Review #193: Willy and the Poor Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival

Karla Clifton
3 min readNov 1, 2021

#193: Willy and the Poor Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival

This is one of the albums I listened to during the big snowstorm that hit in the middle of March. My roommate and I were listening to them together for a little bit, both working on our separate things in the living room. She made me turn the music off at this point. Some people pretend to have good taste, but they can’t hide their lack of taste buds when push comes to shove.

When this album started up, though, we were briefly confused because “Time To Get Ill” on Licensed To Ill by the Beastie Boys, #192, heavily samples the opening song on this album, “Down On The Corner.” That’s right, there’s only one degree of separation between CCR and the Beastie Boys.

That’s the kind of thing that makes this project so fun to do. It becomes so apparent that art is really just a conversation, that the Beastie Boys owe just as much to CCR as they do to Run-D.M.C. Are these *really* the best 500 albums ever made? Who the hell knows, and who the hell cares? They’re 500 albums that mattered.

Anyway. I’ve been exposed to a good amount of CCR before, but couldn’t have told you which songs CCR actually wrote. Now I can!


“Down On The Corner” Willy and the Poor Boys are playin’/Bring a nickel, tap your feet! Wow, I’ve never really listened to the lyrics of this one before. Guess where Fogerty got the idea for this one? Give up? Winnie the Pooh.

“It Came Out Of The Sky” — About a UFO that lands in a farmer’s backyard. My favorite moment is when he calls Ronald Reagan “Ronnie the Popular.” Where is the lie?

“Poorboy Shuffle” — How could you not love a good harmonica part?

“Feelin’ Blue” — Oh I love when they all sing together: Feelin’ blue/Blue/Blue/Blue/Bluuue.

“Fortunate Son” Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes/They send you down to war. Get ’em, John Fogerty! My boyfriend refers to this as “the Vietnam song.”

“Don’t Look Now” — Sounds like a Johnny Cash song.

“Midnight Special” — One of two Lead Belly covers on the album — though it’s actually a traditional folk song. Fun fact, the Midnight Special was a train.

“Side O’ The Road” — Two melodic blues instrumentals, and I love both of them.

“Effigy” — I know these are all political songs in essence, but it drives me crazy when that’s all that people take away from political songwriters. It just feels reductive. YES, they wrote a number of brilliant lyrics about the country they lived in, but also, have you heard the wah-wah guitar?


“Cotton Fields” — No shade to this song or to Lead Belly, who wrote the song. It was just my least favorite. Although I loved the use of the word “Texarkana.” Is that a real place? I refuse to look it up.


Nope! We’ve got a ways to go until our next CCR album, so give this one a few listens before we move on.

Review #192: Licensed To Ill, Beastie Boys

Review #194: Bad, Michael Jackson