Willy and the Poor Boys (40th Anniversary Edition) [Remastered]
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Willy and the Poor Boys was Creedence Clearwater’s fourth studio album and the third to be released in 1969. Working at this incredible pace, singer-songwriter John Fogerty came through in the clutch, authoring many of the band’s classic tunes in rapid succession. From the opening stomp of “Down on the Corner,” Fogerty’s clearly in an ebullient mood and his upbeat approach gives even his angry moments (“Fortunate Son”) a lightness of being that allows the listener to dance along. This California-bred rocker continues to obsess on an imagined southern youth in Louisiana (the country fried cover of Lead Belly’s “Cotton Fields,” the jugband-harmonica instrumental blues of “Poorboy Shuffle,” and the slow and moody “Feelin’ Blue”) with a stunning authenticity. The ominous rockabilly base of “Don’t Look Now” and the minor-key melancholy of “Effigy” represent the foreboding vibe he would perfect with the band’s next album, 1970’s Cosmo’s Factory. The 40th Anniversary Edition includes a studio version of “Down on the Corner” with Booker T. and the MGs, and live versions of “Fortunate Son” and “It Came Out of the Sky” that illustrate that Fogerty often restrains himself in the studio, as his singing here goes straight for overdrive.
The Great American Band notches their second classic
With Concord Music Group having purchased the Fantasy catalog, the fortieth anniversary of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s debut LP provides a suitable opportunity for a fresh round of reissues. All six of the original foursome’s albums (from 1968’s Creedence Clearwater Revival through 1970’s Pendulum) have been struck from new digital masters and augmented by previously unreleased tracks. Those who purchased the 2001 box set can pick up most of the bonus tracks separately as digital downloads (the two longest bonuses are CD-only). Those who didn’t buy the box, and think they’ll buy all six reissues may want to consider the box set for its inclusion of pre-Creedence work from the Blue Velvets and Golliwogs, the seventh CCR album Mardi Gras, the 1970-71 live recordings and several box-only bonuses. But for those just wanting to pick up a few favorite albums, these reissues are the ticket. Each is presented in a digipack with original front and back cover album art and a 16-page booklet with photos, credits and new liner notes. Creedence’s fourth album, their third full album for 1969, Willy & The Poor Boys, was even more of a classic than the preceding Green River. The band sounds even more at home with their sound and Fogerty’s creativity was stoked by the blistering pace at which he was creating new material. One could be forgiving of a few album tracks that didn’t measure up, but there weren’t any. Fogerty’s pen was overflowing with quality tunes and the band’s covers of “Cotton Fields” and “The Midnight Special” are so thoroughly inscribed with the Creedence sound as to be their own. Even the instrumental confection “Poorboy Shuffle,” with its wheezing harmonica and washboard skiffle, fits tightly into the album’s sequence, providing a light introduction and crossfade to the Ike Turner styled “Feelin’ Blue.” The darkness of Green River is mostly dispelled here, as “Down on the Corner” opens the album with a joyous shuffle that coasts on Creedence’s potent rhythm section, and the paranoia of “It Came Out of the Sky” is played for rural laughs. Fogerty’s not without his calluses though, and “Fortunate Son” opens with a low, throbbing bass and memorable guitar riff to accompany the blistering attack on masters of war and privileged souls who get others to fight their wars. The 2008 CD’s bonus tracks include live versions of “Fortunate Son” and “It Came Out of the Sky” recorded by the three-piece Creedence on their 1971 European tour. The former is sung at a breakneck tempo that doesn’t seethe as fully as the studio original, the latter, recorded in Berlin, features the same hot guitar mix as other tracks from this show. Closing the CD is a version of “Down on the Corner” recorded with Booker T. and the MGs. The mono audio of this last bonus is less than sparkling, but where else are you going to hear John Fogerty and Steve Cropper swapping guitar licks? [©2008 hyperbolium dot com]
Dude, this is my favorite CCR album
This album has some of greatest songs, like Down on the Corner, Cotton Fields, and Fortunate Son, among others.
Just try and beat this, go on, i dare you.
Formed: 1967 in El Cerrito, CA
Years Active: '60s, '70s