fade away

Not Fade Away (song)

"Not Fade Away" is a song written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty and performed by Holly; the song's rhythm pattern is one of the classic examples of the Bo Diddley beat. Crickets drummer Jerry Allison pounded out the beat on a cardboard box. It was first recorded with Buddy Holly's band The Crickets in Clovis, New Mexico, in May 1957. Originally appearing on the B side to Holly's hit "Oh, Boy!," it was included on the album, The "Chirping" Crickets. The Crickets were no strangers to the Bo Diddley beat -- they had already covered Diddley's "Bo Diddley" -- but with "Not Fade Away" they made the rhythm their own, thanks to drummer Jerry Allison. Allison, Holly's best friend, also claims to have written part of the lyrics, though his name never appeared in the songwriting credits. This was also the last song Buddy ever played, the night before his fatal plane crash. However, Holly's recording never charted as a single.

Cover versions

It has also been covered by many other groups. The Grateful Dead recorded it, and played it 530 times in their long concert career, making it their seventh-most played song. A version is available on Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966. The Bobby Fuller Four covered it during their short career. It was Rush's first single. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Patti Smith and James Taylor have played it in concert. Similarly, Freddie Mercury performed it a couple of times, himself playing guitar and singing, as an intro to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". Trout Fishing in America have a seven minute cover on their Truth is Stranger Than Fishen album. Steve Hillage recorded a version which closes his solo album Motivation Radio. Joe Ely sometimes played the song live, as recorded on his Live Shots album.

The Supremes recorded a version in 1964, which went unreleased until 2008.

In the Deep Purple-Extended Versions Live Compilation CD, part of this song is played in the middle of a Highway Star performance on the first "Highway Star" on the CD.

In 2007, the song was covered by Sheryl Crow as part of a Revlon haircolor commercial promoting their Colorist product, implying their color will "not fade away." This cover is available exclusively on iTunes with net proceeds to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

The Bees (UK band) covered this song in 2006.

Rolling Stones version

In 1964, The Rolling Stones' cover of "Not Fade Away", with its strong emphasis on the Bo Diddley beat, became a major hit in Britain and served as the a-side of the band's first US single.

The Rolling Stones version of "Not Fade Away" was one of their first classic hits. Recorded in late January of 1964 and released by Decca on February 21, 1964, with "Little by Little" as the B-side, it was their first Top 5 hit in Great Britain, reaching #3. In March 1964 it was also the Rolling Stones' first single release in the United States, on the London Records label, with "I Wanna Be Your Man" as the b-side (briefly preceded by "Stoned", which had immediately been withdrawn). The single reached the mid-40's on the US singles charts. "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 at Rolling Stones concerts in their early years, usually opening the shows. It was revived in that capacity for their 1994-95 Voodoo Lounge Tour.


Rush version

The Rush version of "Not Fade Away" was their debut single, released in 1973. The B-side of this single, "You Can't Fight It," was the first original song Rush released. The single is rare and highly sought-after by collectors. Neither one of these songs was ever (officially) released on CD.


Media uses

In the 2007 movie Ghost Rider, The Rolling Stones version of this song is heard in the background while Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is trying to catch up to the news vehicle that Roxanne Simpson (Eva Mendes) is in.

This song (Rolling Stones Version) was also used in one of the many Samuel Adams (beer) commercials.

The song title was used as the title for the final episode of the TV series Angel (TV series).

In the Boy Meets World episode titled "Rave On" a version of Not Fade Away is performed by former Monkees Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones.


Search another word or see fade awayon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature