CCR (left to right): John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook.
"Some folks are born, made to wave the flag
Oh, that red white and blue
And when the band plays 'Hail to the Chief'
They point the cannon at you
Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes
And they send you down to war
And when you ask them, 'How much should we give?
The only answer's 'More, more, more'"
Creedence Clearwater Revival, usually abbreviated to CCR, was a rock band of the 1960s
. 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 Top 40 hit. Other notable songs from their career include "Bad Moon Rising," "Down On the Corner," "Fortunate Son," "Have You Ever Seen The Rain," and "Proud Mary."
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.
They and Their Work Provide Examples of These Tropes:
- Album Title Drop: Willy and the Poor Boys is mentioned in "Down on the Corner".
- Alien Invasion: "It Came out of the Sky"
- Always Second Best: Most of their singles peaked at #2, the highest position they got to on the charts.
- Band of Relatives: John and Tom were brothers.
- Badass Beard: Doug Clifford sported one; see photo above.
- Badass Grandpa: As of June 2012, John is 67, and has been recording kick-ass rock songs for 44 years.
- Badass Mustache: All four had one at a specific point:
- Collectively: Look at their debut album.
- John Fogerty: when they began in 1968
- Tom Fogerty: in later years
- Stu Cook: up until Mardi Gras
- Doug Clifford: with his Badass Beard, pretty much throughout the time as CCR.
- Bad Moon Rising: Trope Namer.
- The Band Minus the Face: The after-break-up band, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, consisting of Doug Clifford and Stu Cook.
- 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 written by another artist and was done by the Rolling Stones as a 60's pop song. Fogerty's version makes the song edgy and takes it into Yandere territory.
- Cover Version: All of their albums except Pendulum had at least one cover on it, usually of a 50s rock & roll or blues song.
- Descent Into Darkness Song: An instrumental example, Rude Awakening, No. 2 starts out mellow but becomes more and more spooky as the song goes on.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The early Golliwogs recordings don't sound anything like CCR.
- Epic Rocking: Most of their albums had one or two songs over six minutes, often serving as extended jams. Examples include "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" (11:05) and "Susie Q" (8:39), which were both drastically edited down for single release.
- Grief Song: "Have You Ever Seen the Rain".
- 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.
- 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."
- Real lyrics: "There's a bad moon on the rise."
- Nothing But Hits: If there's an Establishing Shot Montage of The Vietnam War anywhere, odds are better than 50% "Fortunate Son" will be the music it's set to.
- Protest Song: "Fortunate Son", "Who'll Stop the Rain", and others. "Wrote a Song For Everyone" invokes this trope, as it's about someone trying to write a protest song.
- Read The Fine Print: The story of Fogerty and Saul Zaentz.
- 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 Album Creedence 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.
- Rockstar Song: "Travelin' Band"
- Self-Titled Album: Their debut album.
- Siamese Twin Songs: Though never released off of Willy and the Poor Boys, "Poorboy Shuffle" fades out as "Feelin' Blue" fades in, making them practically inseparable.
- Soldiers at the Rear: The title character of "Fortunate Son".
- 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.
- A Storm Is Coming: "Bad Moon Rising"
- Take That: 1985's 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.
- Urban Legend: "Fortunate Son" is often claimed to be about a modern figure whose father was a Vietnam-era politician, such as Al Gore or George W. Bush. Fogerty himself stated that the song was inspired by David Eisenhower, who was both the son-in-law of Richard Nixon and the grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- 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.
- Woodstock: Yep, they were there.
- Word Salad Lyrics: "Lookin' Out My Back Door"
- 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.