I Fought the Law

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16 second sample, "I Fought the Law" by The Bobby Fuller Four

"I Fought The Law" was written by Sonny Curtis of the Crickets and recorded by them on May 18, 1959 at Bell Sound Studio in NYC. The producer of the session was Jack Hansen and the personnel were as follows:

The song was released on the album "In Style With The Crickets" on December 5, 1960 on Coral (CRL 57320 Mono, CRL 757320 Stereo). This was of course after the passing of Buddy Holly; one can only speculate what would have become of this song had it been recorded before his death.

The most commercially successful version was recorded by The Bobby Fuller Four and released on the Mustang label in October 1965. The single peaked at number 9 on February 12, 1966. The Bobby Fuller Four were:

  • Bobby Fuller - Vocals/Guitar
  • Jim Reese - Lead Guitar
  • Randall Fuller - Bass
  • Dwayne Quirico - Drums 

Earlier, in 1964, a demo version of "I Fought The Law", recorded by Fuller in his El Paso studio, had been released on the Exeter label.

On July 18, 1966, Bobby Fuller's body was found laying across the front seat of his mother's 1962 Oldsmobile - parked in front of his apartment near Grauman's Chinese Theatre - dead, apparently from swallowing gasoline. The fact that he had been beaten up and had ingested gasoline was not released to the public. Although police ruled his death a suicide, friends speculated that he was murdered, possibly by mobsters.

"I Fought The Law" has also been recorded by Tom Petty, The Clash, Hank Williams Jr, Marshall Crenshaw, Sam Neely and rerecorded by Sonny Curtis.

The Crickets version is available on the Bear Family CD "Still In Style" (BCD 15599 AH) and the Bobby Fuller version on the Del Fi CD "The Best Of The Bobby Fuller Four" (Del Fi R2 70174).