Ten Classic Songs With the Best Fade Outs : The first Canadian rock band to have a number one single on the U.S. Top 100 chart was the Guess Who, whose “American Woman” reached the top in 1970. Unfortunately, the group disbanded in 1975, exactly forty years ago,
Before its demise, though, the Guess Who released over a dozen hits, many of which are still heard on oldies and classic rock stations. “American Woman,” especially its frantic fade out, was typical of many of those hits.
At the end of the song, singer Burton Cummings lets go an assortment of angry words to the title’s subject, including “You’re no good for me, I’m no good for you” followed by a string of snarled “goodbyes.” The singles “NoTime” and “”These Eyes” have similar fade outs, as Cummings shouts until the record reaches its end.
As we look back fondly on this underrated band forty years after its productivity, here are ten other songs with great vocal fade outs.
“Hello It’s Me” by Todd Rundgren
Runt’s biggest hit closes with “Think of me, think of me,” each one becoming higher-pitched until it finally reaches a machine-like finale.
“All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles
This classic ends with numerous repetitions of “Love is all you need,” between which Paul can be heard chanting “She Loves You yeah yeah yeah.”
“Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
Young’s rocking reaction to the 1970 Kent State shootings culminates with Stephen Stills moaning “four” and “how many more?” as his band mates continually chant “Four dead in Ohio.”
“Department of Youth” by Alice Cooper
This single from Welcome to My Nightmare features several repetitions of “We’re the department of youth, ah ah, we’ve got the power,” amidst which Cooper asks the crowd “Who’s got the power?” to which they shout, “We do!” Alice then asks, “And who gave it to you?” to which the female crowd answers “Donny Osmond.” Cooper can be heard angrily shouting back “What?” as the record draws to a close.
“New Kid in Town” by the Eagles
As the group sings the title numerous times at the end, Glen Frey interjects, “I don’t want to hear it,” which he repeats more angrily the next time around.
“Indiana Wants Me” by Robert Dean Taylor
Classic Songs, The hit about a guy running from the law in the early 70s is probably best remembered for its fade out, a continuous singing of the title followed by the line “oh I can’t go back there” while police sirens and a bull horn inform the man that he is being surrounded.
“The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
Lindsay Buckingham on this gem from Rumours repeatedly snarls the phrase “Love in the shadows” while the two female singers chant “Yeah Yeah Yeah keep us together” until the song fades out.
“Jools and Jim” by Pete Townsend
Classic Songs , This track from Empty Glass lambasts a reporter who admitted he did not care about Keith Moon’s death, although there are other themes within the somewhat obscure lyrics. The most intriguing of all of them, though, are the last words that simply do not relate to anything else in the song: “Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, OK.”
“Black Coffee in Bed” by Squeeze
The 80s new wave band’s second biggest hit employs its one-time producer in the fade out, as Elvis Costello pleads for “Coffee in bed” and “a little sugar” as the band repeats the title.
“Mind Games” by John Lennon
After telling us to “Keep playing those mind games together (forever)” throughout the song, Lennon in the last seconds changes it to “I want you to make love not war.”