Willy and the Poor Boys

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Willy and the Poor Boys
Willy and the poor boys.jpg
Studio album by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Released November 2, 1969 (1969-11-02)[1]
Recorded 1969 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California
Genre Roots rock, swamp rock, southern rock, country rock, blues rock
Length 34:31
Label Fantasy
Producer John Fogerty
Creedence Clearwater Revival chronology
Green River
Willy and the Poor Boys
Cosmo's Factory
Singles from Willy and the Poor Boys
  1. "Down on the Corner" b/w "Fortunate Son"
    Released: October 1969 (1969-10)[1]

Willy and the Poor Boys is the fourth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records in November 1969, and was the last of three studio albums that the band released in that year (see 1969 in music).[1] The album was remastered and reissued on 180 Gram Vinyl by Analogue Productions in 2006.

The album features the songs "Down on the Corner", from which the album got its name, and "Fortunate Son", which is a well known protest song.[2] Creedence also makes their own version of Cotton Fields on this album, which reachesd #1 position in Mexico[3]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 392 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[4]


In June, CCR released its third LP, Green River. Shortly after the band began recording songs for its next LP, Willy and the Poor Boys. Ten months later the band released its eighth single, "Down on the Corner" b/w "Fortunate Son".[1] The single's A-side reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and its B-side made it to #14.[5]

When the band members were finalizing the album, they and photographer Basul Parik went over to the intersection of Peralta St. and Hollis St. in Oakland, California and shot the photograph of the cover at Duck Kee Market owned by Ruby Lee.[6]

The album was released in November as Fantasy 8397,[1] and in 1970 made the Top 50 in six countries,[7][8][9][10][11][12] including France where it reached #1.[8]

On December 16, 1970, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album Gold (500,000 units sold). Almost 20 years later, on December 13, 1990, the album was certified platinum (1,000,000 units sold) and 2x Platinum (2,000,000 units sold).[13]

In 1982 the band's rendition of Lead Belly's "Cotton Fields" made #50 on Billboard magazine's Country Singles chart.[5]

On June 10, 2008 the album was remastered and released by Concord Music Group as a Compact Disc, with three bonus tracks.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[14]
Blender 5/5 stars[15]
Robert Christgau A+[16]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[17]
Sputnik Music 5/5 stars[18]

The album was well received, exemplified by the original review in Rolling Stone, which stated it was "the best one yet".[19] Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine contrasted Willy and the Poor Boys with their previous album, Green River, because the songs were softer and more upbeat, except for "Effigy", and stating that "Fortunate Son" is not as dated as most of the other protest songs of the era. However, he also feels the song is a little out of place on the album. He also compared "Poorboy Shuffle" to songs performed by jug bands and he called the album "pure".[14] In the Blender magazine review of the album it was called the opposite of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and psychedelic rock, which the reviewer feels is because of the band's performance at the Woodstock Festival.[15] In his review for the album, Robert Christgau says that he thought it was their best album, when it was released, and feels John Fogerty's political lyrics are easy to understand, giving the album his highest rating of all of CCR's albums.[16] For his Rolling Stone review of the 40th Anniversary reissue of the album, Barry Walters called the album "relaxed" and gives credit to Fogerty for writing a protest song, "Fortunate Son", that has a good beat to it.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by J.C. Fogerty, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Down on the Corner"   2:46
2. "It Came Out of the Sky"   2:53
3. "Cotton Fields" (Huddie Ledbetter) 2:56
4. "Poorboy Shuffle"   2:25
5. "Feelin' Blue"   5:06
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Fortunate Son"   2:19
2. "Don't Look Now"   2:11
3. "The Midnight Special" (Traditional, arr. J. C. Fogerty) 4:13
4. "Side o' the Road"   3:24
5. "Effigy"   6:26


Per liner notes[2][20]

Creedence Clearwater Revival
Additional musicians
  • Basul Parik – photography
  • Chris Clough – 2008 compilation producer
  • Ed Ward – 2008 liner notes
  • Joel Selvin – 2008 liner notes
  • Rikka Arnold – project assistance
  • Bill Belmont – project assistance
  • Jennifer Peters – project assistance


Chart (1970) Peak
Canada RPM100 Albums[7] 2
France (InfoDisc)[8] 1
Netherlands (Top 100)[9] 7
Norway (Top 40)[10] 2
UK (The Official Charts Company)[11] 10
US Billboard 200[12] 3
US Billboard R&B Albums[12] 28

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Chronicle: The 20 Greatest Hits (CD booklet). Creedence Clearwater Revival. U.S.A.: Fantasy Records. 1991. FCD-CCR2-2. 
  2. ^ a b c Ward, Ed; Selvin, Joel (2008). Willy and the Poor Boys [Expanded Reissue] (PDF) (CD booklet). Creedence Clearwater Revival. U.S.A.: Concord Music Group. FAN-30879-02. 
  3. ^ stated in our article "Cotton Fields" without further refs. But does it work there, it should do in this article as well
  4. ^ Levy, Joe; Steven Van Zandt (2006) [2005]. "392 | Willy and the Poor Boys - Creedence Clearwater Revival". Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (3rd ed.). London: Turnaround. ISBN 1-932958-61-4. OCLC 70672814. Retrieved 7 March 2006. 
  5. ^ a b http://top40usa.net/Acts/ActHits.aspx?act=Creedence%20Clearwater%20Revival&actbio=jifixqw5ldte&actpicture=p07291h21g0.jpg.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ DelVecchio, Rick (September 30, 1998). "Vandals Rip Rock History from Store in Oakland" (.DTL). San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  8. ^ a b c "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste". Infodisc.fr. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  9. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy And The Poor Boys". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  10. ^ a b Steffen Hung. "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy And The Poor Boys". norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  11. ^ a b "1970-03-28 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts. 1970-03-28. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  12. ^ a b c "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved November 20, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Type "Willy & The Poor Boys" under Title". http://www.riaa.com. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Willy and the Poor Boys at AllMusic. Retrieved 1 November 2004.
  15. ^ a b "Review: Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and the Poor Boys". Blender.com. Alpha Media Group. Retrieved November 20, 2010. [dead link]
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Creedence Clearwater Revival > Consumer Guide Reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 7 March 2006. 
  17. ^ a b Walters, Barry (October 2, 2008). "Creedence: Back to the Bayou". Rolling Stone (1062). p. 74. Archived from the original on 5 March 2009. Retrieved 3 September 2009. 
  18. ^ "Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy and the Poor Boys (album review ) - Sputnikmusic". Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Dubro, Alec (January 21, 1970). "Creedence Clearwater Revival Willy and the Poor Boys > Album Review". Rolling Stone (50). Archived from the original on 24 March 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  20. ^ Willy and the Poor Boys (Vinyl sleeve). Creedence Clearwater Revival. Fantasy Records. 1969. back cover. 8397. 

External links[edit]