Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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The End of the Fadeout?

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Legbamel Not-Pop

In case you missed the first two posts in this series, I have been digging through my music collection, starting in the 50s, in an attempt to bolster my theory that fading out tracks gained popularity in the disco era and then artists came to their senses and started actually finishing their songs rather than repeating themselves until the volume knob hit zero. We’ll pick up with the nineties.

I tried the 90s, for which I have mostly lesser-known songs. Frente’s Accidentally Kelly Street includes a little repeat and about a second of fade on the last note but it’s noticeably a last note. The Connells were Slackjawed for just shy of four minutes and the final chord stretches almost ten seconds but again it’s clearly final. Rancid’s Junkie Man ends quite abruptly with no fade whatsoever as does Killing the Fly from The Union Underground, and David Byrne stops dead in the middle of a phrase to terminate UB Jesus.

In the last ten years, we see Maximo Park end Apply Some Pressure quite sharply and The Brighton Port Authority take thirty seconds of repeat before a final screech in Should I Stay or Should I Blow. The Golden Silvers give us fifteen seconds of organ fade, though, for Magic Touch while Vampire Weekend constrain themselves to about four seconds of the same to close Giving Up the Gun. But then The Knux showed up with twelve seconds of fadeout to finish Cappuccino.

So I may not be imagining the change but it does seem to be more varied now and perhaps coming back into favor. I don’t really have the room here to visit every genre from every decade. It does seem like the fadout peaked in the late 70s and early 80s and has become a great deal less popular. But I ask you, my darling readers, to share with me your experiences. Does it seem like the fade has faded from music? Can you think of a recent song that has a thirty-second fadeout at the end and do you think it's more genre-related now?

NOTE: Grooveshark and I had a little argument about Apply Some Pressure so I'm including a video instead of adding it to the play list.

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