Bobby Fuller / The Bobby Fuller Four

I Fought the Law: The Best of the Bobby Fuller Four [Del-Fi]

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For someone with such a short recording career as Bobby Fuller, there are way too many collections, box sets, and best-ofs to sort through. Best known for his classic "I Fought the Law" single, there is much more to Fuller and his group than that. He was a master synthesist combining rockabilly, Buddy Holly, folk-rock, British beat group sounds, soul, and good old rock & roll into a rollicking, totally one of a kind sound that has no peers. I Fought the Law: The Best of the Bobby Fuller Four rounds up 12 songs from his mid-'60s tenure at Mustang Records, where he had his biggest hit and many of his best songs, like the amazing "Let Her Dance," "Another Sad and Lonely Night," "Baby My Heart," "I'm a Lucky Guy," and "Julie." It makes for a spine-tingling half hour of music, but ultimately it's not good enough. There are far too many omissions; great songs like the blue-eyed soul stomper "The Magic Touch," the aching folk-rock of "It's Love Come What May," the moody ballad "My True Love," the frantic rocker "Saturday Night," and the dramatic and heartbreaking (due to Fuller's early demise) "Never to Be Forgotten" are nowhere to be found. Any disc that leaves these songs off can hardly be considered a best-of, not to mention that it doesn't take into account any of the fine recordings Fuller made for small labels in Texas before he moved to Los Angeles. Probably the reason none of those songs are here is that Del-Fi can't get the rights. Fair enough. There is no good reason why the disc only has 12 songs and misses so many songs that are vital to understanding why Fuller is so good. If you just want one disc of his best stuff, better to hunt down a used copy of the Rhino collection from the early '90s. Why they decided to take that fine disc out of print and replace it with this inferior issue, which is just a reissue of Del-Fi's I Fought the Law: The Best of the Bobby Fuller Four set released in 2000, is a mystery almost on par with Fuller's death. You should probably just forget about this collection and buy all the Bobby Fuller you can get your hands on, especially the Never to Be Forgotten: The Mustang Years box on Del-Fi and the Shakedown! The Texas Tapes Revisited box on Norton.

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