Somehow the same people who became irate at Ice-T’s ”Cop Killer” didn’t seem to mind when Eric Clapton sang about killing law enforcement officers. Of course, there were more than a couple of decades between the two recordings, but the irony is still interesting. ”I Shot the Sheriff” was a career saver for Clapton his first big solo hit and his first #1 hit of any kind. Long a critical favorite, Clapton was now a commercial favorite, too, and all the more impressively doing so with music that satisfied both audiences. At a time when Bob Marley’s reggae purity was still too unconventional for mainstream airplay, Clapton made the new music style accessible to a wider audience. It was also the first time Clapton had a hit on what Billboard then called the “Black Singles Chart.” The impact of the song was enormous, not only in revitalizing Clapton, but in bringing the then not-so-widely-known Marley to a larger audience. First released on the landmark 461 Ocean Blvd. album, "I Shot the Sheriff" has proven to be enduringly popular, and is one of those cross-cultural, cross-generational classics that nearly all rock music fans are familiar with.