50 years after Creedence Clearwater Revival played Woodstock, their legendary performance is being released on Live At Woodstock via Craft Recordings. Amid all of the historic performers at Woodstock, CCR’s appearance often gets overlooked because of their absence from the Woodstock film and documentary soundtrack. CCR were one of the few acts at the festival who had already established themselves on the charts thanks to the breakout success of their hit singles ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ and ‘Green River’. With their signature sound of raucous swamp-rock, CCR cut through the wave of psychedelic rock that dominated the festival line-up.
The band were slotted for a prime Saturday night spot at Woodstock but wouldn’t take the stage until midnight on Sunday, following a prolonged set from The Grateful Dead.
“We were supposed to be in the prime spot for that evening. The Dead went on and pulled their usual shenanigans,” John Fogerty said in the book Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock, an oral history of the festival published in 2010.
By the time CCR took the stage, some of crowds had already retreated to their tents, not knowing that history was being made that evening. Kicking off their set with ‘Born on the Bayou’, the album features the band’s biggest singles of the day, plus selections off their first three LPs, including Commotion, Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do) and Bootleg.
After waiting in the wings, the band burst forth with a surge of energy, playing extended improvisations of their live standards, including an almost 10-minute versions of ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and ‘Keep On Chooglin’, while ‘Suzie Q’, the Dale Hawkins classic ran for 8 minutes.
Following their Woodstock performance, Creedence ended the year on a high note, playing The Ed Sullivan Show and releasing their iconic single, ‘Fortunate Son’, which would go on to become the unofficial anthem of the anti-war movement during Vietnam.