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"6th Avenue Heartache" is a song by the American rock band The Wallflowers. It was released in April 1996 as the lead single from their 1996 sophomore album Bringing Down the Horse. The song became their first hit, peaking at number 8 on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart, number 10 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and number 33 on the US Hot 100 Airplay chart. Though the song was a hit on rock radio, it was overshadowed by its follow-up single, "One Headlight". The background vocals in this song are by Adam Duritz from Counting Crows.

"6th Avenue Heartache"
6th Avenue Heartache.jpg
Single by The Wallflowers
from the album Bringing Down the Horse
  • "Used to Be Lucky"
  • "Angel on My Bike"
ReleasedApril 23, 1996[1]
GenreRoots rock
LabelInterscope Records
Songwriter(s)Jakob Dylan
Producer(s)T-Bone Burnett
The Wallflowers singles chronology
"6th Avenue Heartache"
"One Headlight"


Background and writingEdit

Jakob Dylan, the band's lead singer, wrote the song when he was 18 years old and considers it the first real song he had written. It was meant to go on their self-titled first album, but the record company would not allow it. The lyrics are based on Dylan's own experiences while living in New York City, in particular the story of a homeless man who would sit outside Dylan's window and play the same songs every day. One day, the man was gone, but his things were still there, until gradually people started taking them. Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on the song, though he recorded the track in his own studio and never even met the band members.

Music videoEdit

The video, shot in New York, was directed by movie director David Fincher, known for such films as Seven and Fight Club. There is a slight error in the video: Rama's Cafe, portrayed as a meeting place for the band, was actually on 281 5th Avenue, not 6th Avenue. The building was eventually demolished, and a new apartment building is in the process of being constructed on the site.[2]

In popular cultureEdit

It was featured during the Friends Season 4 episode "The One With the Fake Party".[3]

It was featured in the Cold Case Season 2 episode "Revenge".[4]

The Wallflowers performed Sixth Avenue Heartache on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1996.[5]

In 2012 the band reunited to perform the song as a part of Letterman's online concert series Live on Letterman.[6]

The song is played after every Atlanta Braves loss.[citation needed]

Track listingEdit

  1. "6th Avenue Heartache" (Edit) – 4:22
  2. "Used to Be Lucky" – 6:35
  3. "Angel on My Bike" – 4:22
  4. "6th Avenue Heartache" – 5:37


Chart (1996) Peak
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[7] 8
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 33[citation needed]
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 25[citation needed]
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 10v
US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 8[citation needed]
US Billboard Adult Top 40 26[citation needed]


  1. ^ Reece, Douglas (August 31, 1996). "Wallflowers Are Getting Attention on Interscope". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 20.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Friends" The One with the Fake Party (TV Episode 1998) - IMDb, retrieved 2019-05-29
  4. ^ "Cold Case" Revenge (TV Episode 2005) - IMDb, retrieved 2019-05-29
  5. ^ vintagetubelug (2011-08-01), The Wallflowers live 1996 "6th Avenue Heartache", retrieved 2019-05-29
  6. ^ TheWallflowersVEVO (2012-11-14), The Wallflowers - 6th Avenue Heartache (Live on Letterman), retrieved 2019-05-29
  7. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 64, No. 2, August 26 1996". RPM. Retrieved 2016-06-20.

External linksEdit