1969, a time when Rock music was morphing in every direction, driven by changing cultures, social awareness, and recreational drug use. Bands were discovering Heavy Rock, Folk Rock, the remnants of Blues, and all sounded perfect for the new spaced out population, everyone in the clouds un-tethered, listening to their Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane on their transistors. So where do CCR find a vehicle for their “old style” Country Rock ‘n Roll.? To a certain extent, one thinks of John Fogerty and his merry men as the tether that holds the balloon that was late 60’s Rock down to earth. Simple melodies, concise instrumentation, and an understanding of their musical limitations interpreted best on “Green River”.
Where their previous offering “Bayou Country” was a looser affair, with longer instrumental exchanges, “Green River” is tight 3 minute songs, highlighting Fogerty’s song writing skill, hiding dark, sometimes menacing lyrics, but overall offering the listener better content than on their 2 previous releases. The highlights are the excellent title track “Green River”, the “full on Rock ‘n Roll” of “Commotion”, the menacing “Bad Moon Rising”, and the haunting ballad “Lodi”. What is noticeable from all the songs apart from the title track, is that masking the dark, melancholic lyrics, is upbeat melodies, simple, well crafted and well performed. Fogerty was by this time writing prolifically (this was their 2nd album of the year), and it is a testament to his ability that “Green River” doesn’t contain any filler at all.
A document of a great band, doing what they do best.