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Willy and the Poor Boys – Creedence Clearwater Revival

Willy and the Poor Boys

1969, 9/10
Willy and the Poor Boys marks the point where Creedence Clearwater Revival were no longer primarily a blues band – it’s still part of their DNA, but there’s also a big dollop of country twang.  With their albums no longer weighed down by a couple of predictable blues jams, they moved into their most vibrant, consistent era. And on Willy and the Poor Boys, John Fogerty songs have taken another step forward as he moves away from blues conventions.

The album’s title comes from the irresistible funky groove of ‘Down On The Corner’, while ‘Fortunate Son’ is a savage political rocker. ‘Effigy’ closes the album with a long, dark tale, that criticises, rather than romanticises, the American South. The two brief instrumentals are the album’s weak point, and ‘Feelin’ Blue’ is possibly a little drawn out, but none of them diminish the impact of Willy and the Poor Boys as a fast-paced, fun record. The two covers, of ‘Midnight Special’ and ‘Cotton Fields’, are both fun, while there are hidden Fogerty gems in the raucous ‘It Came Out Of The Sky’ and ‘Don’t Look Now’.

With lots of energy and lots of great Fogerty songs, Willy and the Poor Boys is yet another building block for Creedence, and they’d peak with their next record.

9 thoughts on “Willy and the Poor Boys – Creedence Clearwater Revival Leave a comment

    • I find I often my favourite phase of an artist’s career when they’ve made a few albums and they stretch out from their original style and get a bit more diverse. CCR definitely fits that for me, same with The Byrds, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, and probably plenty of others.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I guess they start to find their stride in a lot of cases. (Do I sense a Costello series coming. Morrison like in it’s volume and quality). The Country twang thing, I stuck with Fogerty on his solo stuff. His first two were heavy into the twang and I loved it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • When I looked through your takes I noticed the absence of EC and I thought that was strange knowing your taste. You just never know. Some music just rubs people.

          I wore out the second Fogerty album. I was listening to Dave Edmunds version of ‘Almost Saturday Night’ the other day. Love that tune. Great chat today. Always more satisfying sharing the pleasure we get out of this music thang. I try hard to stay away from commenting on the stuff that doesn’t do it for me.

          Liked by 1 person

        • You have a long road. What’s your criteria on choosing artists.? All the Movies, albums, singles and scenes I choose are ones that made an impact and have stayed with me. I’ll be forever doing takes because I like so much.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I just review stuff that:
          – I like enough to keep in my Itunes.
          – sometimes stuff that I don’t especially like, but which I think is kind of culturally significant/acclaimed that I want to weigh in with an opinion on (but in those cases, I put them in the decade pages and don’t give them an artist page).

          Liked by 1 person

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