|"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 twenty-one weeks. In addition, the song topped Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play chart for one week in April 1984.
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.
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"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.
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 thirty-one, peaking at number four, and staying in the chart for fifteen 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 ten in Germany and Ireland, and peaking at eighteen in Switzerland.
The single was released in North America in February 1984. In Canada the single entered the RPM singles chart at number forty-three, 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 seventy-three, peaking at number three on 5 May 1984, and staying twenty-one 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.[26 ]
"They Only Come Out at Night" by Peter Brown
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one
28 April 1984
"It's My Life" by Talk Talk