people who don’t like the Stones…but I don’t think I’ve met anyone who don’t like CCR.. that told me anyway.

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      3. I know around here where about everyone is a Steelers fan- there is always someone who hates them- because everyone else likes them. I know a guy who grew up a half hour from Pittsburgh and roots for the Cowboys- why?- when he got interested in football- it was Steelers- Cowboys mid 70’s- all his friends liked the Steelers and he is the kind of guy who goes the other way….also with The Beatles I know a couple people who don’t like The Beatles- and i know the reason is simply- everyone likes the beatles so i don’t like them…

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      4. One of my close friends don’t like the Beatles because of Beatle fans perception of them…he says the fans think “they never did anything wrong”… I told him no…its that the Beatles done so much right…they had their shares of miscues…MMT and Let It Be to an extent.

        And like you said…they want to be different from those around them… I just like what I like…

        What is your guilty pleasure band? The band you kinda like but would not admit to many people? Mine is Bread…I know I know…Don’t think too bad of me lol…I know every word to their hits because of my lovely sister… They take me back to my childhood in the 70s.

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      5. Bread was #1 on the AT40 replay today. I have their double cd best of- I can’t say I
        hate them. They have some songs I like…. a guilty pleasure band would Eminem or Kanye West qualify? Donna Summer? …. I remember one of my students a few years ago talking to me about music said something like “I don’t know if I can like them [whatever band she was talking about i forget} I don’t think my friends do..” I answered what you said –like what you like- don’t look for someone to approve.

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      6. Great response! I’ve told my son to march to his own drummer… Also just because I like something doesn’t mean he has to…

        I’ve never cared what people thought about who I liked but I have ran into snobs. People who know me expect something out of left field anyway…My biggest thing is I’m always late liking bands. You mentioned REM today…it took me years to appreciate them and become a fan. I’m always late…but I get there.

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      7. You got there- that’ what matters! Yes like who you like-I have never been embarrassed by any music that I have liked. I think young people- being young sometimes fall into the ‘i want to be popular so I will like something- even if they really don’t– just to fit in.. be the one who starts the trend…. and I am always willing to give something a listen- you never know..

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      8. I have turned some people into Beatle fans…not by pushing but just showing. I’m trying to give more artists a try like you do…people like Jake Bugg…I finally caught on at the beginning! It feels good.

        Off Topic but I received a bootleg dvd today from my friend of The Beatles in Budokan. Both shows they did in 66. I’ve always wanted to see the entire shows. It’s VHS quality and in color…. the crowd is much better but the Beatles looked bored and play bored except Paul. No doubt they made the correct choice. The difference between 64-65 to 66 is evident…. sorry I just had to tell you.

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      9. That is interesting- the Beatles-Budokan concerts- in reading that Beatles 66 book it just seemed like they had had enough and were tired. I can’t imagine what those years were like. I still want to see them at The Cavern when that time machine gets working!! … When I was teaching I was in charge of the morning news and would play 10-15 minutes of music over the school intercom before everyone got settled and the news started- i played a lot of Beatles and there would be kids coming down the hall who would ask- what was that one song you played today… i was trying to get the word out!

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      10. Gotta get that thing working! I’m ready to go…
        What I did was watch the two concerts and then watch some performances from 64 and 65…It was a music and enthusiasm drop in Japan. It’s a shame because the audience was polite and quiet for the most part but the Beatles looked tired and bored. After what they went through I cannot blame them.

        You could have made some converts and not even known. I’ll show some beginners learning guitar Beatle songs. Some of the Rubber Soul songs are great for that…

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      11. There were always roughly 600-700 students listening every morning- you are correct there probably some Beatlefreaks out there that heard I am at least partly responsible for!!

        Liked by 1 person

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