‘Proud Mary’ provides a cracking opener on The Shadows’ album (see on ), though their devoted fans commonly withdraw to a corner to sulk at the amount of room given to Alan Hawkshaw; yet both he and Hank surpass themselves on this particular track, and the bassline (almost certainly courtesy of Herbie Flowers) is pretty hot too.
The Ventures’ workout of this top notch opus from Creedence Clearwater Revival provides a winning alternative. It is fronted by Gerry McGee (as also in a stomping version enriched by John Durrill’s organ accompaniment, on the 1970 Japanese LP Live!), who is very much in his element here – compare the dazzling Fogerty double ‘Who’ll Stop The Rain’ & ‘Bad Moon Rising’ which lights up the 10th Anniversary Album. Robust in the best American manner rather than arty, ultra-polished and turbo-charged – more true to the spirit of the original with its imagery of the boat "rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river" – it is embellished with effective harmonica and piano.
Even more propulsive and absorbing than The Shadows’ version is a track I would count among the most awesome and exhilarating displays of guitar pyrotechnics ever, from Nokie Edwards on the Japanese 2LP set On Stage ’72: “an incredible chicken-scratch reconstruction of the Creedence song …” John Beddington, Pipeline 17  37. The guitar instrumental was still very much alive and well in the 70s, in some quarters at least.
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