All to celebrate 50 years of one of America’s most iconic rock bands.
It was in the summertime half a century ago that CCR, a group that would reach sky-high success while retaining a resolutely rootsy, earthbound sound, released their debut album. This marked the beginning of an incredible legacy that was formed over just four years of unbridled creative output (1968-1972).
CCR’s canon has become a staple in the Great American Songbook. Songs like Bad Moon Rising, Down on the Corner, Have You Ever Seen the Rain, Proud Mary, and Up Around the Bend have been ingrained into the pop-cultural consciousness—not just as classic rock staples, but as American standards.
Craft Recordings have now released an official music video (the first ever) for one of the band’s most enduring classics, Fortunate Son, a song as vital now as ever.
Beyond its anti-war sentiment, Fortunate Son is an anthem for the 99%ers, condensing a critique of elitism and class privilege into three simple, but powerfully defiant words: It Ain’t Me. Craft partnered with director Ben Fee (Band of Horses, The War on Drugs, The Lumineers, Aesop Rock) to give a whole new generation a visual entry point into the world of Creedence.
The song already has an undeniable place in history as one of the most visceral, attention-grabbing protest tunes of the Vietnam era. With the new video, Fee extends the reach of Fortunate Son even further. “For me, protest right now is just showing pure positivity in the face of division and anger.” Says Fee, “I wanted to highlight the community and positivity that everybody shares…I wanted to show what America feels like when you actually hit the road and drive throughout the states.”
Though the Vietnam war is decades away in the rearview mirror, the people CCR were speaking for in the song are still the heart and soul of America, and they’re still the underdog, facing a whole new set of challenges. So, Fee turned the video into a celebration of their indomitable spirit, giving viewers a glimpse of the broad array of characters comprising the patchwork that is our country at its core.
In spotlighting the diversity and unconquerable spirit of America’s so-called 99%, Fee created a concept as relevant to today’s world as it is to the original 1969 setting of Fortunate Son. “I met so many beautiful people,” says Fee of the folks he shot for the video. “I went to the Taos Pueblo people, into their land, and met with the war chief, and they were very big fans of CCR. They were so welcoming because they knew the song and the band, and they really loved the idea of protest through positivity.”
Fee’s video road trip took him across the country, from Los Angeles to Miami and all points in between. The footage captures people across America of diverse ages, cultures, ethnic backgrounds and locations (including Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, California, Washington and Hawaii) to document the true spirit that makes up the fabric of the United States, for which CCR have been the soundtrack for 50 years.
The appeal of Creedence Clearwater Revival isn’t tied to any one era or milieu; whether it’s 50 years ago or 100 years from now, all you need is a pair of ears to pick up on their sound. As John Fogerty once sang on a certain 1969 hit single, “Over on the corner there’s a happy noise/People come from all around to watch the magic boys.”