Creedence Clearwater Revival Albums Ranked

Creedence Clearwater Revival Albums Ranked

Photo: Fantasy Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Creedence Clearwater Revival albums list takes a look at one of the all time great American Rock and roll bands that just about everyone loved. The band’s origins go back to 1959 and the member’s junior high school days in a band called the Blue Velvets. At the time, John Fogerty, Doug Clifford and Stu Cook were playing together in a junior high school band playing mostly instrumentals. Eventually, John Fogerty’s older brother Tom Fogerty would join the group. While they were still teens the group signed a record deal with Fantasy Records in 1964. The group’s name was changed to The Golliwogs. As the Vietnam War began, John Fogerty and Stu Cook found themselves drafted into the U.S. Armed Forces.

In 1967, Fantasy Records was sold to an man named Saul Zaentz. The new owner brought the band into the studio to record their first full length studio album. At the time, the group decided to change their name from the Golliwogs to Creedence Clearwater Revival. The idea for the name stemmed from three different sources. A friend named Creedence Newball, a television commercial for a brewing company in which Clearwater came from, and the fact that the band was being revived from signing a deal with Fantasy.

In 1968, Creedence Clearwater Revival released their first album simply titled Creedence Clearwater Revival. The album contained songs that the band had released and recorded as the  Golliwogs. The two biggest hits on the album were cover songs including “I Put A Spell On You,” by Screamin Jay Hawkins and “Suzie Q,” by Dale Hawkins, Eleanor Broadwater and Stanley Lewis. The legend of Creedence Clearwater Revival had begun.

Creedence Clearwater Revival followed up their debut album a year later with the album Bayou County in 1969. That same year, the band released two more albums entitled Green River and Willy and The Poor Boys. In one year, the band had released three albums that all broke in to the top 10 of the Billboard Top 200. All three albums were monster hits and huge sellers with each title going two to three times platinum in sales over time. There are not many bands in history that have released three top 10 albums in the same year.

After celebrating a year in which the group released three spectacular albums, Creedence Clearwater Revival came roaring back the following year in 1970 and released what many fans believe was their best album in the record Cosmo’s Factory. Six months later Creedence Clearwater Revival released their sixth album entuited Pendulum. Creedence Clearwater Revival had released six amazing rock records in a span of only two years.

While the band was celebrating so much success, there were also tensions in the band that were getting worse. Band members believed that John Fogerty had become too dominant of a force. John Fogerty argued that it was his talents alone that had made Creedence Clearwater Revival a hit making machine. The conflicts would result in John’s older brother Tom Fogerty leaving the band. In 1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival released their final album as a trio minus Tom Fogerty entitled Mardi Gras. The album was slammed by critics and many fans. It was the band’s weakest album of their career. In 1972, Creedence Clearwater Revival broke up forever.

For a two year to three year period, Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the biggest bands in the world on a level of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys. They were indeed far bigger in the United States than they were anywhere else. Their music has continued to sell and their songs define an era of protests and war alongside Bob Dylan. They were foir a time as big of a part of mass culture as they were pop culture.

# 7 – Mardi Gras

We open up our Creedence Clearwater Revival albums list with the band’s final album entitled Mardi Gras.  The album hit the stores on April 11, 1972. Like we wrote in the introduction, Mardi Gras was the band’s weakest album on many fronts. Even John Fogerty has been quoted as saying it was a weak album. Looking back, it’s still a fun rock and roll record, it just did not compare to the first six. The album did spawn one hit single in the track “Sweet Hitch Hiker.”

# 6 – Creedence Clearwater Revival

At number six on our Creedence Clearwater Revival albums list is the band’s debut album Creedence Clearwater Revival. The album was issued on May 28, 1968. It was a short album only containing seven tracks. Additionally, three out of the seven songs were cover songs including “Suzie Q,” written by Dale Hawkins, Eleanor Broadwater and Stanley Lewis, “I Put A Spell On You,” composed by Screamin Jay Hawkins and “Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)” written by the Stax r&b rock legends Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd and Wilson Pickett. Our favorite song on the album was actually released as the LP’s first single and first ever Creedence Clearwater Revival single entitled “Porterville.” Even though it did not chart, it stands as one of the band’s  best singles and is simply one of their most underrated songs.

# 5 – Pendulum

Pendulum stands as the last great Creedence Clearwater Revival album. The record was released on December 9, 1970. The album contains some of our all time favorite Creedence Clearwater Revival songs in the tracks “Have You Seen The Rain,” and “Hey Tonight,” which were both top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself broke into the Billboard top 200 albums charts peaking at number five. It did really well in Norway and Austria where it hit number one on those countries’ album charts.

# 4 – Bayou Country

Continuing with our Creedence Clearwater Revival albums list we present the great Creedence Clearwater Revival album entitled Bayou Country. The album was released on January 5th 1969. The Bayou Country album was a major breakthrough record for Creedence Clearwater Revival. It would become the band’s first top 10 album. It would also begin a year in which the group released three special albums. Sales of Bayou County were fueled by what would become one the biggest hits of their career in the single “Proud Mary.” written by John Fogerty. The song would hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song would also celebrate massive commercial success when Ike and Tina Turner had a huge hit with the song in 1972.

Creedence Clearwater Revival would go on to have multiple number two records on the Billboard Hot 100 but were never able to celebrate a number one on the U.S. Billboard top 100.

Bayou Country was a great rock album and a much stronger effort than their debut album. The album’s opening track “Born On The Bayou,” would become a Creedence Clearwater Revival classic. The album contained some great deep track such as “Graveyard Train” and “Penthouse Pauper. Other favorites included the great recording “Keep On Chooglin’” which closed out the album and the record’s only cover song entitled “Good Golly Miss Molly,” written by Little Richard.

# 3 – Willy And The Poor Boys 

Every one of these Creedence Clearwater Revival albums on this list just keeps getting better. Up next is the legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival album Willy And The Poor Boys which was released on November 2, 1969. The album followed up their huge album Green River. Willy And The Poor Boys contained some really big time Creedence Clearwater Revival songs including the best Vietnam War protest song of all time in the track “Fortunate Son.” The album opened with what become another classic in “Down Around The Corner,” as well as containing the song “Midnight Special.” Willy And The Poor Boys hit number three on the Billboard Top 200 and has since sold two million copies.

# 2 – Green River

In the number two spot on our  Creedence Clearwater Revival albums is the band’s third album entitled Green River. The Green River album stood in the middle of the big three Creedence Clearwater Revival albums that were released in 1969. The album was released on August 3rd 1969. It would become Creedence Clearwater Revival’s  first number one album on the U.S. Billboard Top 200 albums charts. The album has since sold three million copies making it their second biggest selling album of their career. The album spawned two top 10 hits in the songs “Bad Moon Rising” and “Green River.” A third single entitled “Lodi,” peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100.

# 1 – Cosmo’s Factory

We close out our  Creedence Clearwater Revival albums with the band’s most successful and extremely legendary album. The Creedence Clearwater Revival album Cosmo’s Factory was released on July 16th 1970. Cosmo’s Factory would become Creedence Clearwater Revival’s second album to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Top 200. The album also hit number one in multiple countries around the world including the United Kingdom making it their most successful album also on the international stage.

Cosmo’s Factory included the largest assortment of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs that would define their legendary status. Multiple top 10 singles were released from the album including the songs “Travelin’ Band,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Up Around the Bend,” “Run Through the Jungle,” “Lookin’ Out My Back Door,” and “Long as I Can See the Light.” This was easily the band’s masterpiece as it also stands as one of the greatest albums ever released in classic rock history.

Creedence Clearwater Revival Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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