Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Album: Bayou Country
Genre: Roots Rock / Swamp Rock / Southern Rock
“If you come down to the river
Bet you gonna find some people who live
You don’t have to worry ’cause you have [if you got] no money
People on the river are happy to give
Big wheel keep on turnin’
Proud Mary keep on burnin’
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river
Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river”
This album marks the beginning of a new playlist on my spotify account, aptly named “1001 Albums 60s part 2” because I was very creative when it came to naming them. I have to say, it’s a bit of a milestone in this musical journey I’ve decided to partake in and any milestone at this point feels like well-deserved achievement, even if this is only 138 albums into 1001.
Creedence Clearwater Revival (or CCR as I like to call them) are one of those bands that I knew about, heard about a whole lot, but never listened to. My only exposure to them would be when one of their songs would play in a movie and even then I wouldn’t even know I was listening to CCR. Those were ignorant times for me because I find it quite the crime that I never even gave this band a chance or a listen or even a lookey-loo. When these guys were big, they were big, pounding record after record out (5 in two years) that were massive critical successes. If the band members names had been more of a household… name then they probably would have replaced the superstardom that was left empty once The Beatles broke up. I mean, they were big and came right at the tail-end of The Beatles career, they had a chance for sure. But didn’t. However, I;m not here to discuss that, I’m here to talk about their first big album and that’s Bayou Country.
I did not expect to love this album, I went into it expecting some sort of mix of folk rock and country that I would have possibly been amused by but not engaged with. Instead I was hooked form beginning to end. If I had never heard about Swamp Rock and was told to imagine what Swamp Rock would sound like, this is probably what I would have thought of, with every one of their songs evoking images of life on the bayou, waterside afternoons and swampy marshes full of crocs and slugs.There’s no low points to be found and is a great journey down Bayou Country indeed. From the opening riffs of Born on the Bayou, to the sometimes incomprehensible vocals (I didn’t get they were saying Bootleg until I saw the title of the song), to the joyous chanting of rollin on the river, to the grand finale of Keep on Chooglin, it’s a wild ride. Even the incredibly repetitive instrumentation of Graveyard Train doesn’t feel like it tracks (haha) on forever and it doesn’t feel grating at all, which is a difficult thing to pull of when using repetition.
If I had one thing to say it would be I didn’t really feel like they needed to add a cover of “Good Golly Miss Molly” in there. It isn’t bad but feels a little out of place amongst the rest of the album. I didn’t care much for it but thankfully it didn’t take away my enjoyment as a whole. I’m so happy I got to finally experience CCR in all it’s glory, after years of wondering what a CCR was i finally got to find out and it was amazing! I might be exaggerating my feelings a little, which is heavy possibility with me, but it’s always a great feeling to discover something new that tickles your earbuds that i just wanted to bask in the glory of this newfound joy. Don’t know much about Swamp Rock but if all Swamp Rock bands sound this way then I can easily see this being a genre I can come to like, maybe even love, but I don;t know if I’m ready for that kind of a commitment. I still haven’t broken up with Jazz yet and Jazz can be unstable, so I’m not really sure how Jazz will handle me having a new relationship with another genre.
As much as the swamp is a great aesthetic for the music, I don’t think swamps are very safe places to hang out at. Their full of dangerous shit like crocodiles and leeches and god knows what kind of microorganisms that can crawl under your skin and create a world of pain and hell. I don’t remember the last time I went to a swamp. I’ve been to swamp-like areas but they seemed to be trying too hard to be swamps rather than just being themselves. Maybe more like a boggy marsh. I do like frogs though, and there’s lots of frogs at swamps. I sued to catch frogs as a kid at my cottage, but suddenly… frogs stopped appearing and that was sad. But I always get excited when I see a little fella hopping along. They’re super cute.
Anyway, I diverted a bit there. CCR only has three albums on the list and seeing how much I’ve liked all three (yeah I’ve gotten way ahead of myself in terms of listening) I will most definitely check out their other albums. (Maybe… I say that but knowing me I probably won’t anytime soon and it’ll probably be a few years later before I remember “Oh hey yeah, I said I’d do that” and then still not do it. Not because I don’t care but I can be a little (ok a lot) absent-minded when it comes to certain things and I really do, I swear, i want to, I just… probably won’t out of pure airheadedness). Until then, Keep on Chooglin’, whatever the hell that means.
What does that mean?
Song of Choice: Bootleg