Album no. 143/1001
This is Creedence’s third album, the second they released in 1969, the second on this list, and John Fogerty’s favourite. Make of that what you will.
Despite coming out of the San Francisco scene Creedence tended not to mix the music and drugs. Drummer Doug Clifford said later “We decided to get high on the music, or get out of the business”.
John Fogerty also criticised the 45 minute acid rock solos. “I thought music should get to the point a little more quickly than that”. Only two songs on this album break 3.30, so they stuck to the philosophy fairly well.
This album produced two more number 2 singles, which makes you really sad when you know they never had a number one.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: According to itunes I definitely have, but I have scant memory of doing so.
CL: No. There’s only a couple of songs I recognise on here too.
NK: ‘Bad Moon Rising’ is really good. And I really like ‘Lodi’, a super bleak song about a musician who hasn’t made it. His voice really suits that kind of mid-tempo tragedy. I agree with you about ‘Commotion’, and ‘Green River’ is decent. I don’t think there are any really bad songs here, but I don’t think many of them are outstanding.
CL: PHWOAR ‘Commotion’ IS A GOOD ONE ISN’T IT. YES. I didn’t mind ‘Green River’, but I don’t really like ‘Bad Moon Rising’. I don’t know what it is, maybe because it sort of sounds really cheerful, in an annoying way? I can’t put my finger on it.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: Listen to ‘Lodi’ when you’re down on your luck. Great song for a bit of feeling sorry for yourself.
CL: This has to be compulsory listening when near a river, surely. Green tinge optional.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: I guess it’s the next step for Creedence, through to be honest I’m not sure quite what the development is from Bayou Country. Maybe the guitars are a bit fiercer? I am not convinced the songs are as good, especially compared with later Creedence albums. Willy And The Poor Boys isn’t even on this list!
CL: I don’t think there’s been much development at all, really. Not that that’s a bad thing – if you’re good at something, stick with it I suppose. But I think these songs sound a lot more polished and don’t have the energy Bayou Country did.
Will you be listening again?
NK: I don’t know. It’s not the best Creedence album, and I would argue it’s not even as good as ‘Bayou Country’. It’s pretty consistent, but I don’t think any of these songs are their best work. It’s still good, but it doesn’t stand out. Maybe?
CL: I’ll certainly need to give it another listen, just to be able to understand what’s being said. I definitely thought he was saying “rush on, everyone” – turns out the song is actually called ‘Wrote A Song For Everyone’. Another fun time deciphering John Fogerty’s vocals.
Listen to Green River on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.