I Fought The Law: Rolling Stones #177 of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004)

I Fought The Law Single: Bobby Fuller Four
I Fought The Law
Single: Bobby Fuller Four
Album: I Fought the Law
B-side: Little Annie Lou
Released: October 1965
Genre: Garage rock, rock, and roll, rockabilly
Songwriter: Sonny Curtis

Sonny Curtis of The Crickets wrote, and the band recorded "I Fought the Lawon the 1960 album In Style With The Crickets shortly after Buddy Holly's death in 1959. The Bobby Fuller Four covered it in 1966. It became a top-ten hit for the band. Fuller's song version ranked Number 177 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It's named one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Bobby Fuller Four (1965)

Bobby Fuller
Bobby Fuller

Bobby Fuller was a famous singer/guitarist from El Paso, Texas. He released the cover of "I Fought The Law" on his own label. When it became a regional hit in New Mexico and West Texas, Fuller and his band switched to a major brand and became known as The Bobby Fuller Four. 

The Bobby Fuller Four
Bobby Fuller Four

Six months after the song first appeared on the Billboard Top 100 chart, Fuller was found dead from asphyxiation in his mother's car in a parking lot near his Los Angeles apartment. The police declared it a suicide, but everyone who knew him believed he was murdered. 

Richie Unterberger wrote for Allmusic Fuller: "A talented and prolific songwriter and a studio whiz who drew from Eddie Cochran and (though only slightly) the full guitar sound of the British Invasion as well as Buddy Holly."

The Clash (1979)

American country musician Sam Neely covered "I Fought the Law" in 1975. The song went to Number 54 on Billboard's Hot 100 and Number 61 on their country chart. Hank Williams Jr. recorded a version of the song in 1978 for his album Family Tradition. The album's lead single peaked at Number 15 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. 

The most successful cover of "I Fought the Law" was by The ClashThey first heard Bobby Fuller's version on a jukebox in 1978. Their track was included in the American edition of their 1979 self-titled album. The first single by the band to be released in the United States, it got airplay in the States and is one of the best-known covers. 

Green Day (2004)

Green Day (2004)
Green Day (2004)

Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong consistently names The Clash a significant influence on Green Day's sound. In early 2004, Green Day recorded their version of "I Fought the Law" to be used during the Superbowl in a Pepsi ad campaign. This single was the last studio recording commercially released before "American Idiot" came out in September 2004. 


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