Not Fade Away

Album: The Rolling Stones (1964)
Charted: 3 48

Songfacts®:

  • This is a cover of a song written and recorded by Buddy Holly in 1957. Holly released it with his group, The Crickets, as the B-side of their single, "Oh Boy."
  • This features the "Bo Diddley Beat" - dun, da-dun, da-dun, da-dun, dun. The Stones toured with Diddley in England before recording this.
  • Charlie Watts: "We did it with a Bo Diddley beat, which at the time was very avant-garde for a white band to be playing Bo Diddley's stuff. It was a very popular rhythm for us in clubs; looking at it from the drumming point of view. So we did it in this slightly different way than Buddy Holly did it."
  • Their manager, Andrew Oldham, was convinced the Stones would be successful after hearing what they did with this. Said Oldham: "Although it was a Buddy Holly song, I considered it to be like the first song Mick and Keith wrote, in that they picked the concept of applying that Bo Diddley thing to it. The way they arranged it was the beginning of the shaping of them as songwriters. From then on they wrote. At that time, Mick, Keith, and I lived together. They were into the last half bottle of wine and going through, it was one of those magical moments. When Keith played that to me in the front room you could actually HEAR the record in that room. What basically made the record was that whole Bo Diddley acoustic guitar thrust. You heard the whole record in one room. We gotta record it! But there's no way if someone had just said coldly, Right, let's do "Not Fade Away" that we would have wanted to do it without hearing the way that Keith was playing it on the guitar. Keith just did it. And that was that. To me, they wrote the song. It's a pity we couldn't have gotten the money." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • According to an article in The Daily Mail on April 6, 2006, at the time, The Rolling Stones weren't talking to each other so Gene Pitney, who knew the group through their manager Andrew Loog Oldham, claimed it was his birthday. He asked them all to drink a water glass full of cognac to celebrate, and the result was this memorable cover of a Crickets B-side. Phil Spector is credited with playing maracas on the record but in fact he was playing an empty cognac bottle with a 50 cent piece.
  • This was the Stones' first UK Top 10 hit. Their previous two singles were also covers: "I Wanna Be Your Man" (written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) and "Come On" (written by Chuck Berry).
  • Bill Wyman: "The rhythm thing was formed basically around the Buddy Holly thing. We brought the rhythm up and emphasized it. Holly had used that Bo Diddley trademark beat on his version, but because he was only using bass, drums and guitar, the rhythm element is sort of a throwaway. Holly played it lightly. We just got into it more and put the Bo Diddley beat up front." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The Stones version of this song influenced many early rockers. Roger Reale, who teamed up with Mick Ronson in the '70s band Rue Morgue, explained: "The acoustic guitar opening - combined with the electric guitars - was a combination they used time and time again. But to open a record with 'Not Fade Away,' that struck me as something that hadn't happened before. And the Stones not only changed the way we looked at the world, they also helped expand our record collections by paying homage to the artists who influenced them."

Comments: 16

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1964 {June 18th} the Rolling Stones performed "Not Fade Away" on the nationally syndicated television program, 'The Mike Douglas Show'...
    At the time the song was at position #74 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, four weeks later it would peak at #48 {for 1 week} and it spent thirteen weeks on the Top 100...
    The week "Not Fade Away" peaked at #48, their "Tell Me" was at #62 on the Hot Top 100 chart, on August 2nd it peaked at #24 (for 2 weeks)...
    And the day of their appearance on the 'Douglas' show, their scheduled concert at the New Haven Arena in New Haven, Connecticut for that day was canceled due to poor ticket sales...
    https://www.robertedwardauctions.com/auction/2012/spring/1467/1964-rolling-stones-first-american-tour-concert-poster-famous-canceled-due-poor-ticket-sales/
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 27th 1964, the Rolling Stones performed "Not Fade Away" on the BBC-TV program 'Top of the Pops', it was the quintet's second appearance on the show...
    At the time the song was in its first week on the United Kingdom's Top 40 chart at position #29; four weeks later it would peak at #3 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 10 weeks...
    Their next release, "It's All Over Now", would be their first U.K. #1 record, it reached the top spot for one week on July 12th, and their next four releases would also peak at #1...
    R.I.P. Brian Jones {1942 - 1969}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 2nd 1964, the Rolling Stones appeared in concert* for the first time on American soil when they played at the Lynn High School Football Field in Lynn, Massachusetts...
    At the time the Stones' debut record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, "Not Fade Away", was at position #82; and on July 12th, 1964 it would peak at #48 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 13 weeks...
    * Also performing that night in Lynn, MA were Bobby Goldsboro and Johnny Rivers; and at the time Bobby's "Whenever He Holds You" was at #59 and Johnny's "Memphis" was at #63...
    {See next post below, that event happen earlier in the day, and they did not perform a song on the show, just an interview}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 2nd 1964, the Rolling Stones appeared on American TV for first time, they were guests on the N.Y.C. ABC-TV affiliated program 'The Les Crane Show'...
    Can't find on the internet if they performed a song on the show or were just interviewed, at the time their covered version of "Not Fade Away" was in its sixth week on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'The bad boys enter the American charts'
    On April 26th 1964 when the Stones' debut record in America, "Not Fade Away", entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #98; and on July 12th it peaked at #48 (for 1 week) and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    The week "Not Fade Away" peaked at #48, the quintet's 2nd charted record, "Tell Me", was at #62 and on August 2nd it peaked at #24 (for 2 weeks)...
    Three of the four Stones are in their 70s and, sadly, come January I will join them.
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceThis was the first British Top 10 for The Stones.
  • Emily from Detroit, MiI love in the video posted here how they shriek every time MIck does that little move!! You can see why he later did so much dancing -- this is a very careful performance on his part. Brian Jones's harmonica is awesome here -- what a talented musician he was.
  • Dale from Santa Fe, NmKurt Cobain's suicide note quoted Neil Young: "It's better to burn out than to fade away" and not lines from this song.
  • Jonathan from Bishop, Englandim sure this says "Love thats real does not fade away" but when i look up lyrics it says "Love real not fade away". Am i wrong?
  • James from Gettysburg, PaThis phrase is just as much rock'n roll as the Rolling Stones' name is. It's in:
    Bellbottom Blues - by Derek and the Dominos
    Hey Hey My My- by Neil Young
    My Generation - by the Who
    It was in Kurt Cobain's suicide note as well.
  • Craig from Melbourne, AustraliaUsed to superb effect as the opening number on their Voodoo Lounge tour of 94-95.
  • Sam from Shanghai, ChinaThe Buddy Holly version definitely uses the Bo Diddley beat. Buddy Holly even sings the "ba-baba-baaa" in the intro. Like Wyman says though, it's much less noticeable. Keith's chugging acoustic rhythm playing really forces it down your throat in the Stones' version, and I've gotta say, I love it! The guitar/harmonica break is also fantastic.
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, CaI like this version better than Buddy's..though I usually prefer the original, I think this one sounds better
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI have never heard this version, but the original doesn't sound like it's being played with the Bo Didley beat. At least, not the way I've heard it.
  • Alan from Grande Prairie, Alberta, CanadaGives you an idea of Holly's influence on the British invasion.
  • Simon from Brno, Czech RepublicBrian Jones played the harmonica.
see more comments

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