CCR (left to right): John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook.
"Some folks are born, made to wave the flag Ooh, they're red white and blue And when the band plays 'Hail to the Chief' Ooh, they point the cannon at you
Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes Ooh, they send you down to war And when you ask them, 'How much should we give?' Ooh, they only answer, 'More! More! More!'"
Creedence Clearwater Revival, usually abbreviated to CCR, was a rock band of the 1960s and 1970s. Like Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band, CCR helped define the Southern Rock genre of the era — this despite the band starting in the San Francisco Bay Area. The two most prominent members were the Fogerty brothers, John (lead vocals, lead guitar, primary songwriter) and Tom (rhythm guitar, backing vocals). Bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford rounded out the band.The band members met in high school, first played together as The Blue Velvets in 1959, and signed to the jazz-based Fantasy Records label in 1964, initially as a singles-oriented garage rock act called The Golliwogs. In 1968 they changed their name to Creedence Clearwater Revival and released their eponymous debut album. (The legend goes that they had a friend named Credence, and added an extra "e" to that; the "Clearwater" portion came from a beer ad.) Their cover of "Suzie Q" received lots of air play and became their first in a string of Top 40 hits. Other notable songs from their career include "Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising", "Green River", "Down on the Corner", "Fortunate Son", "Travelin' Band", "Lookin' Out My Back Door", and "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?".The band broke up in 1972 due to friction between the members, much of it from John Fogerty and Stu Cook. They never reunited, though Clifford and Cook eventually founded Creedence Clearwater Revisited. John Fogerty started a solo career and eventually got sued for plagiarizing CCR because of a crooked deal he had inadvertently signed with Fantasy Records owner Saul Zaentz. He won the lawsuit, and in 2007 he re-signed with Fantasy after the label's new owner reinstated his royalty payments for CCR's music. The bad blood between Fogerty, Cook and Clifford persists, however; when CCR was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, Fogerty used his cachet to forbid Clifford and Cook from taking part in the live medley played by all of that year's inductees.Tom quietly died of AIDS in 1990. John has been a strong AIDS activist since.
They and Their Work Provide Examples of These Tropes:
Always Second Best: They hold the record for most number-two singles on the Billboard Hot 100 without reaching the top spot, with five such singles. * Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Green River, Travelin' Band/Who'll Stop the Rain, and Lookin' Out My Back Door/Long as I Can See the Light; in all, they had a whopping nine top 10 hits, but never quite hit number one.** Madonna has the most #2 hits, with six; of course, she has over a dozen #1 singles as well.
They did have #1 hits in Billboard's main competitors, Cashbox and Record World. In fact, "Lookin' Out My Back Door" hit #1 on both. They didn't have any others in Cashbox, but "Proud Mary" and "Bad Moon Rising" hit the top on Record World.
Control Freak: John Fogerty, by most accounts. Tom Fogerty once said he felt he was "hip-checked" out of his role as lead singer when John joined the band.
The Cover Changes The Meaning: "Suzie Q" was originally written and performed by Dale Hawkins as a straightforward rockabilly number. Fogerty's version makes the song much edgier and takes it into Yandere territory.
Cover Version: Each of their albums except Pendulum contained at least one of these, usually of a '50s rock & roll or blues song.
Epic Rocking: Most of their albums had one or two songs over six minutes in length, often serving as extended jams. Examples include "Susie Q" (8:39) and "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (11:05), both of which were drastically edited down for single release.
Greatest Hits Album: Several, most notably the 8x Platinum Chronicle, Vol. 1 (which is the biggest seller in their catalog).
I Am the Band: John Fogerty sang, played all the exciting guitar parts, and wrote all the songs. Eventually Tom got so fed up with his brother's dominance that he quit the band. Stu Cook and Doug Clifford followed suit two albums later.
Live Album: Live in Europe (1973), The Concert (1980).
Long Runner Lineup: Despite changing names, the band was the same lineup - John, Tom, Stu and Doug - from 1959 to 1971 and qualifies as Type 1.
Lyrical Dissonance: "Bad Moon Rising" is a catchy little tune...with lyrics about the end of the world.
Mondegreen: "Bad Moon Rising" is a classic example:
Misheard lyrics: "There's a bathroom on the right."
Refrain from Assuming: One episode of Jeopardy! had "Proud Mary" as the final answer, but the three contestants answered the question assuming the title was "Rollin' on the River." Their debut album is not Suzie Q, as iTunes sometimes identifies it, but the Self-Titled AlbumCreedence Clearwater Revival. And if you want to find a song called "Some Folks" or "It Ain't Me", don't even bother. The song's name is "Fortunate Son".
Repurposed Pop Song: The first line of "Fortunate Son" was re-used, out of context, in a commercial for Wrangler jeans. That was Zaentz's fault - Fogerty noted that Wrangler eventually bothered to find out he wasn't happy about it and stopped doing it.
Song Style Shift: "Ramble Tamble" kicks off like a fast country rocker, then shifts into a long, slow instrumental gradually building up until it segues back into fast country rock.
Step Up to the Microphone: All of their other albums are sung entirely by John Fogerty, but their final studio release Mardi Gras actually had John Fogerty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford contributing equally to the singing and songwriting (Tom Fogerty had left the band at that point). John Fogerty did sing one more song than anyone else on that album, but it's a Cover Song.
Take That: John Fogerty's 1985 solo album Centerfield contained a song originally called "Zanz Kant Danz", which contained the lyric "Zanz can't dance, but he'll steal your money." Unsurprisingly, Saul Zaentz was not amused, and threatened to sue Fogerty for defamation until the song was re-recorded as "Vanz Kant Danz".
Three Chords and the Truth: Most of their songs have just three chords. "Fortunate Son" has four, while "Feelin' Blue" simply alternates between D and D7.
We Used to Be Friends: CCR's breakup was one of the more acrimonious in rock history. Tom Fogerty still hadn't patched things up with his bandmates at the time of his AIDS-related death in 1990, and three years later John Fogerty refused to perform with Cook and Clifford at the group's RnR HOF induction ceremony. John actually tried to use a completely different band for the performance without telling anyone, and when Stu, Doug and their families found out, they all stormed out in anger.
Evidently the rift between John and Stu/Doug still exists to this day.
Write What You Know: Mostly averted - California boy John Fogerty wrote a lot of songs about riverboats and bayous... They're pretty convincing, though: unless you've looked up where they actually came from, you probably think CCR hailed from somewhere in the Mississippi delta.