Not Fade Away: Background
The Rush version of “Not Fade Away,” a Buddy Holly piece, 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, recorded under its own label, Moon Records, produced by David Stock (who later produced their debut album, although a good part of what he did was later reproduced by Terry Brown at the suggestion of manager Ray Danniels).—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault
“We were having such a hard time getting a deal, our management thought that maybe something a little more accessible, possibly something already known, would be the way to go [for the debut single]. ‘Not Fade Away’ is something we’d been playing live, but we did it really heavy. We rocked it out, sort of the way Led Zeppelin might have. It was powerful and very full. We had a good time with it. By the time we recorded it, though, we lightened it up a little to make it more palatable for radio. This is the version that was to be on our debut album, but we ended up dropping it and rerecorded some of the other songs. Everything was done so quickly, and it didn’t really come out the way we wanted it to. But you know, we were 18, 19 years old. In our minds, we’d arrived. We’d made a record, which meant . . . we were recording artists.”—Alex on MusicRadar
“1973. ‘Not Fade away’ was recorded at Eastern Sound Studios. The logo and the registered company name [for the record] cost $400. Well-known distributors London Records agreed to distribute the 1,000 copies of the single, but it received no airplay.”—Robert Telleria, Merely Players
“Nobody wanted to pick us up; they said we were too heavy, and there was no market for the music the band was playing. So all the record companies in Canada passed on us.”—Geddy in Guitar Player (1980), quoted in Merely Players
[For a take on why Casablanca Records passed on them, click here.]
“‘Finding My Way’, ‘Need Some Love’ and, I think, ‘Here Again’ were the songs that we rerecorded for the record. So we dropped ‘Not Fade Away’, ‘Can’t Fight It’, and there may have been another one. . . ‘In The Mood’ was probably at least two years old, if not three, when we recorded the first record.”—Geddy in Contents Under Pressure
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~ by rvkeeper on January 11, 2011.