To those who were paying attention, Creedence Clearwater Revival were pretty active before 1969. Singer-songwriter-guitarist John Fogerty, older brother/rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford had been performing and recording together in their native San Francisco since 1959, first under the name of The Blue Velvets (in which Tom wrote and sang while Cook played piano instead of bass) and then The Golliwogs, the latter of which saw them move to local jazz label Fantasy Records. When the lineup crystallized around John’s distinctive vocals and southern/roots-inspired songwriting prowess, CCR was born, issuing their first self-titled album in 1968 and enjoying their first hit, the Top 20 single “Susie Q.”
But it was that next year, 1969, that solidified their reputation as one of the defining rock bands of the ’60s. That year saw them touring incessantly, including a headlining spot at the Woodstock festival. And amazingly, they found time in their schedules to release not one, not two, but three albums between January and November of that month. Bayou Country, Green River and Willy and The Poor Boys were all Top 10 hits on Billboard‘s albums chart (with Green River topping that chart), and they spun off four iconic singles: the now-standard “Proud Mary” (No. 2) backed with “Born on the Bayou”; the rollicking “Bad Moon Rising” (No. 2) coupled with “Lodi” (No. 52); “Green River” (No. 2) and its B-side “Commotion” (No. 30) and the irresistible “Down on the Corner” (No. 3), coupled with the anti-war anthem “Fortunate Son” (No. 14).
CCR enjoyed several more years of success, with two albums in 1970 and a final LP in 1972 (without Tom Fogerty), plus several more Top 10 hits (never, however, a No. 1 hit). They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and their catalogue is still widely available, thanks to several compilations and remasters and endless licensing (mostly executed by Fantasy Records without the approval of Fogerty).
In addition to a new 10″ white-vinyl compilation, The ’69 Singles, including all eight sides the band released in that year, dropping into all participating indie retailers on Record Store Day, Fantasy and CCR are keeping the spirit of ’69 alive with vinyl reissues of those three albums (Bayou Country was repressed this year, while Green River and Willy and The Poor Boys are expected August 5 and November 4, respectively), a new compilation and “high-resolution audio releases.”
The ’69 Singles (Fantasy FAN-35329-01, 2014)
- Proud Mary
- Born on the Bayou
- Bad Moon Rising
- Green River
- Down on the Corner
- Fortunate Son
Tracks 1-2 from Fantasy single 619 Bayou Country (Fantasy 8387, 1969)
Tracks 3-6 from Fantasy singles 625 and 634 and Green River (Fantasy 8393, 1969)
Tracks 7-8 from Fantasy single 622 Willy and The Poor Boys (Fantasy 8397, 1969)