Not Fade Away (song)

Not Fade Away (song)
"Not Fade Away"
B-side to "Oh, Boy!" by The Crickets from the album The "Chirping" Crickets
Released October 27, 1957 (1957-10-27)
Recorded May 27, 1957 in Clovis, New Mexico[1]
Genre Rock and roll
Language English
Length 2:21
Label Brunswick single 55035[1]
Writer Charles Hardin, Norman Petty
Producer Norman Petty[1]
The "Chirping" Crickets track listing
  1. "Oh, Boy!"
  2. "Not Fade Away"
  3. "You've Got Love"
  4. "Maybe Baby"
  5. "It's Too Late"
  6. "Tell Me How"
  7. "That'll Be the Day"
  8. "I'm Looking for Someone to Love"
  9. "An Empty Cup (And a Broken Date)"
  10. "Send Me Some Lovin'"
  11. "Last Night"
  12. "Rock Me My Baby"

"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 most likely a formality)[2] and first recorded by Holly's band The Crickets in Clovis, New Mexico, on May 27, 1957 (which was the same day the song "Everyday" was recorded).[1] The song's rhythm pattern is a variant of the Bo Diddley beat (with the second beat occurring on the second, rather than third beat of the first measure) which itself was an update of the so-called "hambone" rhythm, or "patted juba" from Western Africa; Crickets drummer Jerry Allison pounded out the beat on a cardboard box.[2] Allison, Holly's best friend, also claims to have written part of the lyrics, though his name never appeared in the songwriting credits. The other performer on the song was Joe Mauldin on bass guitar. The backing vocalists on the recording are most likely Buddy, Allison, and Niki Sullivan, although this is not known for certain.[1]

Along with the familiar Take 2 of "Not Fade Away," there exists a Take 1 whose first verse is missing; it has been released with the first part of Take 1 spliced onto it. Originally released as the B-side to the hit "Oh, Boy!", "Not Fade Away" was also included on the album The "Chirping" Crickets.

It was not the last song Buddy Holly ever performed, however, the night before his fatal plane crash. "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" was, according to those attending a 50th anniversary symposium in Clear Lake. In a panel discussion with Tommy Allsup, Carl Bunch, and Bob Hale (the M.C. at that last show), all three agreed that the final song played at the Feb. 2, 1959, show was "Brown Eyed Handsome Man." All of the acts performed it together. .

In 2004, this song was ranked number 107 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". However, The Crickets' recording never charted as a single.


Cover versions

"Not Fade Away"
Single by The Rolling Stones
B-side "Little by Little" (UK)
"I Wanna Be Your Man" (US)
Released February 21, 1964 (UK)
March 6, 1964 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded January 10, 1964 Olympic Studios, London, England
Genre Rock and roll
Length 1:48
Label Decca F11845 (UK)
London 45-LON 9657 (USA)
Writer(s) Norman Petty, Charles Hardin
Producer Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones singles chronology
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Not Fade Away"
"Tell Me"
"Not Fade Away"
Single by Rush
B-side "You Can't Fight It"
Released 1973
Format 7" single
Recorded 1973
Genre Progressive rock
Length 6:10
Label Moon Records
Writer(s) Norman Petty, Charles Hardin
Producer David Stock
Rush singles chronology
Not Fade Away Finding My Way
"Not Fade Away"
Single by Sheryl Crow
Released 2007
Format digital download
Genre Rock
Length 2:03
Sheryl Crow singles chronology
"Real Gone"
"Not Fade Away"
"Shine Over Babylon"

Rolling Stones

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 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.[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 #48 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[4] "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.

Ironically the Stones' version, unlike the original, chooses to fade-out on the "not fade away" lyric.


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 were ever officially released on CD.

By others

"Not Fade Away" has been covered by many other groups. The Grateful Dead recorded it, and they performed it 530 times in their long concert career, making it their seventh-most performed song[5]. A version is available on Rare Cuts and Oddities 1966. The Bobby Fuller Four covered it during their short career. Group Axis did a great cover also. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Steve Hillage, Jon Bon Jovi, Patti Smith, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow and Simon and Garfunkel have played it in concert. Sheryl Crow's 2007 single-only version release of the song charted #78 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #63 on the Billboard Hot Digital Singles chart. James Taylor finally recorded it on his 2008 album Covers. The Supremes recorded a version in 1964, but went unreleased until 2008.

A cover of the song recorded by British singer Florence + the Machine is featured on the 2011 release Rave on Buddy Holly, a tribute album featuring performances of Holly's music by various artists.

Besides the Rolling Stones, two other artists have had chart hits in the U.S. with this song: Tanya Tucker in 1979, and a new wave-ish take by British artist Eric Hine in 1981.

Stevie Nicks has recently contributed a cover version for the upcoming tribute album, Listen to Me: Buddy Holly to be released in Sept 2011.


  1. ^ a b c d e Buddy Holly - Greatest Hits 1995 MCA Records Liner Notes
  2. ^ a b (DVD, 1987) The Real Buddy Holly Story. White Star Studios. 
  3. ^ Rolling Stones "Not Fade Away" reaches no.3 in UK singles chart. [1] retrieved 08/19/2007
  4. ^ Carr, Roy, The Rolling Stones, an Illustrated Record New English Library, London 1976
  5. ^ The SetList Program - Grateful Dead Setlists, Listener Experiences, and Statistics

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Not Fade Away — may refer to: Not Fade Away (song), a song by Buddy Holly, covered by many others Not Fade Away (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album), 1992 Not Fade Away (David Kitt album), 2006 Not Fade Away (Angel) Not Fade Away (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) Not …   Wikipedia

  • Fade Away (song) — Infobox Single Name = Fade Away Artist = Bruce Springsteen from Album = The River B side = Be True Released = February 1981 Format = 7 single Recorded = March to June 1980 at The Power Station in New York Genre = Rock Length = 4:46 Label =… …   Wikipedia

  • fade — 01. You shouldn t wash your black pants in hot water or the color will [fade]. 02. Her hair color always [fades] in the summer sun. 03. The paint is starting to [fade] on the outside wall. 04. The sound of music [faded] into the distance as we… …   Grammatical examples in English

  • Fade (audio engineering) — Fader redirects here. For the magazine, see The Fader. For the The Temper Trap song, see Fader (song). Audio mixer faders at the Bull Gate pub in Kentish Town, North London. In audio engineering, a fade is a gradual increase or decrease in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Oh, Boy! (song) — Not to be confused with Oh Boy (song). Oh, Boy! Single by The Crickets from the album The Chirping Crickets B side Not Fade Away Released …   Wikipedia

  • Miss You (The Rolling Stones song) — Miss You Single by The Rolling Stones from the album Some Girls B side …   Wikipedia

  • As Tears Go By (song) — As Tears Go By Single by The Rolling Stones from the album December s Children (And Everybody s) B side Gotta Get Away Released 18 December 1965 (US) …   Wikipedia

  • Out of Time (The Rolling Stones song) — Out of Time Song by The Rolling Stones from the album Aftermath (UK) Released 15 April 1966 (UK) Recorded March 1966 RCA Studios, Hollywood Genre Rock …   Wikipedia

  • Oh No, Not You Again — Song by The Rolling Stones from the album A Bigger Bang Released 5 September 2005 Recorded May June 2005 Genre Rock …   Wikipedia

  • Don't Stop (The Rolling Stones song) — Don t Stop Single by The Rolling Stones from the album Forty Licks B …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.