Retro Review: Creedance Clearwater Revival

In 1968, John Fogerty, Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford quit their jobs, got discharged from the military, and started a band that would be entered into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame 25 years later as one of the single greatest American Rock bands of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR, as it is commonly abbreviated) was actually the third iteration of the quartet. In junior high, they played covers of the popular music of the day under the name of “The Blue Velvets,” which was changed when the band signed to Fantasy Records to “The Golliwoggs.”
Prior to this, John Fogerty had stuck to playing lead guitar and left the singing up to his older brother Tom, who did a fair job. This changed, however, because as Tom would say later, “I could sing, but John had a sound!” This relegated Tom back to the rhythm guitar until John and Doug were called up by the draft, that is. Luckily, John got into the Army Reserves while Doug scored a spot in the Coast Guard (not exactly high-risk positions.)
After the two were discharged, the other members quit their jobs and settled into a tough schedule of rehearsing, recording, and playing live under the new name Creedence Clearwater Revival.
I know that in your mind you picture all of this happening in Louisiana, or Alabama, or some other southern state. I thought the same thing, but I was wrong, as you are now wrong. In fact, the band got its start near San Francisco. That’s right, folks. Those bastions of southern swamp rock, with hits like “Born on the Bayou,” were actually a bunch of liberal-hippie Californians.
My mind was blown. Was yours? As you can probably guess, they released an album, did some touring, and the single “Suzie Q” got some attention. It even made it to #11 on the Billboard Top 40, but they didn’t cause too much of a stir. Then they released  the album Bayou Country and everything changed.
With the single “Proud Mary” the band found their first hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard charts. The album became a #7 platinum hit, and CCR began pumping out hit single after hit single on album after album. They released three very successful albums that year, with four hit singles and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show (1969 was a good year to be Creedence).
In fact, 1970 was a pretty damn good year to be Creedence too. Well, most of it. They went on their first European tour, released two more top 10 albums, several more hit singles, and were featured on the cover of “Rolling Stone.” However, during the recording of the album Pendulum, Tom Fogerty left the band permanently. With his departure, John Fogerty became a total pain and told Cook and Clifford that they would have to write and sing their own music from now on. If they didn’t like that, he would quit, too. The resulting album was so sub-par, Rolling Stone reviewer Jon Landau called it “the worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band.” Ouch.
Not long after, the band broke up.  CCR has the odd record of having the most #2 hits without having any #1 hits. A total of 5 hit #2, making them the band with the third most #2 hits after Elvis and Madonna.
Tom Fogerty died of AIDS due to a tainted blood transfusion, his brother John went downhill and sued Cook and Clifford over their new band Creedence Clearwater Revisited. John even refused to play with his band mates when CCR was inducted into the Hall of Fame, barring Cook, Clifford, and Tom’s widow carrying his ashes, from entering the stage – way to go John, real nice.