Following up last week’s Inside the Song where Warren broke down the recording of The Fray’s hit single “You Found Me,” we’re looking at another song he recorded called “Never Say Never”! Warren has worked closely with the band over the years on three of four studio albums, including the 2005 debut How to Save a Life and 2009’s follow-up, The Fray.
The Fray were formed in Denver, Colorado in 2002 by classmates Isaac Slade and Joe King. Their songwriting put them on the global stage very early in their careers with the release of their debut record, How to Save a Life, in 2005. The lead single from the album, “Over My Head (Cable Car),” ensured their success on a national level as a top ten hit in the United States.
The follow-up single, “How to Save a Life,” is what propelled them to worldwide recognition. The song was in the top 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and was a top 5 single in multiple countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. 2009’s self-titled follow-up was just as successful after the release of its lead single, “You Found Me,” in November 2008.
In May 2009, a few months after the album’s debut, “Never Say Never” came out as the second single from the record. Warren goes into how he recorded it and other details in the full breakdown!
Check out the complete breakdown:
“Never Say Never” was another commercial success.
The second single off The Fray, “Never Say Never” is about tumultuous love in which two people break up and come together over and over again. It made its way to #48 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #32 after inclusion in a popular film. Altogether, the single spent a formidable 20 weeks on the charts.
By August 2010—roughly a year and a half after being released as a single—the song had gone platinum and made Billboard‘s Hot 100 Songs of 2009 list.
It was also nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals category. The album as a whole was additionally nominated for a GRAMMY as the Best Pop Vocal Album.
In an interview with MTV News, guitarist Joe King recalled the moment he knew “Never Say Never” would be a crossover hit.
“When we were recording [the song], it was funny, because we have these couple super-hip indie-cred dudes who work for us. They do various things around the studio, you know. And we were recording that song, and one of those guys came up to me and was like, ‘Dude, that song is special!.’ And I was like, ‘Wait a minute, you’re an indie hipster, and you’re saying that?!’ So I knew at that point, we had something.”
The single has been released in three different versions.
The album version, which clocks in at a reasonable 4 minutes and 16 seconds, has been modified twice.
One edition, the Half Guitar Solo Edit, trims a guitar part and 14 seconds off the album version. The official Radio Edit reduces the album cut from 4:16 to 3:50.
“Never Say Never” was a popular feature in TV/film.
The song made its way into a handful of movies and television shows, including One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries, Ghost Whisperer, So You Think You Can Dance, Grey’s Anatomy, CSI: Miami, and Brothers & Sisters.
“Never Say Never” was also featured on the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen soundtrack, and it was played in the movie when the two main characters Sam and Mikaela say goodbye before the former leaves for college. The single also appeared in the film trailer for Brothers.
Being included on the Transformers soundtrack and in the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy helped the song climb from #48 to #32 on the Hot 100 chart. The Transformers soundtrack itself, which included songs by Linkin Park, Green Day, and The Used charted at #7 on the Billboard 200.
“Never Say Never” was covered by the television show Glee in its Season 4 premier.