Willy and the Poor Boys
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.