Greatest American Band

I’ve been on a steady diet of Creedence for the last three weeks or so.  This happens to me now and again, where I can’t be satisfied by but one band/artist.  And the 1969/70 CCR catalog is a good one to sustain a body. 

Their second album, Bayou Country, came out in January 1969, Green River dropped the following August, followed by Willy and the Poor Boys in November 1969.  This run culminated in Cosmo’s Factory in July 1970.  That works out to about one album every four months.  And they’re all terrific (despite a few weak moments).  I can think of no band, British or American, that had such a prodigious and respectable output in such a short period of time.

Dare I name Creedence the greatest American band of all time, keeping in mind that the Band was mostly Canadian (though I’m not sure if even that technicality could save them)?  The only real competition would be the Byrds or CSN(Y) but those groups suffered creatively from personnel problems, not to mention drug abuse and egomania.  Also, someone could make a case for the Dead but it won’t be me.

“Penthouse Pauper” from Bayou Country (1969)


Posted by Jordy


Filed under 1960s, 1970s, Rock

6 responses to “Greatest American Band

  1. >>>The only real competition would be the Byrds <<>>or CSN(Y)<<<

    You’re kidding right?

  2. >>>The only real competition would be the Byrds <<<

    Maybe The Velvet Underground. Personally I’d vote for the Beach Boys.

  3. Jordy

    If the contention is that the Velvets and the Beach Boys were more influential and progressive, I’ll agree wholeheartedly.

    But in measuring greatness of rock bands, I’m talking about the chug, force, and cohesion of the group (live and in studio) as well as songwriting.

  4. Jeff Wheeler

    For some reason I tend to have all my favorites outside of the realm of steady-output-of-critically-and-commercially-acclaimed-music-over-a-stretch-of-time.

    I like the first stooges album (basically for 4 of those songs) and moreso the third one (for iggy’s 90’s remix’s production quality and the killer side A) (bizarrely, the 2nd stooges album, the consistent one, is the one that i rarely put on), more than cosmo’s factory & my favorite beatles’ album is “for sale”. In fact the only artists about whom i can say my favorite album of theirs is really very consistent at all are sabbath, the fall, the notorious b.i.g. & the stones (and all the “bands” in that bunch are british–and apart from these particular albums, these artists are anything but consistent). All my other “favorite” records are at least 20% skippable.

    But that’s the kinda dude i am i suppose–i worship the troggs for the fact the 10% of their output was absolutely perfect-in-every-way 60’s punk even though the rest of their output was probably another 10% listenable songs that you’ll still skip to get to “our live will still be there” or “i can’t control myself.”

    People say that nick cave & the bad seeds have been pretty much good forever and still are (not sure if they’re really a “band” in the sense you mean).

  5. Jessica L

    Well, if you’re going to exclude The Band for having Canadian members then you should realize that Neil Young is Canadian and Graham Nash is British. And The Byrds were essentially a cover band. Anyway CCR is a legitimate choice for greatest American rock band ever. Unfortunately the band only existed for about 5 years, and they spent much of that time solely under creative control of John Fogerty and fighting amongst each other. The final year they received poor reviews for studio and live work and would be heckled by fans before, during, and after shows. Considering that bands such as Bruce Springsteen & the E-Street Band and the Jimi Hendrix Experience were really the outfits of one man, my list for greatest american rock band would be 1. tom petty & heartbreakers, 2. grateful dead, 3. pearl jam, 4. talking heads, 5. velvet underground, 6. ccr, 7. the doors, 8. metallica, 9. lynyrd skynyrd, 10. kiss, 11. beach boys, 12. allman bros
    please consider this an objective analysis as i really only like 3 of these bands and none are in the top 3.

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