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Willy and the Poor Boys

4.8 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

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 black street group that gave the album its title) and "Fortunate Son," Fogerty's most ferocious political rant. Each 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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Down On The Corner
  2. It Came Out Of The Sky
  3. Cotton Fields
  4. Poorboy Shuffle
  5. Feelin' Blue
  6. Fortunate Son
  7. Don't Look Now
  8. The Midnight Special
  9. Side O' The Road
  10. Effigy

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fantasy
  • ASIN: B000000XCF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,221 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Creedence Clearwater Revival Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Incredible that (not counting "Mardi Gras" which is best forgotten) the period during which CCR ruled the rock universe lasted just over two years. But during that period, they released six excellent albums - four of which (from Bayou Country to Cosmo's Factory) stand among the greatest rock albums ever. That's a feat that's difficult to comprehend in an age when most artists take 2-3 years between releases and are lucky to have three or four really good songs on each.

One of the tricks, of course, is that each of these great albums had 10-12 songs that clocked in at a total time of about 30-35 minutes (someone was paying attention to the Beatles). But, most important, was that these guys played ferocious gutbucket R&R in a period when bands, like fellow Bay Area alumni The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, were taking the youth of America on a totally different trip. And, in that fertile period, "Willy" has to stand out as my favorite.

This was an ALBUM, when that meant something. There is a cohesive feel to this album that works seamlessly. Even "Poorboy Shuffle", a consciously sloppy blues shuffle, works perfectly as a bridge between "Cotton Fields" and "Feelin' Blue". "Down On The Corner" and "Fortunate Son" (which Rolling Stone once deemed the greatest rock song ever) were the (desrvedly) smash hits from this album. Everything else, excepting Effigy, is every bit as good. "It Came Out Of The Sky" may be a bit silly lyrically, but I can't think of a song that gives a better adrenaline rush blasting out of the car stereo. But one of the greatest accomplishments here is that they took a couple of Leadbelly tunes and made them sound as if they were always meant for a group of white boys.
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Format: Audio CD
When asked about their favorite CCR album, most fans predictably respond in favor of "Cosmo's Factory." Although I generally agree with the populace on the quality that album, my favorite is definitely "Willy and the Poorboys." What appeals to me most about this album is that it seems a little quieter then preceding ones. Two songs that have a strong influence on this mood include CCR's covers of the folk songs "Cotton Fields," and "Midnight Special", both of which are executed beautifully. "Don't Look Now", is a also a great, folk sounding tune, carrying a very profound message that takes many listens to even begin to understand. Of course their are also the two widely popular and highly overplayed classics "Fortunate Son," and "Down On the Corner." Although they are both great songs, I prefer the lesser played songs, because they are also wonderful, and I haven't heard them as much. I think what makes this band so great is that they offer a place of solace and escape from the rigors of our daily lives. This group of four musicians from Northern California created a whole musical mythology about the old world of the Bayou, digging deeper and deeper into the roots of the south, meanwhile creating a sound that is both historical and timeless. All of this is pretty phenomenal considering they weren't even from the south. For anyone with more then a passing interest in Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Willy and the Poorboys" is a definite buy.
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Format: Audio CD
CCR's fourth album "Willy And The Poor Boys", and perhaps their most commercially accessible, pushed the group into the rock and roll stratosphere reserved for likes of the Beatles, Hendrix, and Joplin. This was the group's third platinum album. Success seemed as though it came naturally for the group. John Fogerty's down to earth from-the-street vocal style endeared him to a large cross section of fans. Sounding as if they were from deep in the Louisiana Bayou rather than El Cerrito, California, they had plenty of rhythm and blues in there soul. They successfully combined those blues and r & b influences with rock music to come up with an irresistible sound that literally possessed your feet.
With Fogerty belting out anthems like "Fortunate Son", CCR won the hearts of Vietnam Veterans and protesters of war all across the star spangled land. The classic blues song "Cotton Fields", lets people know just how important blues music was to the group, as well as indicating where the heart and soul of their music emerged from. "The Midnight Special" was a chart stopper, and easily one of the most well known songs by the group to this day. "Down On The Corner", with it's funky and irresistible bass lines to start things off, really draws you right in and holds you mesmerized throughout the entire song. Besides being a wonderful foot stompin' boogie (and now classic song), it has become an enduring rock staple for the ages. Songs of this nature tend to easily hold their unwavering appeal without the ravaging effects of time changing anyone's opinion. "Effigy" is my personal favorite, it ends the album leaving you with a feeling of wanting and emptiness inside.
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