Elvin Bishop – Fooled Around and Fell In Love

Always liked this song by Elvin Bishop. It’s a love song but a good one. Bishop is a blues guitarist who played in The Paul Butterfield Blues Band before forming his own group in 1968. Mickey Thomas who sang the song was a vocalist in Bishop’s band and sang lead on “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” and would later sing in Jefferson Starship.

Elvin can sing but his voice is suited more for blues. Elvin wrote the song and thought Mickey Thomas could sing it better…Mickey did a great job with it. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100, #34 in the UK, and #22 in Canada in 1976.

I stumbled across a newer cover of this song that I really like around 6 months ago…it’s by the Winery Dogs and it’s below the Elvin Bishop original version below.

The song has gained new popularity because of the 2014 film Guardians of the Galaxy.

From Songfacts.

In our interview with Elvin Bishop, he explained: “My voice is very plain. It’s better suited for blues. It’s been good for me, because it’s made my songwriting strong, because to really get over with a voice like mine, which is not a thrill in itself – the quality of the voice – you have to have a strong story and really good words to capture people’s imagination. 

And that tune, I gave it a try. The producer, Bill Szymczyk, said, ‘We need one more piece of material here. You got anything else laying around?’ I said, ‘Well, there’s this tune I wrote the other day.’ Well, not the other day. I’d actually tried to get a couple of other people to sing it, but somehow it didn’t work out. I said, ‘How about this ‘Fooled Around and Fell In Love’?’ We cut a track, it was a really nice track. I tried singing it, and I said, ‘That’s not buttering my biscuit, my vocal on this. Why don’t we give Mickey a shot at this?’ And the producer said, ‘Well, that’s big of you.’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t think so. It’s just common sense, you know?’ And Mickey just tore it up.”

Mickey Thomas replaced Marty Balin as the male lead singer of Jefferson Starship in 1979 and was with the band in 1985 when they changed their name to Starship and had huge hits with “Sara,” “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.”

This song is about a guy who callously played the field until one day when he falls madly in love with a girl he can’t stop thinking about. “The better a song is, the less story there is to it, as far as I can tell,” Bishop said in his Songfacts interview. “The best songs just come rushing out. I don’t know if life squeezes them out of you, or if they’re just so right that they take no thought. I don’t know. Or if you’re given a temporary connection to the flow of the universe, or whatever it is. But that song just damn near wrote itself.”

Although Bishop is known as a blues musician, this song was a huge pop hit and still gets considerable airplay on Adult Contemporary radio. The song does not represent the body of Bishop’s work, but he does love playing it live. Says Bishop: “I figured out a way to have my cake and eat it too on that one. I play it as a slide instrumental, pretty much, with the guys singing background vocals, and they get the crowd to sing, and it works just amazingly well. Slide is kind of like the voice I never had. I can sing as high or as low as I want to, put as much sustain, as much treble… I learned to play the melody ‘Fooled Around And Fell In Love’ on the slide. It doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does.”

Many younger listeners discovered this song when it was used in the 2014 film Guardians Of The Galaxy and included on the soundtrack, which went to #1 in America. In the film, Chris Pratt plays it to seduce Zoe Saldana. “The melody is pleasant,” she says, before pulling a knife on him, refusing to succumb to his “pelvic sorcery.”

This song has appeared in a number of movies and TV series. Among them:

Entourage (“The Bat Mitzvah” – 2005)
Friday Night Lights (“Tomorrow Blues” – 2009)

Boogie Nights (1997)
Big Daddy (1999)
Summer of Sam (1999)
The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
Invincible (2006)
Lovelace (2013)

Fooled Around and Fell In Love

I must have been through about a million girls
I’d love ’em then I’d leave ’em alone
I didn’t care how much they cried, no sir
Their tears left me cold as a stone

But then I fooled around and fell in love
I fooled around and fell in love, yes I did
I fooled around and fell in love
I fooled around and fell in love

It used to be when I’d see a girl that I liked
I’d get out my book and write down her name
Ah, but when the, the grass got a little greener over on the other side
I’d just tear out that page

I fooled around and fell in love
I fooled around and fell in love, since I met you baby
I fooled around and fell in love
I fooled around and fell in love

Free, on my own is the way I used to be
Ah, but since I met you baby, love’s got a hold on me
It’s got a hold on me now
I can’t let go of you baby

I fooled around and fell in love
I fooled around and fell in love, oh yes I did
I fooled around, fooled around, fooled around, fooled around,
Fooled around, fooled around, fell in love
Fooled around, fooled around, fooled around, fooled around,
Fooled around, fooled around, fell in love
I fooled around, fell in love
I fell in love, I fell in love, yes I did

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

8 thoughts on “Elvin Bishop – Fooled Around and Fell In Love”

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