‘My singing was a little lacking’: John Fogerty on the Creedence Clearwater Revival hit he’d do over

“Fortunate Son,” from Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 album Willy and the Poor Boys, has served as a rallying call for a generation protesting the war, the backbone of countless commercials and film soundtracks, and a concert staple for John Fogerty.

That doesn’t mean he’s happy with the recording.

A gold-selling No. 3 smash into 1970, “Fortunate Son” arrived amidst a flurry of activity for CCR, which released three albums the year before — an incredible feat in today’s marketplace, where bands take years between projects. In fact, the song (which was paired with “Down on the Corner”) arrived just two months after the previous Green River project had been issued.

Clearly, Fogerty had inspiration to burn. What he didn’t have was the time to get everything just right.

“I always thought my singing was a little lacking,” Fogerty says. “What happened was, I went in to do two songs that day. The first one was ‘Down on the Corner.’ I sang all of the background parts, and then sang the lead. Then, with the time we had left at that session, I said: ‘OK, let ‘er rip!’ and I sang the lead on ‘Fortunate Son.’ I’ve just always thought that I maybe should have started with that one that day.”

Fogerty had another shot to get it right last summer, when he released the duets album Wrote a Song for Everyone. The album began with “Fortunate Son,” which found Fogerty collaborating with the Foo Fighters.

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