Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Chronicle’ Liner Notes (1976)

Rarely in rock and roll history has there been so close a relationship between creative achievement and audience response as with Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1969 and 1970, the years when they were without question the most successful and exhilarating band in America. Making music against the grain of the post-San Francisco pop music of the Sixties, Creedence struck a true chord with records that were clean, demanding, vivid, and fast—with what might be called straight-forward lyricism. Single by single, they said their piece and got out. Because of the total absence of gimmicks, posing, and prettifying, their records stand up today far better than almost anything else made at the time. The tracks are deceptive: beautifully, lovingly made, they sound about as contrived as the weather.

It is, taken all at once, miraculous stuff. At least four tunes here—“Proud Mary,” “Green River,” “Fortunate Son” and “Up Around the Bend”—literally define rock and roll—as a musical form, as a recurring event, as a version of the American spirit. Few good bands go so far, even once.

Creedence believed that the music they made would always sound different from—in opposition to—whatever else was in fashion at the time, whatever the time might be. They were right. Were “Green River” on the radio today it would jump right off it, something else entirely, just as it did seven years ago. Like the other nineteen tracks on Chronicle, it is rock and roll with no excuses given, no questions asked. There has never been much of that around, and never more of it collected in one place than here.

Creedence Clearwater Revival, Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits, 1976

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