Guitar solos that end with a fade out

runstendt

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The solo at the end of “American Girl” fades out with the song, but I can’t picture it any other way (asides from the live version). I think “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” also ends with a solo in the fade.
 

Bob Womack

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Don't you guys remember grabbing the volume control on the stereo as a kid and applying it backwards, fading up as the song faded out, in order to hear the great little solo treasures hidden in the fade out? In the 70s, the fade out was a genre, the "coda and fade solo." Here's one that started a whole song genre, the power ballad:



I actually spent an afternoon with Tony Peluso, the guitarist who played on that song.

My answer to the question is no, except in rare or unusual cases...(snip)

As an engineer and occasional producer I'd cringe when a session would end in a fade because either:
1) the soloist couldn't create a logical end to the solo
2) the writer couldn't effectively arrange a return to a bridge, chorus or ending phrase
3) the artist ran out of time or money to properly complete the sessions..

However, there are instances where a fade is the best way out.
It might be archival material, turd polishing, "ran out of tape", impractical to finish ...?
There's plenty of examples of Hendrix jams run off the end of the reel, outtakes, etc. . .
I am a producer/engineer as well.

Back at the beginning of my guitar career I learned so much by working the volume control against the fade. When I started as a recording engineer in 1979 (when I were a wee lad, blah, blah, blah), we engineers were known by the quality of our fade-outs. If you couldn't come up with a good fade-out, you weren't jack.

But, @rdjones, perhaps unconsciously agreeing with you, here's an interesting factoid that has always occurred to me when I think of fade-outs: I don't know why, but I have never, over forty-five years, written or arranged a song with a fade out. Now, it hasn't been a conscious decision, it has just happened. I studied music composition in college. Perhaps it has something to do with that.
madsmile.gif


Bob
 

AcresWild

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I get that a fade-out can have cool effects artistically, but I always feel like I want to hear more when the band is still cooking and they fade out, one famous example that comes to mind is Joe Perry's solo on walk this way

Not against it in theory, but in practice I seem to prefer musical "endings"
 

StoneH

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Hasn't everyone in a cover band spent a fair amount of time figuring out how to end a song that fades out on the album? I remember some songs that never felt right being brought to a conclusion. A few times we fudged by segueing into another song by the same group. (Can two songs be considered a medley)?
 

Rick330man

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I never ever liked guitar solos that faded out right when you, the listener, was feeling that the guitarist was just "getting started." It feels a bit like a slap in the face! Your adrenaline cut short, you excitement down the drain. Engineer "oh well its just the guitarist, no one these days listens to the solos, let's just cut him short to save on run time". Hogwash, blasphemy! Got a whole forum here who'd listen to it!

Anyways moving on, I think fade outs are best used "after" the solo is "done"-- when the soloist focuses on a musical line, and repeats it after playing his melodic solo-- fading out on those repeated lines is the best place to fade out. Freebird and Hotel California do it perfectly for me. I honestly think if they ended with a note after those repeated lines it would sound worse than the fade out... but who knows maybe I'm just conditioned and thus biased to the versions we are blessed to have today.
I really like the live version of "Hotel California". There's no fade there...just a good hard stop.
 

redhouse_ca

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Very difficult to fade out live. Hence the “arena rock ending” on live stages everywhere.
Yeah I hear ya, it’s kinda line song on studio record that count in “1,2, 3, 4...”. It better be a darn good song to have a count in, IMHO
 

redhouse_ca

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I could have listened to his solo for another 5 minutes and got the sense that he was just getting started but...


Yeah, good example. I was surprised when I dug into it how many songs I like fade out and I never realized it. Ok, and this is just my opinion, here’s one that doesn’t work:

End the solo or so something besides non-stop guitar wailing. Sorry if anyone disagrees but this one is the rule that proves the rule, IMHO
 

Teddyjack

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Steve Lukather plays a solo during the fade of Rosanna. Rick Beato interviewed him recently and he talked about the fade out.
 

JSMac

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While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

I don't know that it could end any other way.

Well, actually, Prince found an impressive way to end it. ;)
 
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effzee

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Maybe one of the best solos of all and it just fades away. The outro to Rosanna

 

loopfinding

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My answer to the question is no, except in rare or unusual cases.

I think it's a cop-out or shortcut to a song that doesn't have a good ending.
As an engineer and occasional producer I'd cringe when a session would end in a fade because either:
1) the soloist couldn't create a logical end to the solo
2) the writer couldn't effectively arrange a return to a bridge, chorus or ending phrase
3) the artist ran out of time or money to properly complete the sessions..

However, there are instances where a fade is the best way out.
It might be archival material, turd polishing, "ran out of tape", impractical to finish ...?
There's plenty of examples of Hendrix jams run off the end of the reel, outtakes, etc. . .

If a song ends on a vamp it’s perfectly acceptable to fade, regardless of what lead instruments are doing. It gives the illusion that it’s continuing “forever.”
 

Alamo

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I always wanted to hear more on Hendrix's Dolly Dagger, it fades just as they're kickin' it into a higher gear.
I hear that too but I imagine Jimi's just takin' off into the sunset on his chopper, leaving you (or me) behind in the slow truckin' exhausted VW Van :cool:
 




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