Posted: November 13, 2014 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Green River is the third studio album by American rock and roll band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released in August 1969. It was the second of three albums they released in that year,

Green River The album isn’t just an excellent introduction to Creedence Clearwater Revival, but rock ‘n’ roll as a whole. Creedence were huge band and ‘Green River’ is a near-perfect collection of country, blues, soul and rockabilly, resulting in a record that digs into bedrock Americana. The guitars twang, the bass lines tumble down, the drums chug like a locomotive and Fogerty’s foghorn voice barks above it all. The sound is collectively beautiful in its simplicity – the sound of a band locked into a gleeful groove. The songs, on the other hand, , ‘Lodi’ – a dead-end town where Fogerty imagined he might find himself down the road, singing for his supper. Fogerty was feeling the weight of his responsibility when writing many of the songs on ‘Green River,’ weary of urban ‘Commotion,’ wary of his ‘Tombstone Shadow,’ unable to communicate with his love on ‘Wrote a Song for Everyone.’

If I had to pick a favorite song from this album of Credence Clearwater Revival it would hard… but this song would be a contender. It’s the way Fogerty wearily sings the lyrics, he sounds so much older than he was at the time. The song is off of the great “Green River” album. John Fogerty on writing the song.

“Inspired by my young wife at the time. It was early ’69, and I was 23 years old. We had our first child, who, at the time, was two and a half. I was sitting in my room, writing the songs, pushing my career. Without the songs, the career ends. You might be a great band, but without the songs, you’re not going anywhere. At one point, my wife and I had a mild misunderstanding, I wouldn’t even call it a fight, She was miffed, taking our young son out, wishing I would be more involved. But there I was, the musician manic and possessed the only guy holding things up. Without me, it all collapses, so I’m feeling quite put upon. As she walks out the door, I say to my self, “I wrote a song for everyone, and I couldn’t even talk to you.” I looked at my piece of paper and changed gears. How many great leaders can’t even manage their own families? So I went with that. “Pharaohs spin the message/Round and round and true/Richmonds about to blow up” referring to nearby Richmond, California. It was actually a true emotion that took on a larger meaning. It’s still a special song in the sense that it keeps my feet on the ground. You sit and write these songs, yet you try to talk to your own son and daughter and maybe you’re totally inadequate, trying to explain life to a child. We used to record our album very quickly and I remember finishing five different songs in one afternoon. The fifth one didn’t work, and that was “Wrote A Song For Everyone.” I had to start over on that one.”

Even the warm nostalgia of the title track is tainted by the knowledge that ‘Green River’ might be the last refuge. or fear in Fogerty’s heart – between the jaunty chords of ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and the end of all existence described in the lyrics – makes for a rocking listen, again and again.

Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • John Fogerty – lead and backing vocals, lead guitar, piano, keyboards, harmonica, arranger
  • Tom Fogerty – rhythm guitar, except on tracks 2-4
  • Stu Cook – bass guitar
  • Doug Clifford – drums

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