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Eric Clapton I shot the sheriff . Solo is amazing, one of the best I've seen by him

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
I Shot The Sheriff on Wikipedia
"I Shot the Sheriff"
Single by The Wailers
from the album Burnin'
RecordedHarry J. Studios, Kingston, Jamaica, April 1973
LabelTuff Gong, Island
Writer(s)Bob Marley
ProducerChris Blackwell and The Wailers

"I Shot the Sheriff" is a song originally written by Bob Marley, told from the point of view of a narrator who admits to having killed the local sheriff, and claims to be falsely accused of having killed the deputy sheriff. The narrator also claims to have acted in self-defense when the sheriff tried to shoot her or him. The song was first released in 1973 on The Wailers' album Burnin'. 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."[1]


  • 1 Eric Clapton version
    • 1.1 Chart performance
    • 1.2 Year-end chart
  • 2 Warren G version
    • 2.1 Charts
  • 3 Later samplings, allusions, and covers
  • 4 Cover versions in other languages
  • 5 References

Eric Clapton version[edit source | edit]

"I Shot the Sheriff"
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album 461 Ocean Boulevard
ReleasedJuly 1974
RecordedApril–May 1974 at Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, Florida
GenreBlues rock, reggae
Length4:26 (album)
3:30 (single)
Writer(s)Bob Marley
ProducerTom Dowd

Eric Clapton recorded a cover version that was included on his 1974 album, 461 Ocean Boulevard. It is the most successful version of the song, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2003, Clapton's version was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[2]

During the controversy over the Body Count song "Cop Killer", it was frequently pointed out that there were no similar complaints about Bob Marley's song, even though they had similar themes.[3]

Chart performance[edit source | edit]

"I Shot the Sheriff" was the lead single released from Warren G's second album, Take a Look Over Your Shoulder. Warren replaced Marley's original lyrics with his own, though Clapton's version of the song is sampled and R&B singer Nancy Fletcher sings the original chorus. The song was a hit in several countries, in the U.S. it peaked at 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified Gold by the RIAA on May 2, 1997, in the UK it peaked at #2 and in New Zealand, it peaked at #1.

The official remix was produced by EPMD member Erick Sermon, it is based around EPMD's "Strictly Business", which also sampled Clapton's version of the song.

Later samplings, allusions, and covers[edit source | edit]

On the February 16, 1977 episode of The Jacksons, "I Shot the Sheriff" was mashed up with "Cisco Kid" and was led by singer Michael Jackson in an old western bar scene.

British band, Light Of The World recorded a jazzed-up version in 1980.

On EPMD's 1988 Strictly Business LP, the title track uses a sample of "I Shot the Sheriff" (Clapton's version).

In Mary J. Blige's 1992 debut album (What's the 411?), Grand Puba declared "I shot the sheriff AND the motherfuckin' deputy" in the title track.

Bob Marley's children "Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers" have performed the song during their concerts, most notably at Chiemsee Reggae Summer in Germany in July 2000.[citation needed]

In 2000, the song was covered in a ska-punk version by Voodoo Glow Skulls on their album Symbolic. It was also covered by former American Idol contestant Jason Castro in 2008.

In The Simpsons episode #248 ("Behind the Laughter"), Marge Simpson performs the opening of the song as part of a nightclub act. She then tells her audience, "So next time you see a sheriff, shoot him.... a smile!"

In The Sopranos episode 4.11 ("Calling All Cars"), which aired in 2002, Eric Clapton's rendition can be heard playing in the background when Tony Soprano is on the phone with Svetlana. Ten episodes earlier (in episode 4.1, "For All Debts Public and Private"), Tony had set up his protege Christopher Moltisanti to kill Detective-Lieutenant Barry Haydu on the night of Haydu's retirement party.

In 2004, Tom Morello, under his persona, The Nightwatchman, borrowed and changed lyrics from the song during his performance of "Until the End", as part of the Axis of Justice Concert Series Volume 1. The lyrics he used were: "...three times I shot the sheriff; and did not spare the deputy". A studio version of the song was later released on his album One Man Revolution.

Argentine singer Andrés Calamaro made a mashup of the first verse of the song with the last one of his own “El Dia Mundial de la Mujer” (Women's World Day), when played alive on his Honestidad Brutal tour.

In the song "Be Free" by Bob's son Ziggy Marley, a brief line in the song says: "I shot the deputy, now you know." Ziggy was four years old when his father's song was released.

In the Eureka episode 'Reprise' (4.12), characters are acting out song lyrics, including Jo who shoots Carter under this song's influence.

The song can be heard during a cut-scene in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (2012).

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ Bob Marley Music, Inc. (2002). "I Shot The Sheriff". Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame Award. Retrieved 21 December 2012
  3. ^ Hamm, Mark; Ferrell, Jeff. "Rap, cops, and crime: clarifying the 'cop killer' controversy". Retrieved 2007-06-10. 
  4. ^ "Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  5. ^ " – Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  6. ^ "I shot the sheriff in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "I shot the sheriff in French Chart" (in French). Dominic DURAND / InfoDisc. 4 July 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Eric Clapton"
  8. ^ "Eric Clapton - I Shot The Sheriff". Media Control.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Eric Clapton search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  10. ^ " – Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  11. ^ "Song title 570 - I Shot the Sheriff". Steve Hawtin and al. Retrieved 24 June 2013. 
  12. ^ " – Eric Clapton – I Shot The Sheriff". VG-lista.
  13. ^ John Samson. "I shot the sheriff in South African Chart". Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Eric Clapton". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  15. ^ a b c "461 Ocean Boulevard awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "I shot the sheriff in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 4 July 2013.  Only results when searching "I shot the sheriff"
  17. ^ "I shot the sheriff in the Top 200 Singles of '74". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  18. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  19. ^ "Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  20. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  21. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  22. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". Suomen virallinen lista.
  23. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in French). Les classement single.
  24. ^ "Warren G - I Shot the Sheriff". Media Control.
  25. ^ "Hit Parade Italia - Indice per Interprete: W". Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  26. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff" (in Dutch). Mega Single Top 100.
  27. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". Top 40 Singles.
  28. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". VG-lista.
  29. ^ " – Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff". Singles Top 60.
  30. ^ "Warren G – I Shot the Sheriff –". Swiss Singles Chart.
  31. ^ "1997 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 22nd February 1997". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 
  32. ^ feelelneel. "I Shot the sheriff remix/ ana ta7'eit el zabet /أنا طخيت الظابط". YouTube. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 

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