ARTIST: The Bobby Fuller Four
TITLE: Never to Be Forgotten: The Mustang Years
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Wolfman, Take My Word, Let Her Dance (#133), Never to Be Forgotten, I Fought the Law (#9), Love’s Made a Fool of You (#26), The Magic Touch (#117), It’s Love, Come What May
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably Not.
LINEUP: Bobby Fuller, Randy Fuller, Jim Reese, DeWayne Quirico. A few tracks had Dalton Powell or John Barbata drumming in place of Quirico.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Collection from a beloved garage band with surprisingly small chart history.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Bobby Fuller and his group would still be known for their version of “I Fought the Law” had he not been murdered (Suicide? Nope) in mysterious circumstances in 1966. But that death has given Fuller and The Bobby Fuller Four a name beyond their chart history.
They deserved more of a chart presence than one Top 10 and another Top 30. “Let Her Dance” made waves in LA, but not nationally, and “Never to be Forgotten” is probably their best track (and one of the great hidden gems of the 60’s). And unlike other groups of the 60’s, they rarely covered tracks – even on both of their albums. It just so happened that “I Fought the Law” was a cover that their original producer in El Paso thought would be a good fit for them. (“I Fought the Law” was originally by the Crickets, who kept playing after Buddy Holly passed.)
This collection is their Mustang Records recordings, after they moved to LA and made the scene there. It covers their entire catalog (singles and albums) and includes a live set that was going to be released but was withdrawn (and really, it’s just not so great – though they were a fun live band). While there is some filler (their first album was partly a drag racing album due to a radio station’s wishes), many of the cuts are decent enough and with the strong singles it’s a good collection for 60’s rock fans.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: After Bobby died, his brother Randy tried to keep the band going as the Randy Fuller Four.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE B+: There’s a lot here, and that may be too much for some, but they’re surprisingly deep for a band with a couple of albums.