Saturday, 12 March 2011

34: Bobby Fuller Four, “I Fought the Law” (no.33, 1966)

The original, and quite probably still the best. Up until he does the bit where he uses his guitar as an actual six-gun, Fuller looks as though he’d more likely be found fighting the council over their new Saturday parking restrictions, or shooting down high prices on a used car lot somewhere in Texas. (Does he not have something of the young Dubya about him? And does anybody know who the blond lead guitarist is a dead ringer for? It’s driving me crazy: the best I can get to is a cross between Graham Chapman and Boris Johnson.) Downbeat coda: Fuller’s mysterious death within weeks of the song’s chart success meant he would forever remain a one-hit wonder, and suggested it wasn’t the law he had to worry about, but the Mob. Mildly happier footnote: “I Fought the Law” is also responsible for one of the oddest one-hit wonders of recent times - “I Fought the Lloyds” by Oystar featuring Martin Lewis - which reached number 25 in 2008 despite a) tackling the arcane subject of bank charges and b) being utter pish.)

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