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YouTube Gold: Creedence Clear Water Revival In London

Man were they good.

John Fogerty In Amsterdam
John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, peforming in Amsterdam.

Music in the US has an interesting post-war history. The revved-up R&B music of people like Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner gave way to early rock and roll. Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis Presley swaggered through the ‘50s and in the ‘60s, the British Invasion hit as The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones took over.

For a brief time in the late ‘ 60s, psychedelia took hold, fortunately only briefly. There are a few good songs from that era, but thankfully, The Band became a major influence and, at about the same time, so did Creedence Clearwater Revival. Both groups had a more stripped-down sound that made the pyschedelic era mercifully brief. White Rabbit and the like just seemed pretentious after they came along.

CCR exploded out of seemingly nowhere. John Fogerty had a voice that was just raw and intense and like no on else’s. They hit their apex about the time the Beatles broke up and were poised to be absolute superstars.

Infighting in the band, particularly between John and his brother Tom doomed it. He left in 1972. The others continued for a time as a trio, but it was over.

Netflix has a documentary up about the band now that’s really fine with lots of live performances. This clip is from their trumph at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It’s their classic, Fortunate Son.

The stage is practically bare and the audience, being Brits, sits respectfully. What’s striking is not just how tight the band is and the insane energy level, but how very close the stage performance is to the recording. At a certain point, you may find yourself just mesmerized by the whole thing. They deserve every bit of their legendary status.