Posts Tagged ‘Creedence Clearwater Revival’

Weekend Playlist

26 July 2010

“Our steak and martinis is draft beer with weenies.”
~ George Jones

Various Artists | Nigeria Disco Funk Special: The Sound Of The Underground Lagos Dancefloor 1974-79

Electric Six | Fire

Donovan | Barabajagal

David Crosby | If I Could Only Remember My Name

Blind Faith | Blind Faith

Jack Johnson | Brushfire Fairytales

The Rolling Stones | Exile On Main St.

Madeleine Peyroux | Half The Perfect World

Calexico | Hot Rail

The Byrds | Sanctuary IV

Creedence Clearwater Revival | Green River

Grateful Dead | Workingman’s Dead

Flatt & Scruggs | The Mercury Sessions, Volume 1

Dwight Yoakam | Guitars Cadillacs Etc. Etc.

Charlie Rich | Behind Closed Doors

Uncle Dave Macon | Go Long Mule

Ernest Tubb | Ernest Tubb’s Greatest Hits

Dierks Bentley | Modern Day Drifter

George Jones | George Jones’ Greatest Hits
[Album cover not pictured]

Kings Of Leon | Aha Shake Heartbreak

Patsy Cline | The Patsy Cline Story


11 November 2009

Dead American Soldier

Veterans Day is America’s chance to say thanks to the brave men and women of the military. It’s been a tough decade for the armed forces, with wars on two fronts, and last week’s shooting spree that left a dozen dead at Fort Hood in Texas. But with the ongoing threat of terrorism, and coffins continually returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, most Americans appreciate the sacrifices that are made so that we can sleep easy and enjoy freedom.

With great respect and admiration, here are a half dozen songs about some of those sacrifices…

Vietnam Soldiers
Johnny Cash – ‘Drive On’ (Alternate Lyrics) – Here JC plays the part of a Vietnam Vet who reflects proudly on his time in the jungle and the friend he left behind there. The alternate version of this song, found on the Unearthed box set, paints a bloodier picture of battle, but a more accepting homefront – in the original version, his kids didn’t understand him, but here they do. Cash sounds scarred and haunted, but he walks tall with his head held high.

Listen: Drive On (Alternate Lyrics)

Vietnam Soldier
Creedence Clearwater Revival – ‘Run Through The Jungle’ – John Fogerty sings like a Southern Gothic Grim Reaper, offering some advice about how to keep that head attached to your shoulders…

Listen: Run Through The Jungle

US Soldiers in battle
Jimi Hendrix – ‘Machine Gun’ – Jimi served one year in the 101st Airborne Division of the Army, so he had first-hand experience regarding what it took to be in the military. His rap before the song about the “soldiers” fighting in the streets of America was a goof on hippie protesters who considered themselves soldiers of peace. Hendrix knew who the real soldiers were, and with ‘Machine Gun’ he drops you in a rice paddy, where it’s kill-or-be-killed…

Listen: Machine Gun

American soldier in Amiriya
Alice In Chains – ‘Rooster’ – This song’s first-person perspective takes you inside the mind of a trained killing machine. Here the late Layne Staley managed to sound both indestructible and like a voice from beyond the grave. ‘Rooster’ has the chill of battle, a hint of madness, and plenty of adrenaline…

Listen: Rooster

US Swift Boat in Vietnam
Dire Straits – ‘Ride Across The River’ – Dire Straits is almost the last thing I imagine soldiers listening to as they head into battle in their armored attack vehicles. But with lyrics like “The cause it is noble and the cause it is just/We are ready to pay with our lives if we must/Gonna ride across the river deep and wide/Ride across the river to the other side” it sounds the right tone of grim determination…

Listen: Ride Across The River

Wading into Vietnam
Pete Seeger – ‘Waist Deep In The Big Muddy’ – On one hand, this song scolds Lyndon Johnson and his generals for needlessly putting so many men in harm’s way. On the other hand, it’s an amazing testament to the dedication of the foot soldier – if they’re told to march to hell and certain death, they don’t ask questions or hesitate…

Listen: Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

On The Fence: Chronicle

14 October 2009

The John Fogerty Experience has always been a group that was just kind of there for me, background music that was pleasant enough, but not much more than that. Am I alone here? After having a 9-0 shutout thrown at me over Elton John, I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about Creedence Clearwater Revival…

Creedence Clearwater Revival | Chronicle

THUMBS UP: Chronicle is packed with hits, and even if you’re ambivalent – or slightly yawn-stricken – over CCR, you have to acknowledge that John Fogerty was a great songwriter. ‘Fortunate Son’ and ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ were among the best protest songs of the 60’s, while ‘Run Through The Jungle’ and ‘Green River’ have a creepy, primal quality and undeniable timelessness. These songs still sound good on the hi-fi, which is remarkable, given Fogerty’s propensity to weigh in on then-current affairs. ‘Lodi’ also deserves mention as one of the great band-on-the-road songs. This is a fine set that’s worth the 1/8th of an inch that it will take in your collection.

THUMBS DOWN: CCR has always struck me as a band with an identity crisis. They sound like they’re from the South (and play up that perception on songs like ‘Born On Bayou’) but they were really from Northern California. Not a deal-breaker, but slightly suspicious. There are plenty of hits on this set, but I’m not crazy about all of them – ‘Proud Mary’ ‘Down On The Corner’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’ have all overstayed their welcome with me. The live, 11-minute version of ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’ that’s included here seems totally unnecessary, but I never dug their cover of that song to begin with. I genuinely enjoy certain CCR tunes, but I’ve never found anything in their overall sound that excites me. In a word: yawn.

[What’s your take – is CCR’s Chronicle worth a spot in your collection?]