Hold Me Now (Thompson Twins song)
|"Hold Me Now"|
|Single by Thompson Twins|
|from the album Into the Gap|
|B-side||"Let Loving Start"|
|Released||11 November 1983|
|Certification||Gold (BPI, CRIA)|
|Thompson Twins singles chronology|
"Hold Me Now" is a song by British pop/New Wave band the Thompson Twins. Written by the band members, the song was produced by Alex Sadkin, and the group's lead vocalist Tom Bailey. It was released in November 1983 as the first single of their fifth studio album, Into the Gap. The song is a new wave ballad that uses a varied instrumentation, including a xylophone, a piano and Latin percussion.
Released in the United Kingdom in late 1983, the song peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart in November of that year, and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in 1983, becoming the band's biggest-selling single, and their first top five in that country. The song was released in the United States in February 1984. It became the band's highest charting single, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in May, and remained in the chart for 21 weeks. In addition, the song topped Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart for one week in April 1984.
The song featured on the soundtrack for the 1998 film The Wedding Singer.
Background and recording
In 1983, after the commercial success of their third album Quick Step and Side Kick, the Thompson Twins collaborated again with producer Alex Sadkin to record Into the Gap at Compass Point Studios, in the Bahamas. Bailey and Sadkin co-produced the album including "Hold Me Now", which according to Bailey "had a very strong idea" behind it and was written very quickly.
When they were going to record the song, Bailey said that he was excited, nervous, and "almost over-prepared for it", he knew exactly what instruments were going on every track; it took three days to record. Before the release the song was remixed by Sadkin at RAK Studios, in London. About the process Bailey commented: "You know what a great producer is? It's someone who takes great ideas and makes them into good records. In our field, great music is a hit record." The song became the Thompson Twins' biggest hit in America, but at the same time it pressured the band to produce top-selling music, even if they were not completely comfortable with that, as Alannah Currie stated in an interview with David Oriard of The Spokesman-Review:
The biggest trouble that we've had basically is that the song, "Hold me Now" was a huge hit, it was really big here, it was really big all over the world. Which is great, but it was just an accidental thing. It was just a song that we wrote. But after that then, we got everybody—managers, the record company—on our back to write "Hold me Now, Part 2" and harassing you to try and find a formula. But we can't really. We'll never find a formula for what we did. And that upsets some of them.
A 30-second sample from "Hold Me Now", featuring Bailey singing the chorus, Leeway performing the harmonies, and a backing track that employs a xylophone and Latin percussion played by Currie.
|Problems playing this file? See media help.|
"Hold Me Now" is a New Wave ballad, performed with a "hypnotic, swaying groove", that features the sound of a xylophone in the background. The song is composed in the key of D major, with a time signature set in common time, and moves at moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute. Bailey's vocal range spans more than two and a half octaves, from A3 to F#6.
While most of the group's previous songs have a dance-oriented sound, "Hold Me Now" replaced it with a mainstream piano-based melody, but keeps the prominent bass line, and Currie's Latin percussion of earlier releases. The song is constructed in a verse-chorus form, employing a simple melody for much of it. The end chorus, which includes Leeway performing the song's harmonies, repeats for a full minute and a half, nearly one-third of the song's full-length.
The lyrics describe an impasse in a deteriorating relationship. They consider separating, but ultimately resolve their differences. In the chorus, the narrator asks his lover to "hold me now [...] stay with me."
Originally "Hold Me Now" received a lukewarm response from pop music critics. In a review of the group's album Into The Gap, Parke Puterbaugh from Rolling Stone magazine, said that the band took a "new and drastic tangent", and that they "have slowed it all down to bring the human factor into clearer focus", adding that "Hold Me Now" maintains a "hypnotic, swaying groove that suggests reserves of pastoral contentment even in the wake of the storm". Robert Christgau in a review for The Village Voice said that the song "is a classic on chord changes alone, even though Tom Bailey sings it", adding that nothing else in the album Into The Gap "approaches its heart-tugging mastery". J.D. Considine in a review for The Washington Post commented that the song's melody adds "accessibility but could easily turn to dreary monotony".
Two decades later, the song received positive reviews from critics. Jose F. Promis from Allmusic commented that "years later [it] still sounded as fresh and innocent as when it was first released". Stewart Mason, also from Allmusic commented that the song is an unexpected departure from the group's previous dance-oriented sound, comparing it with Spandau Ballet's "True", adding that "Bailey is not actually technically very good, but he's clearly trying very hard", and felt that the song "is a bit labored [...] but overall, "Hold Me Now" deserved its huge hit status". Raymond Fiore from Entertainment Weekly said that the song "still sounds good today", and called it "the sound of new wave-pop brilliance". In 2005 the song ranked #308 in Blender's list of the 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born, describing it as "a new wave let's-stay-together plea" that is "so cornball it works".
The music video for "Hold Me Now" was directed by Rupert James, produced by Tim Bevan, and edited by Brian Grant, and Nick Morris. The video features the Thompson Twins in a set with a blue background. Each member is standing in a platform, singing or playing a different instrument, a guitar or a piano for Bailey, a xylophone or another percussion instrument for Currie, and a bass guitar or congas for Leeway. The video is heavily edited, with frames sliding from the sides, doubling or tripling, split-screen edits, and close-ups of the band while singing or dancing. At the end, the background changes from blue to red, and the three members are featured together singing, and clapping while the song is fading out.
"Hold Me Now" was released in the United Kingdom in November 1983, debuting on the UK Singles Chart at number 31, peaking at number four, and staying in the chart for 15 weeks. It became the band's first top five in the country, and their biggest seller earning a gold certification by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in January 1984. The song was a moderate hit in Europe, reaching the top 10 in Germany and Ireland, and peaking at 18 in Switzerland.
The single was released in North America in February 1984. In Canada the single entered the RPM singles chart at number 43, peaking at number three on 28 April 1984. The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) certified "Hold Me Now" gold in May 1984. In the United States the single entered the Billboard Hot 100 on 11 February 1984 at number 73, peaking at number three on 5 May 1984, and staying 21 weeks on the chart, becoming the band's biggest hit in the country. In addition, it topped Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart for a week on 28 April 1984, becoming the band's third number-one single on this chart.
Formats and track listing
- 7" Single (1983)
- "Hold Me Now" – 4:44
- "Let Loving Start" – 3:43
- 12" Maxi-Single (1983)
- "Hold Me Now" (Extended version) – 9:54
- "Let Loving Start" (Extended version) – 9:09
Credits and personnel
- Tom Bailey – guitar, lead vocals, piano, producer
- Alannah Currie – percussion, vocals, xylophone
- Joe Leeway – congas, vocals
- Alex Sadkin – producer
- Phil Thornalley – audio mixing
- Adrian Peacock – photography
- Satori (from ideas by Alannah Currie) – design/artwork
Charts and certifications
"They Only Come Out at Night" by Peter Brown
|Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
28 April 1984
"It's My Life" by Talk Talk
In April 2013, Savoir Adore released a cover as a B-side for their single "Dreamers".
- Into the Gap: Expanded Edition (Back cover). London: Demon Music Group. 2008. EDSD2009.
- Andelman, Bob (31 August 1984). "Thompson Twins match music with success". St. Petersburg Times (Times Publishing Company). Retrieved 4 August 2009.[dead link]
- Crouse, 2000. p. 228.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Thompson Twins > Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 4 August 2009.
- Oriard, David (12 July 1987). "One afternoon in the park, Spokane excited this Twin – and vice versa". The Spokesman-Review (Cowles Publishing Company).
- Mason, Stewart. "Song Review: Hold Me Now". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- Puterbaugh, Parke (24 March 1984). "Thompson Twins: Into The Gap: Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. RealNetworks, Inc. Retrieved 14 February 2009.[dead link]
- Fiore, Raymond (10 April 2006). "Music Extras: Chart Flashback". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- "Digital Sheet Music: Hold Me Now". Musicnotes. Universal Music Publishing Group. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- Considine, J.D. (10 August 1984). "Thompsons: Subtle Spice". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- Christgau, Robert (26 June 1984). "Christgau's Consumer Guide, Jun 26th, 1984". Robert Christgau.com. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
- Promis, Jose F. "Album Review: Into The Gap". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- "The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born: 301-350". Blender. Alpha Media Group. October 2005. Retrieved 14 February 2009.[dead link]
- "Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now". Mvdbase.com. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
- "Chart Stats – Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Chart Stats – Thompson Twins". The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2009.
- "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 1 January 1984. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Chartverfolgung: Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now" (in German). Media Control Charts. 27 February 1984. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irish Recorded Music Association. 27 November 1983. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now (Song)". Swiss Charts (in German). Hung Medien. 25 March 1984. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Top Singles – Volume 39, No. 25, February 25, 1984". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 25 February 1984. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
- "Top Singles – Volume 40, No. 8, April 28, 1984". RPM. RPM Music Publications Ltd. 28 April 1984. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA)". Canadian Recording Industry Association. 1 May 1984. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
- "Hot 100: Week of February 11, 1984 – Hold Me Now". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 11 February 1984. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
- "Hot 100: Week of May, 05 1984 – Hold Me Now". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 5 May 1984. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Billboard Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003. Record Research. ISBN 0-89820-156-X.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. NOTE: Used for Australian Singles and Albums charting from 1970 until ARIA created their own charts in mid-1988.
- "Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now (Song)". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. 13 May 1983. Retrieved 26 September 2009.