The Four Members of Creedence Clearwater Revival Invented The Swamp Rock Genre

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by S. P. Honeybunch, Oct 20, 2015.

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  1. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, Endless Mikelovemoney Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Swamp Rock is a fun term, in that it invokes a place that is far away and mysterious for most people. Most people do not live near a swamp, yet are intrigued by the soulful Swamp Rock sounds that Creedence Clearwater Revival have delivered since 1968.

    Musicologists had not applied the term Swamp Rock to an artist prior to Creedence's active period, as Theodore Gracyk acknowledges in his tome, Rhythm and Noise: Aesthetics of Rock. Other new genres that Gracyk acknowledges that musicologists coined during this period include: soul, heavy metal, country rock, art rock, and southern rock. These genres reflected the way in which the players performed the music. Thus, the individual talents of a band's rhythm section would have great influence upon the creation of a genre or subgenre.

    Musicologists started applying the term to Creedence when they were an active band, and continued to do so to the present, also applying the term to later Swamp Rock outfits. That The Ventures wrote and performed a song called "Swamp Rock" on a same titled album that also features Creedence tunes shows how entrenched the name of the genre had become and how Creedence was the primary Swamp Rock artist. A great band like The Ventures showed respect to Creedence by performing their songs in the context of Swamp Rock.

    Latter day Rolling Stone magazine regularly applies the term to Creedence, such as in their "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time" lists in which they acknowledge "Bad Moon Rising" as swamp rock. Thomas M. Kitts, in his Fogerty biography, refers to the "Graveyard Train" recording as evidence of "CCR's burgeoning swamp rock brand", in that the band invented the genre. Creedence's sound that relied heavily upon Doug and Stu had trancended any type of regional Louisiana and Texas sound, so that the myriad of other influences that all of the members of Creedence brought to the table became an entirely new subgenre of rock 'n roll.

    All one has to do is look at Creedence's massive popularity during the height of rock 'n roll's popularity during the explosion of rock 'n roll journalism when musicologists had many opportunities to describe the new, exciting, and popular music that artists were making. Creedence has the primary swamp rock tag because of their various and hard rockin' musical influences that were often separate from the lighter fare of swamp pop. Doug and Stu were instrumental in bringing swamp rock to the masses, and influenced scores of other swamp rock artists during the subsequent decades.

    With time, more people will understand how groundbreaking the individual members of Creedence Clearwater Revival were in creating a new subgenre. Swamp Rock was a major part of popular music when Creedence was making hit records. Creedence also enabled other artists like Tony Joe White to break through to the masses by following their Swamp Rock lead.

    Feel free to agree or disagree. Regardless, the individual members of Creedence Clearwater Revival have cemented their place in rock 'n roll history through their uncanny musicianship and artistic talents.
     
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  2. moople72

    moople72 Forum Resident

    Location:
    KC
    Hey, John, you know that new sound you're looking for? Well listen to this:



     
  3. dino77

    dino77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Europe
    John told them what to play anyway, didn't he. :-popcorn:
     
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  4. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    I do not think they "invented" it. Someone in the late 1960s just used the term "swamp rock" (as opposed to "swamp pop" --- pop songs with a cajun or creole sound) to apply to CCR's harder rock sound. But CCR was basically synthesizing a bunch of influences, like Sun Records, Howlin Wolf, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Booker T & The MGs, Rick Nelson, etc. In my mind, they synthesized those sounds brilliantly. But I wouldn't say they "invented" it. They did likely popular the term more than any other band though---but it was mostly critics who assigned that term to their sound. I don't think any members of CCR thought they invented something different. Just like the Byrds will always be credited with being the inventors of "Folk Rock". The Byrds didn't "invent" folk rock (that is, folk songs with electric pop/rock instrumentation). Other musicians had done "folk rock" type songs before The Byrds (even Bob Dylan on "Mixed Up Confusion" in 1962). But The Byrds popularized it, so they get assigned the credit.
     
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  5. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik Overfed long-haired leaping gnome

    Soul music didn't exist until CCR was formed? Ya learn something new every day.
     
  6. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    And he built a swamp in the studio too.... ;)
     
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  7. mwheelerk

    mwheelerk Don't Let The Old Man In

    Location:
    Gilbert Arizona
    How about Tony Joe White
     
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  8. Dennis Metz

    Dennis Metz Born In A Motor City south of Detroit

    Location:
    Fonthill, Ontario
    :edthumbs::cheers:
     
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  9. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Really don't see this as a genre at all. It's a tag that was applied to CCR.
     
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  10. thrivingonariff

    thrivingonariff Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    This reflects a mistakenly literal reading of the term. It's not as if the musicians themselves (i.e., the ones who played "swamp rock" or any of its precursors) necessarily lived near a swamp.
     
  11. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    And Slim Harpo---who did live near swamps.

     
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  12. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, Endless Mikelovemoney Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Creedence was the first to synthesize different sounds into swamp rock. The Creedence rhythm section is a huge part of the swamp rock sound, in that the energy of performances derive not merely from J. Fogerty's vocal, but also from the chooglin' beat. No one prior had ever delivered any kind of hard rockin' chooglin' beat that we might recognize as swamp rock.
     
  13. David Powell

    David Powell Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Let's not forget the original "Susie-Q" by Dale Hawkins with James Burton.








    s
     
  14. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Replace "first" with "best" and then we can agree:

    Creedence was the first best to synthesize different sounds into swamp rock.
     
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  15. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I think that CCR took the swamp rock sound from Slim Harpo's "Tip On In". I think that CCR did not originate any swamp rock sound.

     
  16. Hot Ptah

    Hot Ptah Forum Resident In Memoriam

    Location:
    Kansas City, MO
    I disagree. Slim Harpo had done it first, as I posted above, and as Arnold Grove posted above.

    I am a big CCR fan, and love their albums. But to say that they originated this sound is just not right.
     
  17. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Even something like Canned Heat's version of "On The Road Again" from January 1968 (recorded September 1967) could be considered as "swamp rock":



    Many bands/performers were synthesizing those sounds. CCR was just the biggest.
     
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  18. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Senior Member

    Location:
    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Every great band and every great rhythm section has its own sound. I am not aware of the scores of imitators dedicated to Swamp Rock that would make it qualify as a genre.

    Compare it to something like Folk Rock where I could list 20 very well known bands/artists heavily influenced by the Byrds sound in the time it would take me to type them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  19. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Good one!
     
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  20. S. P. Honeybunch

    S. P. Honeybunch Presidente de Kokomo, Endless Mikelovemoney Thread Starter

    Location:
    California
    Except that no musicologist had ever dubbed any earlier artist swamp rock.

    Also, Slim Harpo is just talking over the music: a far cry from the juxtaposition of Creedence chooglin' and Fogerty strong vocals.
     
  21. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    Sorry, but I really don't think that there are many musicologists concerned with this topic.

    The term "swamp rock" was just a catchy phrase. CCR had a great sound, synthesizing many earlier styles into their own fabulous sound. You could have called it "Bayou Boogie" or "Sun Rock" (in tribute to "Sun Records"). CCR thought they were just playing "rock and roll".
     
  22. segue

    segue SeƱor Member

    Location:
    Hawai'i
    CCR did not "invent" "Swamp Rock" ...the genre or the term.
     
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  23. Trainspotting

    Trainspotting Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    CCR invented swamp rock like Gram Parsons invented country rock.

    And what the hell is 'swamp rock' anyway? It's not like Fogerty ever lived near a bayou...
     
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  24. cc--

    cc-- Forum Resident

    Location:
    brooklyn
    I don't know if the OP is really supposed to be more about the endless credits dispute, but imo saying CCR invented "swamp rock" underestimates the band's achievements. Whichever members were responsible, they made great records that transcend minor labels.
     
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  25. zphage

    zphage genre fluid

    In the end it's all rock and roll, constant slicing of the same pie into silly genres is an argument in search of a destination
    That never existed. Yes, CCR definitely evoked a humid southern atmosphere on some tracks, but that isn't where they stayed, but it is a credit to CCR as writers, producers and players. Fogerty was just playin rock'n' Rolland never claimed to invent a new genre.
     
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