I Shot the Sheriff: ERIC CLAPTON

Australian singles chart:
I Shot the Sheriff entered the Kent Music Report on 30 September 1974 and peaked at #11. The song was #80 on the Top 100 of 1974.

The song is on 461 Ocean Boulevard which entered the Kent Music Report album charts on 26 August 1974 and peaked at #2.


The narrator claims to have acted in self-defense when the sheriff tried to shoot him. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers’ album Burnin’. Bob Marley explained his intention as follows: “I want to say ‘I shot the police’ but the government would have made a fuss so I said ‘I shot the sheriff’ instead… but it’s the same idea: justice.”
Regarding the album title 461 Ocean Boulevard, it refers to the address on Ocean Boulevard in Golden Beach, Florida where Clapton lived while recording the album.
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Eric Clapton was part of the seminal bands Cream, Blind Faith, The Yardbirds and Derek & The Dominos. He also had a very successful solo career.
Clapton heard I Shot The Sheriff when a member of his band played the Bob Marley album for him and convinced him to record it. At first, Clapton didn’t want to use it on his album because he thought it might seem disrespectful to Marley. Members of his band and management convinced him that it should not only go on the album, but also be released as a single.
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This song is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s

After you’ve listened to this song, click HERE to pick another one!

Bob Marley & The Wailers live at the Rainbow Theatre, London in 1977.

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