14: Creedence Clearwater Revival (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

Album: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Year: 1968

1. I Put a Spell on You
2. The Working Man
3. Suzie Q
4. Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)
5. Get Down Woman
6. Porterville
7. Gloomy
8. Walk on the Water

CCR’s debut album is often under-looked when their short career is evaluated, no doubt because it lacked easily digestable hits. The only two songs that charted were Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put a Spell on You (which they certainly improved but wasn’t that great of a song to begin with) and Suzie Q, which was cut in half for the radio as the last half is some of CCR’s worst guitar work in addition to adding nothing to the song. The rest of the album is bloody fantastic and needs to be listened to by any CCR fan that hasn’t had a chance to.

The Working Man is a simple ode that has a catchy rhythm and showcases Fogerty’s impressive ability to hit the high note. Ninety-Nine and a Half and Get Down Woman are decent rockers. And then things really heat up. Porterville was recorded in the Golliwog days and was easily their best song under the band’s previous name. It’s one of CCRs most energetic songs, up there with Travelin’ Band. Gloomy doesn’t sound like much at first, but the guitar riff at the end is unworldly.

Walk on the Water is a perfect ending, a visceral and haunting tune that ends a short story about a run-in with Death with three minutes of crying guitar that leaves a chill in the bones.

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3 thoughts on “14: Creedence Clearwater Revival (Creedence Clearwater Revival)

  1. Alright, alright. I’ll listen to this and the Rilo Kiley album today. As you know, I’ve always dug CCR. As I’ve surely mentioned, I know very little that isn’t on the double-Chronicle album.

    I rather like “I Put a Spell on You,” in both iterations, although that title lyric and the rest of the couplet doesn’t make any damn sense. Still, I don’t know why a band’s debut album would kick off with a cover song. Put your own foot forward, dudes!

    • Never thought of that. They’re certainly not unique in that regard, though most that begin with covers to get noticed peter out quickly.

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