Inspecting chart history proves otherwise, but due to the ubiquitous nature of that one song everybody remembers, Bobby Fuller is considered by many as a One Hit Wonder. Others view him as the true-blood ‘60s extension in art as well as life of fellow Texan Buddy Holly, which overlaps with the assessment by some that Fuller was maybe the last gasp of rock ‘n’ roll innocence before the ‘60s became The Sixties. But he was also just a passionate young guy with a boatload of talent for whom music was paramount, and nothing communicates that better than a listen to The Bobby Fuller Four’s 1966 LP, I Fought the Law.
The Bobby Fuller Four’s second and best long-player opens with what is probably my pick for the band’s greatest moment and certainly one of their leader’s finest compositions. It’s not the title track, for “I Fought the Law” was penned by Sonny Curtis of The Crickets, a group most famous for their backing of Buddy Holly (Curtis joined after Holly’s plane crash demise; the original appears on 1960’s In Style with the Crickets.)
The tune is “Let Her Dance,” a delicious slice of guitar and vocal harmony driven pop-rock and easily one of ’65’s best singles. Perfectly calibrated for airplay, its 2:32 flows with expertly layered simplicity. Once established, none of the song’s elements drift far in their roles; not Fuller’s lead singing of his wounded-heart love lyrics or the gorgeous chiming and jangling of his and Jim Reese’s guitars, not the beautiful but non-grandiose backing vocals, not Randy Fuller’s bass, and definitely not DeWayne Quirico’s drumming, which with subtle alterations follows the same pattern throughout.
Individually, none of these aspects are especially noteworthy. It’s in the assemblage and the ensuing vigor of the captured performance that greatness is attained. And over the years, playing “Let Her Dance” has turned many a head that had erroneously pegged Bobby Fuller as basically a slightly displaced rockabilly guy.