Deep Album Cuts Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival are like air to me. They're literally the earliest memory of music I can recall: riding around the Blue Ridge Mountains in my mom's Subaru, hearing "Down On The Corner" on the radio and being young enough to think that the band was out there somewhere right then, playing the song for a live radio broadcast. And even though they're ostensibly a kind of one dimensional band, they racked up one of the more impressive catalogs in rock history in a very short period of time, one that in some ways I think is richer and more varied than it gets credit for. John Fogerty's current 1969 World Tour is a testament to one of the more amazing facts of the band's run, that they released three classic albums in one calendar year.

Creedence Clearwater Revival Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. Wrote A Song For Everyone
2. Ramble Tamble
3. It Came Out Of The Sky
4. Born To Move
5. Get Down Woman
6. Bootleg
7. Lookin' For A Reason
8. Don't Look Now
9. Pagan Baby
10. Keep On Chooglin'
11. Tombstone Shadow
12. Ooby Dooby
13. Need Someone To Hold
14. Door To Door
15. Rude Awakening #2
16. Poorboy Shuffle
17. Feelin' Blue
18. Graveyard Train

Track 5 from Creedence Clearwater Revival (1968)
Tracks 6, 10 and 18 from Bayou Country (1969)
Tracks 1 and 11 from Green River (1969)
Tracks 3, 8, 16 and 17 from Willy And The Poor Boys (1969)
Tracks 2 and 12 from Cosmo's Factory (1970)
Tracks 4, 9 and 15 from Pendulum (1970)
Tracks 7, 13 and 14 from Mardi Gras (1972)

Usually the relative quality of an artist's albums is reflected in how many songs I use from each for these mixes, but that's not so much the case here. Cosmo's Factory is an amazing album, the one I've listened to the most of theirs, but it's also so heavy on singles and covers that there's not many deep cuts. "Ramble Tamble" is one of the greatest deep cuts of all time, though, and "Ooby Dooby" is the only one of the many covers on the band's albums that I saw fit to include, it's just a great CCR cut to me.

Some of these songs -- "Don't Look Now," "Wrote A Song For Everyone," "Ramble Tamble" -- feel almost too famous to be deep cuts, but they're not among the dozen or so charting singles that still get played on the radio every day. It really speaks to how much great work they got done in that little 4-year window that you've got that many hits plus some songs that could've been hits.

Meanwhile, I wanted to include a lot from the band's last two albums, their commercial decline, because it's an interesting chapter in their career. Pendulum is kind of a glimpse at the AOR band that Creedence might've become in the '70s if they stuck together, an album of all originals, with more organ and horns and slightly slicker production, and odd experimental moments on "Rude Awakening #2." The whole album is kinda deep cut paradise.

Mardi Gras is the infamous swan song, recorded after Tom Fogerty left the band and John passive aggressively gave in to the rhythm section's demands to share creative control. He called their bluff and made the whole band write and sing and equal number of original songs, with his bandmates failing to rise to the occasion. I won't defend the album, it's clearly a fiasco and their worst by some distance, but since none of the other guys' songs were hits, it seemed worth showcasing some of their deep cuts. "Need Someone To Hold" is Doug Clifford's best vocal and "Door To Door" is Stu Cook's best song, and they don't touch even the weakest of Fogerty's songs, but I wanted to give those guys their props.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
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