Creedence Clearwater Revival – Green River
If any band in history can have claimed for them the mantle of having “invented” “Americana,” then Creedence Clearwater Revival is probably one of the more likely candidates. Virtually every song they put down is a textbook example of the core Americana ingredients in action, and when you really start to count up the great tunes, it gets more and more remarkable as you go. Bad Moon Rising, Lodi, Green River, Who’ll Stop The Rain, Proud Mary, Born On The Bayou, Run Through The Jungle, Lookin’ Out My Back Door, Long As I Can See The Light, Fortunate Son, Have You Ever Seen The Rain … I mean, it’s pretty fucking ridiculous.
And in general, the ingredients are so straightforward. Some drums in 4/4 time. A bass playin’ the tonics. Some acoustic guitar, some electric guitar. A voice. A handful of simple chords. And some magic.
Obviously we could just pick a Greatest Hits, but it’s more fun to really understand the individual achievement of each album in its original form.
This one is rather astonishing for including not one, not two, but three totally classic songs, including my personal favorite CCR tune ever: Green River. Someday, when I grow up, I’m going to write a song this good. I’ve been trying to write these lyrics my whole life:
I can hear the bull frog callin’ me
Wonder if my rope’s still hangin’ to the tree
Love to kick my feet way down the shallow water,
Shoe fly, dragon fly, get back to mother
Pick up a flat rock, skip it across Green River
If you’re a songwriter, and you get lost, c’mon home to Green River. That’ll learn ya.