At The Royal Albert Hall – Creedence Clearwater Revival Album (+Documentary)

“So we’re planning to play The Beatles’ house and I want us to do the best possible job. And we all felt that way I’m sure. I think we pulled it off.” – CCR drummer Doug Clifford. 

By April 14, 1970, Creedence Clearwater Revival had released four albums – Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bayou Country, Green River, and Willy and the Poor Boys. (The last three were all released in 1969!). In the belief that they had to have a record on the charts at all times and not just when they had an album out, they churned out an absolute shitload of singles in that time as well:

“Porterville,” “Suzie Q,” “I Put a Spell On You,” “Proud Mary,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Lodi,” “Green River.” Hell, they hadn’t even yet released Cosmo’s Factory with “Travelin’ Band,” “Run Through the Jungle,” “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” etc.

In 1969 alone they had five top 10 singles, three top 10 albums, and outsold the Beatles. They were the very first band picked to play at Woodstock, the organizers figuring they would give the festival credibility. (Fogerty thought their performance was subpar and wouldn’t allow its inclusion on the album. They OK’d some stuff for a subsequent album.)

So, back to April 14, 1970. As things would happen, the Beatles were pretty much defunct by the time CCR did their first European tour. The Royal Albert Hall concert was filmed but – for whatever reason – never released. (For all we know it got caught up in the legal bullshit the band got sucked into with their label.)

Netflix has a documentary called Travelin’ Band (narrated by Jeff Bridges) about the European tour and it’s pretty good. I don’t think the whole concert is on there but there’s a fair amount of it for sure.

I’d never wanted to see CCR because I always understood they played their songs just like the record. They do, but boy, do they have a lot of fucking energy. A very, very tight unit and I’m reminded not only of how good a band they were but how good especially John Fogerty was as a guitarist and Doug Clifford as a drummer.

Side note – there’s some video of the guys – who had never been outside the States – talking about having their eyes opened in Europe. In one scene, the naive Fogerty is asked “How do you like the girls in Paris?” He says “Huh?” and starts rambling on about how all hotel rooms look the same. Dear 1970 John – that was your cue to invite the young lady back to said room.

Enough bullshitting. So, how is the album? Well, I listened to it in the car and it rocks. Hard. These guys sound great and the songs are fantastic.

“Travelin’ Band” is one of my favorite songs by any band at any time anywhere. THIS is rock and roll:

In speaking of “Born on the Bayou,” drummer Doug Clifford says it’s his favorite song to play live. “I love the nastiness of the song… It just epitomizes what we’re about. It’s always had that great quarter groove.” It’s notable that Clifford’s favorite drummer is Al Jackson Jr. from Booker T and the MG’s. (Audio only)

Lastly, here they are kickin’ it with “Fortunate Son.” Is there any question as to why Bruce loves these guys? Or for that matter, the rest of us? This is primal ass-kicking rock and roll. And with a message!

Creedence got a 15-minute standing ovation. But Fogerty thought that encores were “phony” so they didn’t do one. Too bad.

Wikipedia: CCR’s music is still a staple of U.S. classic rock radio airplay; 30 million CCR records have been sold in the U.S. alone. The compilation album Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits, originally released in 1976, is still on the Billboard 200 album chart and reached the 500-week mark in December 2020. It has been awarded 10 × platinum.

Sources: Goldmine mag. Wikipedia. 

25 thoughts on “At The Royal Albert Hall – Creedence Clearwater Revival Album (+Documentary)

    1. Trust me you’ll love it. There’s just enough documentary and then they just turn the rest of it over to the concert. Just sounds great. I’ve been listening to it on Spotify for a couple of days too. Great, well-rehearsed, well-played rock and roll.

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        1. It was really good, and it gave me an idea for a post. I run this challenge every Sunday called Song Lyric Sunday and I let people make suggestions for future themes. One participant suggested song that you would like to be played at your funeral and for this I decided on going with Keep On Chooglin’ because I want everyone who attends to have a good time.

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    1. The album is fucking great. They played with a lot of intensity. What I liked about the doc is they gave you just enough history, just enough of them hanging out in Europe. And then they just blast the concert with no more commentary.

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      1. I watched the documentary earlier this evening. Man, CCR were such a great band! Really tight. Great energy. Fogerty’s vocals were fantastic. It once again illustrates music doesn’t need to be complicated to be great.

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        1. Spot on. The energy level was high. They knew they had to turn it on tp play in the “Beatles’ house” and boy did they ever.

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        1. Oh, unrelated but: is it now a race to bring legal charges against the orange buffoon before the house passes to the GOP in Jan? Or is his 2024 run as doomed to fail as it looks from the outside anyway?

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        2. No, there is no rush to do that as such. The House committees have no legal authority to indict or charge anyone with a crime. All they can do is investigate and recommend (or not) to the Department of Justice (DOJ) whether they think he should be charged. And only they can charge him, no one else.

          Regardless of whether or not the House recommends that, it’s the DOJ’s decision and the DOJ doesn’t disappear with a change of the House. The only thing that happens in that respect is that the committee gets shut down. But that is not a problem as their work is largely done. The new House members can’t stop or down the DOJ. Theoretically they could defund it but those are long odds.

          And you’ll note the DOJ has assigned a special counsel. There is some disagreement as to whether or not that’s a good idea. But it sounds like the guy is like a dog with a bone.. He has most recently been prosecuting war crimes in the Hague.

          As to Orange Slimeball, he has lost a lot of supporters – megadonors, ardent MAGA idiots, Murdoch. But we have to be very cautious about writing him off. We laughed at him before and wrote him off as a candidate. And then he won.

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        3. I’d hope that the difference now is that people know what four years of that horror show represents and that the memory of Jan. 6th and the currently high number of legal cases against him would be enough to keep those undecided and swing states Blue… then the question is whether Biden decides he wants another pop

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        4. Right you are. However, if we depend on the general populace being smart and voting in their own interest, you lot would have voted Brexit down by a resounding majority.

          As to Biden, I hope he does run again. He has had a number of bipartisan legislative successes and even a conservative columnist in Washington Post called his Ukraine policy ‘masterful.’ (Direct quote.) Plus it might help the US get over its virulent ageism. The Japanese venerate the elderly for their wisdom. We venerate rich white men.

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  1. I always find it hard to reconcile Fogerty’s appearance with his voice. Sounds like he should have a huge beard. The live versions sound good on those clips – Fortunate Son is quite a bit faster, right?

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    1. Even odder is the fact that Fogerty wrote songs about the Deep South and had never been there. Writers’ imagination I guess. Is Fortunate Son faster? I hadn’t noticed. Probably. They were pretty jacked up for the show.

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