5 Deep Cuts From Creedence Clearwater Revival That You Should Be Listening To

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Few bands have the power to transport a listener in the same way that Creedence Clearwater Revival does. Immediately upon queueing up “Down on the Corner” or “Fortunate Son,” the listener’s mind is flooded with images of Vietnam-era protests and sepia-toned daydreams.

Although one could make an argument that CCR is slightly one-note, that one-note is stellar and has driven one of the most impressive catalogs in rock history. Moreover, if you dig a little deeper, they have some songs that widen their sonic net. Below, we’re going through some hidden gems from CCR that are a testament to both of those facts.

1. “Wrote A Song For Everyone”

John Fogerty wrote this hidden gem about a fight he had with his second wife. He once said, “my wife and I had a mild misunderstanding. There I was, the musician manic and possessed, the only guy holding things up. Without me, it all collapses, so I’m feeling quite put upon. As she walks out the door, I say to myself, ‘I wrote a song for everyone, and I couldn’t even talk to you.'”

2. “Bootleg”

“Bootleg” features on CCR’s second album, Bayou Country. Though the group is most well-known for their political anthems, Fogerty’s lyrical prowess shines just as brightly on this simple song about running moonshine as it ever has.

3. “Effigy”

Continuing their run of politically charged messaging, “Effigy” is a roots song about the Nixon administration. The lyrics point a finger at the former president as he was resigning from office: The palace door / Silent majority / Weren’t keeping quiet / Anymore. Though it may not measure up to “Fortunate Son” in terms of era-defining protest songs, “Effigy” is well worth a listen.

4. “Walking on The Water”

“Walking on The Water” has a driving, Clash-Esque guitar riff underneath lyrics about a run-in with Jesus. Fogerty takes his encounter with the divine as an omen of death. He sings I saw a man walking on the water / Coming right at me from the other side / Calling out my name; “do not be afraid.” Feet begin to run, pounding in my brain / I don’t want to go.

5. “Pagan Baby”

Taken from Pendulum, “Pagan Baby” sees Fogerty let his vocals fly free. He comes in with the opening line Pagan Baby, won’t you walk with me? with the kind of intensity only he could muster. It’s pretty standard fare for the group, but we will take as much of the classic CCR sound as we can get.

Photo credit Joel Selvin / shorefire media

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