I picked this little number up recently on – you guessed it – a recommendation. Creedence Clearwater Revival’s edition of Rock Legends (or is it the other way around... it’s a collection of CCR songs, anyway) is a fantastic album filled with songs by one of my latest crazes. I fell in love with the sound of CCR from the moment I heard Bad Moon Rising, so I had to have the CD when I found it in the shop!
Was it what you expected?
It was, and it wasn’t. I knew it’d be awesome, but I wasn’t sure of the sound before I listened to it the whole way through. My experience of Creedence Clearwater Revival was strictly limited to Bad Moon Rising and Proud Mary.
So does that mean –
Yes! They’re my favourite songs on the album. Two of my favourite songs to listen to out of everything I have in my collection. And that’s a lot of songs. I wasn’t going to get a CD with only one of them on it – it was both or nothing at all. Thankfully, this one found its way into my hands, and I love it. I mean, I may have two favourite songs out of sixteen on the album, but I can’t complain in one bit about any of the other songs. I love the guitar. It’s real classic rock guitar, not the sort of I’m-desperately-mainstream guitar you hear from a lot of bands. It’s not muddled up with a plethora of electric sounds, either. This is pure rock, and I love it. Which might surprise a few people – I paint a picture of myself as something entirely more modern, with an obsession with Glee that verges on dangerous. But, if it wasn’t for Glee I wouldn’t have first heard Proud Mary. I think it all evens out, there.
Which is better, then: the CCR or the Glee version of Proud Mary?
I knew you’d stick me with that option. Okay, one thing I’ll say – same lyrics, but they’re essentially different songs. Glee speeds up the CCR track to a dangerous tempo that threatens to throw the earth off its axis. Don’t get me wrong, I like it. I like the speed, the energy, the life that’s gone into the song. But it’s completely different from the mellow rock tune that CCR created. Instead of a slow, rolling beat to go with the lyrics, Glee created something that – as was intended – put life into the wheelchairs they sat in while performing the song in the show.
Let’s just clarify that, in case you don’t watch the show: there’s a kid in a wheelchair in the Glee Club, and to make him feel more included, they all go around in wheelchairs for a week. That way they know how he feels all the time. Part of the deal was also to do a “wheelchair song”, which is where Proud Mary comes in. To create a tune that showed that the guy wasn’t just a chair, they picked a song with the word “rolling” in it, and sped it up some to show the life, the energy, the emotion that the guy still has, even if his legs don’t work.
And it’s in that that the songs are different. Glee gave it a new purpose. For them, it wasn’t a classic rock song that was widely covered by a number of artists – it was a tune of expression. I think they did CCR proud, even if they had to change the song’s vibe. So, neither version is better. In saying that, though, I prefer CCR’s version of it, now that I’ve actually heard it. Originals tend to win hands down, because you can get a feel of the artist in them better.
Recommend the album, then?
Definitely. You haven’t heard rock until you’ve heard Creedence Clearwater Revival. They’ve got something special about them. They’ve captured some of the essence of rock. Too few people know about them these days. Sit back and enjoy the music, ladies and gentlemen. You won’t be disappointed.