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Creedence's Woodstock set: 50 years on, still bristling with energy

After half a century on the cutting room floor, Creedence Clearwater Revival's Woodstock set is officially out at last

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Live At Woodstock
(Image: © Craft Recordings)
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Live At Woodstock

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Live At Woodstock

(Image credit: Craft Recordings)

1. Born on the Bayou
2. Green River
3. Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)
4. Bootleg
5. Commotion
6. Bad Moon Rising
7. Proud Mary
8. I Put a Spell on You
9. The Night Time is the Right Time
10. Keep on Chooglin’
11. Suzie Q

When Creedence Clearwater Revival took to the stage at Woodstock, they were seven months into a year that will probably never be equalled. Bayou Country was released at the beginning of 1969, Green River had come out a couple of weeks earlier, and Willy And The Poor Boys would follow in December. 

That's three classic albums in a 12 month stretch that spawned eight US hits, and Woodstock should have been the crowning glory. But John Fogerty, who'd claimed that his band were the best in the world in the build-up, wasn't happy with the show and pulled the band's performance from both the soundtrack and the film.

Fifty years on, it's difficult to fathom what his problem might have been. Apart from the occasional extended gap between songs and the sloppy start to the opening Born On The Bayou, it's Peak Choogle. 

The recording is great, Fogerty's in fine voice throughout, the hits keep coming, and when the band slip into those chugging grooves they're emphatically fierce. I Put A Spell On You is even more ominous than the recorded version, and the 20 minutes given over to Keep On Chooglin' and Suzie Q as the set climaxes are flat-out intense.  

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor of Classic Rock Magazine. Lapsed Kiwi, Eater, Pluviophile, Kitten Jesus. Spends much of free time visiting vile dictatorships. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.