Rick Nelson’s single has been out for a while—it’s finally in the stores and getting some airplay. Rick’s version of Dylan’s lovely song is very restrained; sometimes as if he’s almost afraid he’ll slip into Dylan’s phrasing. He doesn’t; it’s a quiet, satisfying performance. The record is badly marred by a female chorus that can only be called stupid. If producer Charles Dant allows this sort of thing to clutter up future releases by Rick, his comeback will stop dead. Rick has a way with a song that only Dylan has captured, on “I Threw It All Away.” Hopefully, Rick will try that next…
Creedence Clearwater is the only group outside of the Beatles and the Stones that make consistently powerful two-sided singles. They learned how in the Fifties, but didn’t get stuck there—these three groups know that a single’s not just an album cut with a big hole in the middle. John Fogerty said recently that he digs singles because they’re so immediate—think it up, write it down, record it, and just like that it’s on the market and on the radio. “Bad Moon Rising,” he said, was three weeks from idea to product. Singles can often fit the times better than albums for just this reason, and one doesn’t have to take them seriously—throw it in the corner when the album comes out. The fun was there.
“Fortunate Son”/”Down on the Corner” is one of their best, especially “Son.” Bone-rattling guitar keying a searing vocal: “I ain’t no millionaire’s son, naw, naw, naw!” Fogerty is also beginning to insert tantalizing political references into his songs, without for a moment sacrificing their value as rock and roll; he did it on “Wrote a Song for Everyone” on the last album, and this time—just listen to the way he sings “When the band played/HAIL to the chief.” A brilliant songwriter.
Rolling Stone, December 13, 1969