The brightest flames burn out quickest, and so it was with Creedence Clearwater Revival. The group churned out seven albums in its six-year existence (1967-1972), during which it pioneered a classic sound that will outlive the members and their children’s children. While their tunes may be distinctly American, CCR’s fanbase has always been diverse; most notably, the highest concentration of CCR’s Facebook fans reside in Mexico City. We’ll bet many of y’all first heard CCR thanks to a relative who bumped them alongside the classics en español.
So it comes as no surprise that after years of covers and greatest hits albums, we now have Quiero Creedence, the Latino tribute to CCR. Numerous Latino artists (and a gabacho for good measure) play their versions of classic CCR tracks, including our boy Juan Gabriel singing “Have You Ever Seen The Rain?” Los Enanitos Verdes also claim they’re a “Travelin’ Band,” among many other contributions.
We decided to dig into the album and share five of our favorite covers.
A Band Of Bitches - "Feelin' Blue"
Leave it to former Plastilina Mosh founder Jonás González and his new band of misfits, A Band Of Bitches, to turn up the funk on an underrated number from CCR’s fourth album, Willy and the Poor Boys. The music on the original track chugs along with a oblivious, funky swagger despite some dark lyrics.
ABOB flip the script, dialing up the groove and transforming the track into a raucous dive bar anthem for truckers and bikers. They even take the liberty of adding a few new lyrics where they namedrop themselves, to, you know, make sure it’s clear who brought the party.
Ozomatli - "Bad Moon Rising"
Like “Feelin’ Blue,” this song flirts with musical and lyrical opposition. “Bad Moon Rising” is an upbeat number coupled with some pretty dark lyrics. John Fogerty wrote the song after watching William Dieterle’s film adaptation of The Devil and Daniel Webster, in which a farmer sells his soul to the devil. As Fogerty explained in a 1993 Rolling Stone interview, the lyrics warn of “the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us.” Hurricanes and the aforementioned bad moons are all set to a danceable beat.
So what do LA legends Ozomatli do? They make the damn thing even happier and poppier, of course. The genre-hopping outfit gives the song a cumbia-ska kick and multiples the song’s cheerful, happy vibe by 100. Get up and dance for the apocalypse.
Enjambre - "Who'll Stop The Rain"
“Who’ll Stop The Rain” is one of several songs in which Fogerty invokes rain as a metaphor; on this cut from Cosmo’s Factory, rain showers are used to describe an unknown malaise. Meanwhile, the third and final set of verses is based on Fogerty’s experience at Woodstock in 1969, where he and thousands “heard the singer playin'” during a downpour.
Mexico City-based Enjambre know plenty about rain and malaise and are perfect for this cover. The indie quintet manages to add a thin layer of hopeful sunshine behind the clouds. They also flipped a few of the song’s lyrics to fit their own experience; I’m assuming they’ve never been to Virginia like Fogerty has.
Bang Data - "Fortunate Son"
“Fortunate Son” was CCR’s anti-war protest song. The band famously challenged elite children’s draft evasion, who had the privilege to dodge participation in wars their families started. Halfway through the song, Bang Data switch things up by giving the cut a hip-hop treatment, with Deuce Eclipse dropping a few bilingual bars.
Similar to the original, the lyrics don’t explicitly name the issue of draft evasion, but the countercultural spirit of the song shines nonetheless. Eclipse doesn’t need to name Donald Trump and his band of xenophobes for us to know who he’s referring to.
Billy Gibbons & La Marisoul - "Green River"
Holy hell, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and La Marisoul of La Santa Cecilia straight up steal the spotlight with their stellar cover of “Green River.” Any positive hyperbole you may have read about this track is 110 percent true. The duo speed up the tempo of the original, sing it in imperfect Spanish (I’ll take Gibbons’ imperfect Spanish over Tim Kaine’s any day of the week), throw in some percussion, a few solos and…well, you’ll just have to listen to it to see what I mean.