Hold On Hold Out

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"Hold On Hold Out"
Jackson browne hold on hold out 12" picture sleeve.png
Specially Priced 12" Picture Sleeve
Single by Jackson Browne
from the album Hold Out
B-side "Hold Out"
Released December 1980
Format 12-inch single
Recorded Autumn 1979 – Spring 1980
Genre Rock
Length 8:08
Label Asylum
Songwriter(s) Jackson Browne
Producer(s) Jackson Browne, Greg Ladanyi
Jackson Browne singles chronology
"That Girl Could Sing"
"Hold On Hold Out"
"Somebody's Baby"
"That Girl Could Sing"
"Hold On Hold Out"
"Somebody's Baby"
Hold Out track listing
"Call It a Loan"
"Hold On Hold Out"

"Hold On Hold Out" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. It is from his 1980 album Hold Out. It was released as the third single from the album, but due to its slightly over-eight-minute length, it was released as a "specially priced" 12" 45 rpm record (Asylum 11477) instead of the traditional 7", Asylum records possibly hoping to repeat the 12" airplay success of "The Load-Out/Stay" medley from the previous album. However, "Hold On Hold Out" only reached #103 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart.[1][2][3]


On the back of the album cover the dedication reads "THIS IS FOR LYNNE."[1] Lynne Sweeney later became Jackson Browne's second wife.


As a possibly logically extreme conclusion to the singer/songwriter confessional trend begun in the early 1970s, critics emphasized this song particularly in their reviews for the album. In the Sept. 4, 1980 issue of Rolling Stone, Kit Rachlis began his review of the album by drawing attention to the song: "Everything that's right and everything that's wrong about Hold Out ... can be found in its climax: the spoken confession at the end of the last cut... Eight minutes long, "Hold On Hold Out" is the LP's anthem, its farewell address and would-be summation. With Technicolor clarity, the drive of the drums, the zing of the string synthesizer and the shoulders-thrust-back momentum of the piano jump out at you — big and bright and basic. So the drama is real when the instruments drop back and Browne stops singing and starts speaking. It's a measure of both the grandiosity and simplicity of Browne's intentions that this album comes down to his saying — without the aid of melody or harmony — "I love you." And it's a measure of Hold Out's failure that these words sound flat, forced, even selfish: a meaningful private act made embarrassing by its public expression. Also, the words are a letdown, since they follow the funniest, most heartbreakingly romantic line on the record."

Charlie Ritchie at Bloggerhythms said in 2011 that the song's "centerpiece was an almost schmaltzy spoken passage in the middle that was very much not the kind of thing Browne normally put on vinyl."[4]

Singling out the song as well, David Bertrand Wilson writes that Browne is "back to endless, tuneless mood pieces."[5] William Ruhlmann at Allmusic said that "'Hold on Hold Out,' the traditional big, long, last song on the album, was awkwardly, not winningly, intimate."[6]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1981) Peak
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 103


  1. ^ a b Paris, Russ. JACKSON BROWNE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Archived April 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Paris, Russ. JACKSON BROWNE COMPLETE DISCOGRAPHY Archived 2012-02-25 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed July 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel. Billboard Hot 100 Charts - The Eighties. Wisconsin: Record Research, 1991.
  4. ^ Ritchie, Charlie. Bloggerhythms,"Forgotten Music Thursday: Jackson Browne - Hold Out (1980)" March 31, 2011.
  5. ^ Wilson, David Bertrand. Hold Out Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  6. ^ Ruhlmann, William. www.allmusic.com,Hold Out review.