Willy and the Poor Boys is the fourth studio album by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, released by Fantasy Records in November 1969. It was the last of three studio albums the band released that year, arriving just three months after Green River.
The album was well received, exemplified by the original review in Rolling Stone, which stated it was "the best one yet". In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau also believed it was the group's best record while writing, "Fogerty's subtlety as a political songwriter (have you ever really dug the words of 'Fortunate Son'?) comes as no surprise." He later included it in his "Basic Record Library" of 1950s and 1960s recordings, published in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981).
In a retrospective review, AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine contrasted Willy and the Poor Boys with the band's 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 called the album "one of the greatest pure rock & roll albums ever cut". 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. 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.
In 2003, the album was ranked number 392 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time; the list's 2012 edition had it ranked 309th. In the 2020 edition, the album reached number 193. On June 10, 2008, the album was remastered and released by Concord Music Group as a compact disc, with three bonus tracks. The album was remastered and reissued on 180-gram vinyl by Analogue Productions in 2006.
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Willy And The Poor Boys
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