About The Rolling Stones’ song ‘Not Fade Away’…
*Click for MORE ROLLING STONES SONGS 1962-PRESENT
Your love for me has got to be real/ For you to know just how I feel…
Written by: Petty/Hardin
Recorded: Regent Sounds and IBC Studios, London, England, Jan. 10-28-Feb. 4 1964
*Data taken from Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012
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.”
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.”
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.”
From the The Rolling Stones – All the Songs book:
Recorded by Buddy Holly at the Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New
Mexico, on May 27, 1957, “Not Fade Away” was released the following
October as the B-side of his single “Oh, Boy!” The song takes its rhythm
from Bo Diddley—the logically named “Bo Diddley Beat,” or “Bo Diddley
Sound”—that is a modern version of African American religious chants, the
shouts that had their origins in the folk culture of West Africa. There is also
a certain rhythmic affinity with the Cuban dance known as the habanera. A
syncopated, hypnotic rhythm that corresponds perfectly to the idea of a love
that “never dies.”
Although a cover, Andrew Loog Oldham has always considered “Not
Fade Away” to be a Rolling Stones song, indeed the first by the JaggerRichards
songwriting partnership, for their arrangement. The A-side of their
third single in the United Kingdom (with “Little by Little” as the B-side),
“Not Fade Away” reached number 3 on the UK charts on February 27, 1964.
It also opens side one of the American LP The Rolling Stones,
England’s Newest Hit Makers (displacing “Mona,” track four on the British
LP), which was released in April 1964.
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Categories: Can You Hear the Music?