Fade Into You

Album: So Tonight That I Might See (1993)
Charted: 48 44

Songfacts®:

  • This hypnotic ballad about unrequited love is the opening track of Mazzy Star's second studio album, So Tonight That I Might See. The song, which finds vocalist Hope Sandoval yearning to connect with the object of her affection on a soul level, was also the California alt-rock band's first and only entry on the Hot 100. It also peaked at #3 on the Alternative chart.
  • Regarded as one of the top songs of the '90s, the band's breakout hit boosted the album to platinum status, with more than a million sales. The exposure also thrust Mazzy Star into the spotlight - a place they never wanted to be. Hope Sandoval and David Roback, the band's producer/guitarist, were indifferent to fame. The notoriously taciturn duo didn't like performing live or doing interviews, and Sandoval refused to speak about her lyrics. Looking back on their seminal tune in 2013, Sandoval would only tell The Guardian: "I think it's a good song."

    Roback, who died in 2020, explained that music was their singular focus, not the fame or the fans. "We're not so concerned about the outside world," he told Uncut in 2013. "It's a very internal process that we're involved in. The outside world is really not on our minds, in so far as the music is concerned. We're really doing it in our own world for ourselves. We're engaged in the stories of each individual song. It is its own world unto itself."
  • In a 2018 interview with News.com.au, Roback said he and Sandoval wrote the music and lyrics in one day. "It came almost at the same time. We weren't trying to write a hit song - we were just writing a song," he explained. "I think we had a melody and a feel and we just followed that feel. And that became the song... It was acoustic guitar and both of us singing and after we'd written the song then we arranged it for other instruments - piano and slide guitar and drums. But it started out as an acoustic song."
  • If you're feeling nostalgic pangs for days gone by when you hear "Fade Into You," that was never Mazzy Star's intention. "It was never intended to be a nostalgic song," said Roback. "Unless you were meant to think about nostalgia for the present because it really was about the present."
  • Two music videos were made. The first, which premiered on MTV in October 1993, featured the band performing in the Mojave Desert in some of the same locations where U2 shot their album artwork for The Joshua Tree (1987). The clip was directed by Kevin Kerslake, who helmed Nirvana's "Sliver" video that same year.

    The second video, directed by Merlyn Rosenberg, showed the band performing in a ballroom and wandering the streets of San Francisco. It premiered in February 1994.
  • This has been used extensively in movies and TV shows to underscore intimacy or introspection - usually. One of its first credits was in the 1997 action-adventure sci-fi flick Starship Troopers, where it soundtracks a brawl between Casper Van Dien and Patrick Muldoon. The band wasn't impressed. "It's not our film, you know," said Roback. "Incredibly violent. Quite a contradiction in a way. But it was interesting."

    Other prominent appearances include these TV shows:

    American Horror Story ("Be Our Guest" - 2016)
    True Blood ("Love Is To Die" - 2014)
    Fringe ("Wallflower" - 2011)
    CSI: NY ("The Box " - 2008)
    Cold Case ("Wishing" - 2005)
    Alias ("Ice" - 2005)
    Desperate Housewives ("Pilot" - 2004)
    Roswell ("Baby, It's You" - 2001)
    Gilmore Girls ("Rory's Dance" - 2000)
    Daria ("Malled" - 1997)

    And these movies:

    Tall Girl (2019)
    American Honey (2016)
    Thank You For Your Service (2017)
    The To Do List (2013)
    End Of Watch (2012)
    Burlesque (2010)
    Swept Away (2002)
    Angus (1995)
  • Ben Harper covered this for the 2014 Valentine's Day compilation Sweetheart: Our Favorite Artists Sing Their Favorite Love Songs, sold at Starbucks. Harper's version was used on Suits at the end of the 2015 episode "Intent."

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