Wednesday, August 8, 2007
No. 95: Green River
Band: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Album: Green River
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Using minimalist production techniques (a Steve Albini for the '60s [just kidding (sort of)]), John Forgerty made thinly veiled political songs sound peppy (the title track, "Bad Moon Rising" and "Wrote A Song For Everyone").
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: I am not the biggest CCR fan. I have some troubles with their Springsteen-esque co-opting of working class bayou culture, being that they're from El Cerrito, California.
Best song: It's hard to deny the wonderful poppiness of the title track and "Bad Moon Rising."
Worst song: "The Night Time Is The Right Time" is an awful cover of a good Ray Charles song.
Is it awesome?: Nope.
El Cerrito is 15 miles from San Francisco. It's not 15 miles from New Orleans. It's not 15 miles from Houston (home of Buffalo Bayou). It's fifteen miles from San Francisco.
So, this bayou nonsense is just that: Nonsense.
CCR, for the most part is a whole lot of radio-friendly nonsense, but it's hard to argue with a lot of their songs. They're damned catchy and the singles from "Green River" show that. The title track has a nice little guitar riff and "Bad Moon Rising" is catchy as hell.
I have to say, the cover of "The Night Time Is the Right Time" is absolutely terrible. It's got the backing bands shouting while Fogerty acts like he's a real singer. He's not Ray Charles and that song sounds nothing like the original version.
CCR is bubblegum nonsense, in a lot of ways. They're almost the picture of "band that boomers plug even though they're not really any good." That there are three (!) CCR albums on this list is ridiculous. A greatest hits collection would suffice, thank you very much.