Creedence Clearwater Revival Was Country Rock Before We Knew What Country Rock Was
When the discussion comes up about “Country-Rock”, there’s a number of names that are normally thrown around.
The Eagles are always mentioned as one of the pioneers of the genre. They certainly brought a country flavor to their huge pop hits, songs like “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Best of My Love” and the never-say-die hit “Desperado”. I remember as a young person buying and loving those first LP’s they released.
Pure Prairie League is usually mentioned as well, and for a lot more than their huge hit “Amie”. Others might talk about the early Charlie Daniels music, along with a number of lesser known artist’s and band’s.
But I wold offer this suggestion: The biggest and best selling band in the world in 1969 and 1970 was Country-Rock before we knew what that phrase meant. The band?
Creedence Clearwater Revival.
This band sold more albums over those years than anyone else. Into the 1970′s, they had rock/pop hit after rock/pop hit. The band had a unique sound, a sound that was unmistakeable. When a CCR song came on the radio, it knew it from the first guitar lick and certainly by the time John Fogerty belted out the first lyrics.
Listening to those songs now, all these years later, they sound more country than ever. Now, some of that may be just because I still consider Creedence one of my favorite bands ever. Some of it may be the current state of mainstream country music. I’m not sure. But I hear a lot of country music in songs like ‘Lookin’ Out My Backdoor’, ‘Lodi’ and ‘Green River’.
I’m not sure it’s what one would call ‘pure country’…in fact, I’m sure it’s not.
But do me this: Listen to Creedence Clearwater’s greatest hits. Then listen to, I don’t know, the 10 biggest singles on the country music charts today. Ok, now you tell me…
Which sounds more country to you?