Song History: "Bad Moon Rising" (1969) by Creedence Clearwater Revival
The single "Bad Moon Rising", owned by the rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, is believed to have anti-war overtones. It is a favorite composition of American soldiers who served in Vietnam, and in the United States has become an integral hit in demonstrations for world peace. Although it was written on the same day that Richard Nixon became President of the United States of America, the author himself, John Fogerty, does not acknowledge the presence of political overtones, assuring that other sources gave him inspiration.
The history of the birth of the hit
1968 gave CCR fans a cover version of the Dale Hawkins single Susie Q, which soon became a hit. A year later, the group released the single Proud Mary, which soon soared to number two on the top 100 hits in America. Realizing that the love of the fans requires constant nourishment, John Fogerty set to work on the next single.
“It occurred to me to take some sonorous phrase from my notebook, the pages of which I filled with the names of various tracks. I liked the expression "bad moon rising". To be honest, I had no idea what these words meant, but how cool they sounded, I was hooked, ”says Fogarty.
In his memoirs, the musician admits that the guitar part was borrowed from Scotty Moore, who composed a fragment for Elvis Presley, or rather, for his single "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone". In general, John did not hide his little plagiarism, and Moore, in turn, had nothing against it, and even joked about it.
According to John Fogerty, cinema served as inspiration for creating a masterpiece.
“I was inspired by images from the movie The Devil and Daniel Webster. The guy made a deal with the devil - Mr. Scratch, believing that it was just a joke, a fake. According to the plot of the film, a powerful and terrible hurricane occurs, destroying everything in its path. Then they show the destroyed houses and ruined fields. And here - voila - there is an untouched smooth corn in a field that belonged to a kid who made a devilish deal. This moment is stuck in my head.”
Explaining the meaning of the song, the musician focuses on the harmonious contrast between the ominous words and the cheerful melody:
“Bad Moon Rising is not about the Devil or a deal with him. It sings about the raging apocalypse coming towards us, sweeping away everything in its path. Before the band started learning the song, I didn't feel the dichotomy. The song talks about terrible hurricanes, crazy winds and overflowing waters, but at the same time, the melody seems upbeat and cheerful, doesn't it?
A little later, Fogerty admitted that the tense political situation in the world to some extent influenced the composition:
“No, I didn’t mean that the world is over, the end. But the words of the song were not just about the anomalies of nature. Times were far from peaceful: the assassination of Martin Luther King and Robert Francis Kennedy. I felt the turmoil and tension of those times.”
Recording of the single "Unhappy Moon Rising"
The composition was recorded in San Francisco in the spring of 1969 at Wally Heider's Studios. All CCR participants appreciated the musical creation. Everyone except the author himself.
“Then it seemed to me that Bad Moon Rising would never reach the level of Proud Mary. I decided that I was starting to slowly slide down. "Bad Moonrise" was more rock and roll and provocative when "Proud Mary" was closer to the musical standards of early America."
The release of the single and a resounding success
The single was first released in April 1969. Very soon he gained great popularity, topping not only the American top charts - soaring to second place, but also the UK and New Zealand charts.
Later, about twenty cover versions were created for Unlucky Moon Rising. British singer Thea Gilmour also took part in the performance of "Bad Moon Rising".
"Unlucky Moonrise" has been included in a number of motion pictures as a soundtrack: Blade, An American Werewolf in London, Kong: Skull Island, as well as in the popular television series Supernatural and The Walking Dead. Needless to say, the number of commercials in which the excerpt was played.
Fogerty, the author of the single, reacted to the stunning success of the creation as follows:
“I was not thrilled that the composition was included in TV commercials and various films. However, we could not do anything about it, because our contract did not have the ability to impose a ban on the use of songs. So, a good film in which our song sounded was one among a dozen failures.
Bad Moon Rising became the biggest hit in the history of rock music, according to the influential "Rolling Stone" and "New Musical Express".
2010 pleased with the release of a hit single performed by John Fogert and Jerry Lee Lewis. The jointly performed composition was included in the album of the latter - "Mean Old Man".
Some passage "there's a bad moon on the rise" is heard "there's a bathroom on the right", which translates as "to the right of the bathroom." Noticing this, the author of the hit often deliberately sings incorrectly during performances, and sometimes during these words he points to the right side with his hand.
Fogerty recounts in his memoirs that after a CCR performance at Berkeley Hall, he was approached by a Vietnam veteran. He admitted to the musician that before the battle, the fighters of their platoon called "Buffalo Soldiers" (Buffalo Soldiers) were charged with high spirits, listening to the rising of the unlucky moon.
It was under this song that the American fighter without rules Jim Miller entered the ring.