Song 204: Bobby Fuller Four, “I Fought the Law” (1965)


This is another song that you kind of forget about until it comes on the radio again. Well, I do, anyway. But it’s goddamn great.

I didn’t realize until today that “I Fought the Law” was written by Sonny Curtis, who joined the Crickets after Buddy Holly’s death. The Crickets recorded their own version, which I like quite a bit, but there’s just something about the Bobby Fuller Four rendition. America apparently agreed, because between the Crickets and Bobby Fuller Four versions of the song, two other bands tried their hand. Bobby Fuller’s band was the first to make it a hit.

First of all, that’s crazy. This song is just a perfect song, no matter who’s doing it, and I’m stunned that the Crickets couldn’t get any traction with it (especially since it sounds exactly like a Buddy Holly song). It’s so punchy, so concise, so fun, despite its subject matter. And those drums banging out the triplets when Fuller sings “six gun?” Genius.


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