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No. 15: Creedence Clearwater Revival, ‘Fortunate Son’ – Top 100 Classic Rock Songs

Fantasy Records

In 1969, America was waist-high in a muck of chaos, politically and emotionally. In just two and a half minutes, Creedence Clearwater Revival spit out enough venom via ‘Fortunate Son’ to disarm, or at least disorient the enemy.

‘Fortunate Son’ was written with middle finger in full flight to the Nixon administration, the legacy of the “silver spoon in hand” kids, and the contradictions and struggles of a wartime America.

People like to remember the “peace and love” aspect of the ’60s, but it was a violent, brutal time as well. Putting flowers in their hair may have been a novel pastime for bored kids with nothing to do a couple years prior, but by 1969, the voice of frustration spoke louder and CCR captured that in full ragged glory here.

That being said, even if you take the politics out of it, ‘Fortunate Son’ remains one hell of a record. Released in the fall of 1969 as a double A-side (with ‘Down on The Corner’ as the flip), it made the top 10 and helped the band’s ‘Willy And The Poor Boys’ album hit the gold standard. The emotion and energy in the playing shines through and lets the listener know that something important is going on. One of John Fogerty‘s best vocals sends the song through the roof.

An obvious choice for our list of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs, ‘Fortunate Son”s simplicity, urgency and direct message speaks volumes. In it’s own way, it’s as punk rock as punk rock ever got. The only downside is, it brings to mind the fact that a song like this has become a period piece. Where is the modern day equivalent?

Next: The Top 100 Heads Home

Skip to: No. 100 | No. 80 | No. 60 | No. 40 | No. 20

Watch Creedence Clearwater Revival Perform ‘Fortunate Son’

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