TURN IT UP TUESDAY: Evanescence – Fallen (Album History)

You can watch the video above or read on to learn the history of… 


(May 23, 2023)

“I felt like he could see straight into my soul. That inspired the whole song.” That inspired the bands biggest hit, still to this day.

Hey I’m Jade and this is Backline Beat’s turn it up Tuesday. 

And This ones for my angsty teen self.

Evanescenses Fallen.


In 1995, a 14 year old Amy Lee, met a 15 year old Ben Moody, at a Christian camp. The two bonded over the fact that they didn’t feel like they fit into their surroundings. They became friends and began making music together. The two were interested in creating a sound that bent genres. Though it wasn’t easy with the equipment the two teenagers had access to. They began playing as a duo around their hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas every few months. Settling on the name Evanesence after using whatever name they came up with in the moment, when they happened to get a gig. They included, Childish Intentions and Stricken.

The first demo they made, was in 1997, and included an early version of “My Immortal”. The two added a third member, David Hodges in 1999. It was their second demo (ORIGIN) of “My Immortal”, made in 2000, at the radio station Lee’s father worked at, that caught the attention of Diana Meltzer, at Wind-Up Records. 

In 2001, they signed to Wind-Up. The label moving the band, first to New York, then ultimately to Los Angeles. 

They stayed there…mostly…during the recording process.


The band had a clear idea of what they wanted the album to be. But not everyone at the label was on board. They kept on insisting that a co-male vocalist was needed. Because no one would listen to just a female singing rock tunes. At the time there wasn’t a lot of samples of success in that regard. The band outright refused to bring in a co-vocalist, so they packed their bags and head back to Arkansas. Finally the label relented, Lee would be the only singer IF, on “Bring Me To Life” there would be male vocals. There was an opportunity for the song to be in the movie Daredevil and the only way would be with a guy, too. Evanescence agreed. More on that later. 

The butting of heads with Wind-Up didn’t stop there. Even after recording “My Immortal” for the third time. The studio made the band use the Origins version.

It wasn’t just unpleasentness between the band and the studio, but within the band itself. At this point Lee and Moody were essentially just business partners. They wrote alone, then came together to make everything whole.  

One of the other processes the band, or specifically, Lee had to go through, was performance training. She’d always just stood at the mic and sing with her eyes closed. But the label connected her with an acting coach, to gain stage presence and she’d have to perform for him until it finally clicked. 

In December 2002 they finished the album.


On March 4, 2003, Fallen was released. By the time it was, Hodges was gone. 

It was an instant success. Which validated the bands insistence on making the music they wanted and not playing to what the label, and even radio stations thought would be successful. It sold nearly 150,000 copies in its first week. By April it had sold a million copies in the US, and by January 2004, 4 million. In November 2022 it sold its 10 millionth. It spent 114 weeks on the Billboard 200. It was successful in other countries as well. After three months in the top 10 on the Canadian charts, it reached number one. Fallen brought home two Grammy’s for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock performance, and was nominated for Best Album, Rock Song, Rock Album, and Pop Performance (duo/group).

After it was released it was time for the singles.



The first up was “Bring Me To Life” which dropped a month after the album. Though it had already been released as a song in the movie Daredevil, which came out on February 14th. This was the song that the band agreed to have a male co-vocalist on. It was Paul McCoy of 12 Stones that got tapped. Lee had to write a new part to the song just for him. As she’d written the song years earlier when she was 19. The song itself is about being in a bad relationship and in a bad place, and someone, an acquaintance, a friend of a friend, seeing the pain behind her eyes, and asking if she was happy. That guy would end up becoming her husband years later. “I felt like he could see straight into my soul. That inspired the whole song.”

The label took this song to multiple radio stations and the consensus was that nobody would listen to a “chick” singing rock with piano. That’s when the idea of following what was popular at the time Nu-Metal, that employed a secondary rapping vocal. Was brought to the band.

The song was a hit. Peaking in the top 10 in multiple countries, and sold a million copies in the US within the year. And has sold 4 million worldwide to date. 

In the video, director Philipp Stölzl, was worried that it would take too long going between Lee and a stunt double. But he didn’t have to be as Lee did her own stunts. Even hanging on McCoy’s arm for what he said ended up being hours. Never getting tired.

The song won the Grammy for best Hard Rock Performance, also being nominated for Best Rock Song.

It took 4 months for the next single to be released. On August 18, 2003, “Going Under” was released. It was actually originally slated to be the first single released. While the song failed to chart, many critics called it a song that ensured that Evanescense wouldn’t become one hit wonders. The video was shot in Berlin with the same director as “Bring Me To Life” and the fourth single. Lee designed the outfits, even sewing the dress she wears underwater, in her hotel room one night. Some lists consider it one of the creepier videos ever made. Which is in stark contrast to the next single.

My Immortal. Which was released on December 8, 2003. It was Moody who wrote the song when he was 16. Who by this time left the band in the middle of their tour. With his and Lee’s relationship having completely deteriorated. It’s the only song that Lee isn’t a writer on. While the album version was the one the label wanted. The band was able to use the version they wanted for the single/music video version. It was in the top ten in over ten countries, even topping the list in a few, including here in Canada. It was another song that was featured in Daredevil. The video was shot in the Gothic quarter in Barcelona. With Lee’s feet never seen touching the ground, almost as if she might be a Spector. In 2005 it was nominated for the Best Pop Vocalist or Group Grammy.

Over a year after the album was released. Everybody’s Fool came out on May 31, 2004. Lee wrote the song in 1999, about pop stars and the unrealistic expectation of beauty and sexuality. This was after seeing it’s influence on her younger sister. She’s seen drifted from the song and message. Thinking it more of a song from that particular moment in time. For the last single, Lee actually wanted “Imaginary.” It hit the top 40 in 14 countries. When Lee looks back on the video, also directed by Stölzl. She can’t help but chuckle at, specifically this part.


While it was a bit tumultuous, with Amy Lee being the only one left standing of the three that started the album, once the albums cycle was finished, it ended up being worth it. Lee has even talked that while it was very tough at times, she looks back on the time more fondly than not. Fallen, and band left an indelible mark. Their influence of breaking through the male dominated genre, and being very successful, can be seen today. While maybe not on the overall charts, of which rock and rock adjacent music of any kind has trouble making a mark. You can see in the rock world there’s no shortage of female fronted band to choose from.

The album is more that just the singles, it’s top to bottom a great listen.

So grab it off your shelf or open your favourite music app, and turn up this weeks album. Evanescence’s Fallen.

Hey, Jade here. Thanks for visiting Backline Beat. If you like the site and would like to help support it, I’d be very grateful. Every little bit helps. Right now I’m an army of one, and would like at some point to be able to bring on other voices, to be a part of Backline Beat. Below, are links to Patreon, PayPal, and Linktree.

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Thanks again, and I can’t wait to grow this with you.

                                                      — Jade Dempsey  

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