Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival

After a quick trip to April Fool's land for last week's installment, Six Pack is back to his old ways of counting down classic rock's top songs and top bands.

This week, the spotlight is on Creedence Clearwater Revival, the undisputed kings of swamp rock.

CCR is on many top 10 bands lists but most likely not anybody's No. 1 favorite. That's fine with Six Pack, who picked Creedence as the top "C" band of all time last spring.

Is there a bad Creedence song? None come to mind. Bands experiment all of the time and sometimes fall short in that experimentation. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Pearl Jam, U2, Van Halen — some of Six Pack' s favorites — but all have a song or two that just don't do it for me for one reason or another.

CCR? Not one comes to mind. Granted, the entire CCR catalog is not readily available for Six Pack's perusal but a full two hours were burned during the writing of this column without a skip, so hats off to CCR and Pandora.

Before we unveil the top six, here are the near-misses — "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" "Green River," "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" and "Down on the Corner."

6. "Who'll Stop the Rain?" — The swamp rockers love to sing about rain; and in this one, Six Pack thinks rain is a metaphor for the government. Protest music was their specialty and the brothers Fogerty do not disappoint with this song from "Cosmo's Factory," which reached No. 2. This, along with No. 1 on the list, may be the best. And it lends itself nicely to the automatic parody of replacing the rain with the name Duane.

5. "Lookin' Out My Back Door" — Released on 1970's "Cosmo's Factory," the song peaked at No. 2 and marked the height of popularity for the band. Younger brother John was taking over, and older brother Tom left the group and it wasn't long (1972) that CCR was no more. Just for the record, it is "Doo doo doo lookin' out my back door" and not dude, dude, dude.

4. "Born on the Bayou" — Some call it the band's signature song and it reached along with its co-single "Proud Mary," but the boys were from California and not cajun country. John Fogerty's guitar was swiped out of his car after recording this song in late 1968. Luckily, like most guitarists, he had about a dozen more.

3. "Bad Moon Rising" — Has there ever been a werewolf movie that this song hasn't been in? Also, John Fogerty himself acknowledges the lyric "there's a bad moon on the rise" sounds a bit like "there's a bathroom on the right." John Fogerty was inspired to write the song after watching "The Devil and Daniel Webster." Six Pack was going to fib and tell you it was after "Stephen King's Silver Bullet," but Six Pack is too professional to lie.

2. "Up Around the Bend" — It has one of the most recognizable John Fogerty guitar riffs at the start of the song. And its meaning? Nothing more than a California joyride. Great songs don't have to be about deep issues and CCR proves that here.

1. "Fortunate Son" — Another great protest song about the haves and the have-nots, Fogerty claims he is the latter and Six Pack believes him. The song peaked at just No. 14 on the Billboard charts, proving chart success doesn't mean a lot. A recent cover of it at the Concert for Valor sparked some debate and criticism from conservatives, but the song is not an attack on soldiers, but classism, so cool your jets, "Fox and Friends."

Tim Ahrens can be reached at timahrens@daily-journal.com or at 815-937-3393.