Creedence Clearwater Revival

Travelin' Band

Composed by John Fogerty

Song Review by

It's not an original observation, but as the 1960s turned into the 1970s, there was no band more adept at updating the energy of 1950s rock'n'roll into a modern context than Creedence Clearwater Revival was. Of all their songs that owed strong debts to '50s rock'n'roll, and to Little Richard's vocal delivery, "Travelin' Band" was the best and most successful, reaching #2 (along with its B-side, the somewhat less popular "Who'll Stop the Rain") in 1970. The song starts with pile-driving immediacy, with the kind of descending guitar-sax riff so typical of many mid-1950s rock'n'roll songs, especially Little Richard's. Not to overdo the Little Richard comparisons, but they're pretty unavoidable when Fogerty starts his vocal, both in his incredibly enthusiastic gospel-informed delivery and in the resemblance of the melody to vintage Richard rockers like "Good Golly Miss Molly." These similarities did not escape listeners and critics even at the time. But this wasn't just a Little Richard imitation. For one thing, the lyrics would have probably been a little beyond Little Richard, with their almost hyperventilated narrative of a musician on the road. The brief instrumental solos pour on power without wasting a note, first in a guitar-sax break with an almost one-note guitar pattern of screaming intensity, then in a burst of hard rock guitar with slide flourishes. Speaking of screaming, Fogerty's screams throughout the song are things of marvel and beauty, rivaling those of James Brown, Little Richard, and Paul McCartney for infectious enthusiasm. "Travelin' Band" may be derivative, but compresses a pretty amazing amount of energy into two minutes and ten seconds. Elton John, incidentally, covered this song as the singer on an anonymous budget record devoted to versions of contemporary hits that closely copied the original arrangements. You can hear it on the compilation of 20 songs featuring John in this capacity, Chartbusters Go Pop! 20 Legendary Covers Sung By Elton John (which also has his cover of Creedence's "Up Around the Bend").

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Creedence Clearwater Revival 1968 Decca / Fantasy
Cosmo's Factory 1970 Fantasy 2:08
Live in Europe 1973 Concord / Fantasy 2:07
Chronicle, Vol. 1 1976 Concord / Fantasy / Universal Music 2:07
The Concert 1980 Universal Music 2:18
No Image 1982 Fantasy
Chronicle, Vol. 2 1986 Concord / Universal 2:08
The  Complete Hit-Album, Vol. 2 1987 Arcade Music
Rollin' on the River 1988 Universal 2:07
Creedence Clearwater Revival [Time Life] 198? Fantasy 2:09
No Image 1990 Fantasy
Bad Moon Rising 1990 Fantasy
No Image 1990 Fantasy
The Legends Collection 1993 Eastwest 2:08
The Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival [Fantasy Canada] 1998 Fantasy 2:07
Ultimate Collection 1998 Mushroom Records 2:08
No Image 1998 JVC Compact Discs
Collection 1999 Universal 2:15
Keep on Chooglin' [Festival] 1999 Festival Records 2:10
Creedence Clearwater Revival [Box Set] 2001 Fantasy 2:09
Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival [EMI] 2003 EMI Music Distribution 2:10
Platinum 2004 BMG International 2:10
Really the Best 2005 ZYX Music
No Image 2005 ZYX Music 2:11
Absolute Originals 2006 APO (Analogue Production Originals) 2:07
Best Of 2008 Concord 2:19
Collected 2008 Universal Distribution 2:09
Religulous 2008
Original Soundtrack
Lionsgate 2:08
No Image 2008 Universal Distribution 2:07
40th Anniversary Editions Box Set 2009 Universal Distribution / Concord/Universal / Fantasy 2:07
The Singles Collection 2009 Concord 2:08
Performance 2011 Northworld 2:19
No Image 2011 Fantasy 3:03
Ultimate Creedence Clearwater Revival: Greatest Hits & All-Time Classics 2012 Concord 2:06
Greatest Hits 2014 Fantasy 2:07
No Image Phantom
La Légende de Creedence Fantasy 2:08
Tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival XXL Media
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