Holding Back the Years
|"Holding Back the Years"|
|Single by Simply Red|
|from the album Picture Book|
|B-side||"Drowning in My Own Tears" / "I Won't Feel Bad"|
|Genre||Pop rock, blue-eyed soul|
|Writer(s)||Mick Hucknall, Neil Moss|
|Simply Red singles chronology|
"Holding Back the Years" is the 7th track of Simply Red's debut studio album Picture Book (1985). It remains their most successful single, having reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the UK Singles Chart. It is one of two Simply Red songs (the other being their cover of "If You Don't Know Me by Now") to reach #1 in the US. "Holding Back the Years" had initially been released in the UK the year before, reaching #51.
Frontman of the group, Mick Hucknall, wrote the song when he was 17, while living at his father's house. The chorus did not come to him until many years later. His mother left the family when he was three; the upheaval caused by this event inspired him to write the song. The music was co-written with Neil Moss, a member of Hucknall's first group, the Frantic Elevators.
He recorded a chorus-less version of the song with the Frantic Elevators in 1982, but the real success came when the Simply Red version was released in 1985. In 2005, a brand-new stripped down acoustic version of the song was released on the album Simplified; this version received heavy airplay on smooth jazz radio stations.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2013)|
The video for the song was directed by Tony van den Ende and filmed in the English coastal town of Whitby and the famous scene where Hucknall watches the coastal view from his window can be seen on the cover of the single, in its music video and, for a brief time, in the music video of "If You Don't Know Me by Now". Keyboardist Fritz McIntyre plays the role of a one-man-band and the other band members play the role of the local cricket team who see Hucknall off on his journey.
EastEnders and Shameless actress Maggie O'Neill made her acting debut as the schoolteacher in the video, where she is seen engaging in sexual foreplay in a church graveyard. This apparently causes great consternation to her pupils, who witness their teacher's liaison while innocently playing.
- Holden, Stephen (11 March 1987). "Simply Red's 2D Album Blends Funk with Ballads". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 October 2008.
- Davies, Hugh (19 June 2001). "Simply Red star cleared after arrest for rape". The Daily Telegraph (UK). Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- "Holding Back The Years". simplyred.com. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
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|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
12 July 1986
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