Willie and the Poor Boys was never the essential CCR album, but there it did produce a few hit singles. Songs like "Down on the Corner," "Fortunate Son" and their version of "The Midnight Special" were AM radio staples back in the late 60's. All three are included here in excellent quality. DCC seems bound and determined to make a name for itself in audiophile circles these days, and they're putting out the quality product to justify being there.

As was the case with the Elton John releases and Oscar Peterson's interpretation of West Side Story, there is no surface noise at all. Songs like "Don't Look Now" and "The Midnight Special" sound great, and have excellent separation. One of CCR's trademarks on their studio albums (like The Rolling Stones), was a bit of distortion on the vocals and guitars. This was not cleaned up for the DCC release, although it still sounds better than the original album.

Where DCC's vinyl pressing really shines is on the quieter songs, like the instrumental "Side of the Road." John Fogerty's lead guitar work sounds like he's playing in the same room with you. The dynamic range on "Effigy" was particularly impressive. One of my personal favorites from the band, "Down on the Corner," is breathtakingly clear, and "Down on the Corner" sounds great too. Willie and the Poor Boys isn't as consistent as some of their other albums, but the sound quality makes up for it.

© 1997 Steve Marshall