The Midnight Special - Creedence Clearwater Revival, Traditional
Side O' the Road
The Band that Fogerty Built was truly an American phenomenon during their relatively short recording career. Each of their albums, beginning with 1969's Bayou Country, was a Top 40 hit-making machine. Willy & the Poor Boys... more » produced two smashes--"Down on the Corner" (which is about the fictional street group that gave the album its title) and "Fortunate Son," Fogerty's most ferocious political rant. Each CCR LP was a concept collection of sorts, and this one was a tribute to the South, featuring two traditional standards popularized by Leadbelly as well as two instrumentals that made you swear CCR were from New Orleans rather than Oakland, California. --Bill Holdship« less
The Band that Fogerty Built was truly an American phenomenon during their relatively short recording career. Each of their albums, beginning with 1969's Bayou Country, was a Top 40 hit-making machine. Willy & the Poor Boys produced two smashes--"Down on the Corner" (which is about the fictional street group that gave the album its title) and "Fortunate Son," Fogerty's most ferocious political rant. Each CCR LP was a concept collection of sorts, and this one was a tribute to the South, featuring two traditional standards popularized by Leadbelly as well as two instrumentals that made you swear CCR were from New Orleans rather than Oakland, California. --Bill Holdship
"By this time(1969-70), Creedence Clearwater Revival, under the leadership of John Fogerty was nigh on unbeatable in the singles charts(and their albums were pretty darn good,too). WILLY AND THE POORBOYS is an album based around the concept of a street corner band led by Willy (John Fogerty?). Tom Fogerty, Stu Cook and Doug 'Cosmo' Clifford, naturally, portray the Poor Boys. DOWN ON THE CORNER - An introduction to Willy And the Poorboys. Down home funkiness by a band that strangely had never been down south.Great harmonies on the chorus.IT CAME OUT OF THE SKY - A humorus rocker of a something falling out of the sky,landing on a good'ol boy's farm and the American public's knee jerk reactions to it. Love the line, "And Ronnie the popular said it was a Communist plot"! COTTON FIELDS - Country rock version of the Leadbelly folk standard. This version walks all over the Beach Boys' attempt at it around the same time.POORBOY SHUFFLE - Willy and crew having a washboard jam session.Makes you think it is a real band on the corner playing for pennies and dimes. FEELIN' BLUE - Rock blues number with a swampy kick. Bass is low and muttering, courtesy of Stu Cook. FORTUNATE SON - Raging anti war stormer about how the wealthy seemed to be contributing less to the Vietnam war effort than the poor, in men and money. You can feel the scorn and fury directed at the 'fat cats'in Fogerty's voice. Still packs a punch over thirty years later.DON'T LOOK NOW - Pure country ditty basically stating, "If you want something done,do it yourself; 'cause no one else is gonna do it".THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL - Another Leadbelly tune that Fogerty makes all his own. This is down south folk rock with a swamp rock twist and the harmonies are spellbinding.Good to sing along to.SIDE O' THE ROAD - Blues shuffle jam session that shows the band's chops off to great effect.EFFIGY - This could be about the Vietnam war and the power of the protest movement: "Silent majority weren't keepin' quiet anymore!" Whatever the case,this is a powerful way to end a powerful album. A must for your collection!"
ONE OF THE BIG 4
jerry langley | oklahoma | 08/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THIS CD IS A CLASSIC.CCR MADE 4 GREAT CD,BAYOU COUNTRY,COSMOS FACTORY GREEN RIVER AND THIS CLASSIC WILLIE AND THE POORBOYS.JUST CHECK OUT THE POORBOY SHUFFLE AND IT GOES RIGHT INTO FEELIN BLUE.WHAT A GREAT COMBO,BUT THE WHOLE CD IS GREAT.THE 20BIT REMASTERING IS REALLY WORTH THE MONEY,BECAUSE THE SOUND IS EXCELLENT."
(3.5 stars) Good, but far from the "American Sgt. Pepper's"
finulanu | Here, there, and everywhere | 03/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason, this has a place in this crazy world of our as being the ultimate American rock `n' roll album, because it's a concept album (albeit a veeeery loose one), the lyrics are about the American South, and... well, you lost me there. In a way, I can understand why this is treated with such reverence: correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that in 1969 the only other American who had ever put out concept albums was Frank Zappa, and most of his were harshly critical of the blue-collar U.S. o' A. I guess the crazy Yanks just needed a Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band of their own. The record really has its moments, but there's also a lot of pointlessness. Exhibits A and B are the instrumentals. Creedence has no place doing instrumentals. There ain't a single virtuoso in the group, and they don't even have good atmosphere, something extended workouts like "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" or "Graveyard Train" were packed with. I suppose the instrumentals in question ("Poor Boy Shuffle" and "Side o' the Road", if you were interested) are listenable, but they're also rather boring. Also uninvolving is the group's cover of Leadbelly's "Cotton Fields", and "Feelin' Blue" is "Keep on Chooglin'" all over again - a failed attempt to stretch one catchphrase out to a whole song. Okay, so now that I undoubtedly have everyone from every American rock magazine coming at me with torches, pitchforks, and other weapons, let me attempt to make amends. The remaining six songs rule. "Fortunate Son" really is one of the great protest songs, a powerful statement with an equally powerful riff, while "Down on the Corner" is a fun rocker that makes the best of its non-traditional percussion and jazzy guitar solo. Those two turned out to be two of the biggest hits of the group's career. But that's not all! Another protest, this one more creepy than angry ("Effigy") is also one of the group's most successful extended "nightmare mood pieces". "It Came from the Sky" is crisp, punchy, and funny. "Don't Look Now (It Ain't You Or Me)" is an excellent blues-rocker with tinges of regret. Lastly, their version of "The Midnight Special" is quite successful, mainly due to Fogerty's stirring vocals. So while it's not the great American masterpiece many think it is, it's still an efficient, emotional album."
CCR's Last Album Of The 60's
Will Culp | Greenville, South Carolina | 08/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Willy And The Poor Boys(1969). Creedence Clearwater Revival's Fourth Album.
Much like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival was capable of shelling out an album every few months and enjoying immense commercial and critical success. With three multi-platinum albums behind them, Creedence Clearwater Revival released 'Willy And The Poor Boys'. In late 1969, 'Willy And The Poor Boys' hit #1 on the Albums Chart and the resulting singles, "Fortunate Son" and "Down On The Corner" became huge hits for the band. As always, CCR's careful blend of Blues, Folk, Country, 50's Rock, and Classic Rock helped the band became sensations in all kinds of music, and led by Fogerty's gravelly anti-pop vocals and wailing guitar, it's no surprise the band has gone down as legends. So, is 'Willy And The Poor Boys' another solid release from Creedence Clearwater Revival, or a career misstep? Read on to find out!
Down On The Corner- A big hit, "Down On The Corner" is a fun rocker that blends a catchy bassline with a Country/Rock beat. It's unlikely you won't be humming this to yourself!
It Came Out Of The Sky- You'd think this is Elvis or Buddy Holly, but you'd be wrong. CCR takes a stab at 50's rock, and with Fogerty's energetic guitar riff and humorous lyrics, you can't help but like it!
Cotton Fields- It's hard to believe these guys were from California! CCR blends an interesting mix of Country, Folk, and down-home Southern Rock to create a catchy little number.
Poorboy Shuffle- A harmonica instrumental. While it may just be filler, at least it's interesting.
Feelin' Blue- Much like a song you'd come to expect from B.B. King or Eric Clapton, CCR dishes out a bluesy rocker, and with Fogerty's addictive guitar melody and vocals, it's no surprise this is another winner. "Feelin' Blu-who-who-blue"!
Fortuneate Son- A direct protest against the Vietnam War, "Fortunate Son" spoke to millions after it became a huge hit. CCR adds a shaper edge to the song, and Fogerty's angry vocals remind me of heavier acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd or pre-Stevie Nicks Fleetwood Mac. It's no wonder this song became a huge hit....it rules!
Don't Look Now- Much like Bob Dylan, CCR blends Folk and Rock on "Don't Look Now", although it seems a little generic along with the other tracks. Not bad, just average.
The Midnight Special- Much slower and considerably quiter than most of CCR's music, "The Midnight Special" is still an energetic Blues-Rock song fulled to the brim with catchy vocals and guitarwork. A good song, just a little slower than most of CCR's stuff, although I wouldn't call this a "ballad".
Side O' The Road- A guitar driven, Fogerty produced instrumental. Need I say more? Fogerty shows why he's one of the 60's best guitarist, ranking right up there with Clapton and Hendrix. In case you didn't know, Creedence Clearwater Revival does have a few Progressive Rock songs on each album, and these last two songs fit the bill.
Effigy- 'Willy And The Poor Boy's longest track, "Effigy" is almost twice as long as every track. Much like the Doors or Iron Butterfly, "Effigy" is a casual mix of Psychadelic Folk Rock, mixed with Progressive elements and excellent musicianship. Fogerty + guitar = bliss!
Overall, 'Willy And The Poor Boys' is another winner from Creedence Clearwater Revival, one of the few bands from the Late 60's-Early 70's that I actually enjoy! Blending the catchy pop hooks of the Beatles and the instrumental talent of Cream, not to mention various influences from 50's Rock and Progressive Rock, CCR never fails to deliver! If you won't good, clean, fun, addictive, and enjoyable classic rock, look no further!
Killer Kuts- "Down On The Corner", "Fortunate Son", "Side O' The Road", and "Effigy".
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED TO FANS OF CLASSIC ROCK, BLUES, FOLK, AND CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL! THESE GUYS RULE, YOU HAVE TO CHECK THEM OUT!
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