BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ” Fade Away ” Released January 22nd, 1981

Posted: February 11, 2018 in MUSIC
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Fade Away” is a 1980 song written and performed by Bruce Springsteen, accompanied by the E Street Band. It is contained on his album “The River”, and the second single released from it in the United States, “Fade Away” is “certainly among his most pessimistic and helpless depictions of life and love gone wrong.

E Street Steve Van Zandt has proclaimed “Fade Away” as one of his favorite Springsteen songs, but thinks that it is not played in band shows because it is too slow. Regardless, he says, “It’s just one of those funny, lost little gems, you know?” .

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band“Fade Away” at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale NY on December 31, 1980.

The song was recorded at The Power Station in New York in March to June 1980, one of the last songs to be recorded for the album. Musically and lyrically it is a slow, pained lament:

Well now, you say you’ve found another man, who does things to you that I can’t
And that no matter what I do, it’s all over now between me and you girl
But I can’t believe what you say
No, I can’t believe what you say …

it is was the second single taken from The River, released in February 1981 in the U.S. In the UK and Europe, “The River” was released instead.  “Fade Away” was not as successful as the previous single from the album, “Hungry Heart”, but still reached #20 . It was only performed sporadically on The River Tour,and not at all for nearly the first two months. The judgement behind its selection as the second single was questioned, considering the more radio-friendly songs on the record, and the choice was blamed for slowing down sales of the album. It was then dropped from Springsteen’s concert repertoire completely, only rematerializing for a handful of solo renditions on the 2005 Devils & Dust Tour.

Filmed at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. 8-11-2009

The song was performed once on the Wrecking Ball Tour on July 20th, 2013 at King’s Hall in Belfast; Springsteen made reference on stage that it was Van Zandt’s favorite song. The song was played nightly during the North American leg of Springsteen’s 2016 River Tour, where The River was played in its entirety. When the tour reached Europe, the album presentation format of the tour was dropped, with the exception of a few shows. “Fade Away” has not been performed outside of the album format.

Meanwhile, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes (old Van Zandt cohorts) had added “Fade Away” to his concerts from the 1980s on, and it would be included on his 1997 Spittin’ Fire live album. Southside’s renditions have often been of a slow, bluesy nature, accompanied only by bandmate Bobby Bandiera.

“Fade Away” live at Entertainment Centre, Brisbane, Australia, 26th February 2014.

It was finally given an E Street Band performance again at Stockholm Stadion on June 7th, 2009 during the European second leg of the Working on a Dream Tour; Springsteen made reference on stage to Van Zandt’s desire to hear it.

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