CCR and their blues covers

Creedence Clearwater Revival (that I will shorten to Creedence from now on) covered many blues songs during their career. Indeed they were covers, as Creedence had the same lyrics and almost the same tune with slight differences, differences that distinguish blues from rock’n’roll. These were covers because Creedence did acknowledge the original artists unlike Led Zeppelin for instance. The following list is not comprehensive as Creedence made a lot of covers, these are just there to illustrate what Creedence used to do with blues songs.

The first one is “Before you accuse me” originally written by Bo Diddley, Creedence covered the song on their 5th albulm, Cosmo’s Factory. The lyrics are basically the same, only some words are changed, not a difference big enough to be relevant. Bo Diddley was a black blues singer born in 1928 in Mississippi, his song “Before you accuse me” has been covered by many artists including Eric Clapton. Below are the two versions, starting with the original one from Bo Diddley.

The cover from Creedence, released 13 years after in their “Cosmo’s Factory” album.

Creedence also covered two songs of the same artist called Huddie Ledbetter, also known as Lead Belly, who was a black blues artist born in 1888. Creedence covered  “Cotton fields” and “Midnight special” from him. The very name of the first song is typical of blues songs that often tackle subject such as the life in the cotton fields/plantation. As for Bo Diddley’s cover, the lyrics are pretty much the same and the tune too, and this time as well Creedence did not fail to give proper credits to Lead Belly. Below the two versions of “Cotton fields”, the one of Lead Belly recorded in 1940 coming first.

The version of Creedence released in their 4th album “Willy and the Poor Boys”.

As I said earlier, Creedence made a lot of covers of original blues songs, including their famous “I put a spell on you” which is nothing but a cover from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins who was a rythm and blues singer, and “My Baby left me” from Arthur Crudup who also was a blues singer. His sing has also been covered by Elvis Presley.

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