Not Fade Away (song)
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"Not Fade Away" is a song credited to Buddy Holly (originally under his first and middle names, Charles Hardin) and Norman Petty (although Petty's co-writing credit is likely to have been a formality) and first recorded by Holly and his band, the Crickets.
|"Not Fade Away"|
|Single by the Crickets|
|from the album The "Chirping" Crickets|
|Released||October 27, 1957|
|Recorded||Clovis, New Mexico, May 27, 1957|
|The Crickets singles chronology|
Holly and the Crickets recorded the song in Clovis, New Mexico, on May 27, 1957, the same day the song "Everyday" was recorded. The rhythmic pattern of "Not Fade Away" is a variant of the legendary Bo Diddley beat, with the second stress occurring on the second rather than third beat of the first measure, which was an update of the "hambone" rhythm, or patted juba from West Africa. Jerry Allison, the drummer for the Crickets, pounded out the beat on a cardboard box. Allison, Holly's best friend, wrote some of the lyrics, though his name never appeared in the songwriting credits. Joe Mauldin played the double bass on this recording. It is likely that the backing vocalists were Holly, Allison, and Niki Sullivan, but this is not known for certain.
"Not Fade Away" was originally released as the B-side of the hit single "Oh, Boy!" and was included on the album The "Chirping" Crickets (1957). The Crickets' recording never charted as a single. In 2004, this song was ranked number 107 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
Along with the familiar take 2 of "Not Fade Away", there exists a take 1, the first verse of which is missing; it has been released with the first part of take 1 spliced into it.
Contrary to the depiction in the film The Buddy Holly Story (1978), "Not Fade Away" was not the last song Holly performed in his final concert, in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2, 1959, just before his death in a plane crash. At a symposium held in Clear Lake in observance of the 50th anniversary of his death, in a panel discussion with Tommy Allsup, Carl Bunch, and Bob Hale (the master of ceremonies at Holly's final show), all agreed that the final song of the night was Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", performed by all of the acts on the bill.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets
The Rolling Stones versionEdit
|"Not Fade Away"|
American single picture sleeve
|Single by the Rolling Stones|
|Recorded||10 January 1964|
|Producer(s)||Andrew Loog Oldham|
|Rolling Stones UK singles chronology|
|Rolling Stones US singles chronology|
The Rolling Stones' version of "Not Fade Away" was one of their first hits. Recorded in January 1964 with visiting, uncredited Americans Phil Spector and Gene Pitney, and released by Decca Records on February 21, 1964, with "Little by Little" as the B-side, it was their first Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, reaching number three. In March 1964, it was also the band's first single released in the United States, on the London Records label with "I Wanna Be Your Man" as the B-side (It had been briefly preceded by "I Wanna Be Your Man" with "Stoned" as the B-side, but this was quickly withdrawn). The single reached number 48 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It also reached number 44 on the Cash Box pop singles chart in the U.S. and number 33 in Australia based on the Kent Music Report. "Not Fade Away" was not on the UK version of their debut album, The Rolling Stones, but was the opening track of the US version, released a month later as England's Newest Hitmakers. It was a mainstay of the band's concerts in their early years, usually opening the shows. It was revived as the opening song in the band's Voodoo Lounge Tour, in 1994 and 1995.
The Rolling Stones
- Mick Jagger – lead vocals, hand claps, tambourine, maracas
- Keith Richards – 12 string acoustic guitar, electric guitar solo
- Brian Jones – harmonica
- Bill Wyman – bass
- Charlie Watts – drums
- Phil Spector – percussion
- Gene Pitney – background vocals and percussion
- Peter Meaden – background vocals and percussion
- Andrew Loog Oldham – producer
- Bill Farley – studio engineer
|US Record World Top 100||58|
|UK Singles (OCC)||3|
|US Billboard Hot 100||48|
|US Cash Box Top 100||44|
|Australia (Kent Music Report)||33|
Other cover versionsEdit
- Rush recorded a version of "Not Fade Away" as their debut single in 1973, which peaked at number 88 in Canada. The single was released on the band's own Moon Records label, and is considered a rare collector's item today, as it has never been reissued on any format.
- Tanya Tucker included a funky, rock-and-roll version of "Not Fade Away" on her album, TNT (1978). Tucker's cover of this song peaked at number 70 on the U.S. Billboard pop singles chart in 1979.
- The song is closely associated with the Grateful Dead as one of their signature tunes - one which the band transformed from Holly’s 1950s boy/girl romanticism to one reflecting the 1960s’ more spiritual universal love. The Dead first performed it on June 19, 1968 at the Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, California, and subsequently performed it more than 600 more times before the group disbanded in 1995, following the death of lead guitarist Jerry Garcia. The surviving members reunited and played the song for the last time as the Grateful Dead as the last song of the second set (VC before the encores) on the last night of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead where the song signified that the fans' love of the band and the band's love of the fans "will not fade away."  . Versions of the song are included on the Skull and Roses AKA Grateful Dead (album) (1971) and Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966 albums. The song continued to be played by later iterations of the band, including The Other Ones, The Dead (band), and most currently - Dead & Company.
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- Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 4, 1964
- "'Grateful Dead: final concerts unite fans and band as legends fade away". theguardian.com. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- "'Not Fade Away' by Grateful Dead". setlist.fm. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
- "Dead & Company > Tour Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved September 23, 2019.