mardi 20 avril 2010
Here's the second question :
Your favourite album to have a drink?
To begin with I was a bit confused by this question. Did the Offline People mean which album did I like to watch drinking? But as I am not aware that albums could or ever have drunk, I have decided to interpret their question in a different way. Thus I have decided that what they are asking me is what album do I most like to listen to while drinking alcohol?
The strictly correct answer to this would none, as I no longer own any albums. And even when I did, I cannot recall ever having sat down to drink alcohol and listen to an album at the same time. But that to be the end of my answer would be a bit tight of me, partly because I already know the answer that I want to give to this question.
And that is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Green River. The album first came out in 1969 at the height of the bands commercial success. They were selling millions of albums around the world, but at the time I was not particularly interested in them or their music. They made a rather conservative, one dimensional, blue-collar rock music. There were a lot more interesting things going on, in all the other genres of music that I was then into.
Over the succeeding decades Creedence have continued to hold their place in the hearts of white, blue-collar America. The fact that they are The Dude’s favourite band almost seals this position forever. You know, as in The Dude from The Big Lebowski. But even with The Dudes seal of approval Creedence have never become hip in a Velvet Underground or The Kinks or… anyway back to Creedence. Back in the very late 70s, when Post Punk was all the rage, or at least within the cultural back water that I then inhabited, I for some reason bought a second hand copy of Green River. Creedence were about as un-Post Punk as you could get. They celebrated everything that was not being celebrated by the Gang Of Four or The Delta Five or The Fall or whatever it was that you might have then thought Post Punk to be.
But once I got this album and for the following 25 years, until I got rid of all my albums, this was always the first record that I would put on, if I were alone in the house. I’d turn it up to full volume and get on with building a table, or bed, or kitchen cabinet, or whatever else I was making out of wood. And Green River always did the job just fine. And by the time I got to the last track on side two, their version of the Night Time is The Right Time, I would be screaming along with it at the top of my voice.
If I were to write why Creedence Clearwater Revival and this album in particular are so unwavering perfect, I would tie myself in knots of pretention. Instead it is enough for me to say – if you were to lock me in a house with two bottles of wine, which I had to drink while listening to an album, chosen from all the albums I had ever heard, Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival would be the one.