He Can Only Hold Her

Album: Back to Black (2006)
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  • Here, Amy Winehouse is entering into a new relationship, but her feelings for her previous lover are lingering, preventing the singer from giving her heart to her new man.
  • Winehouse recorded the song for Back to Black, an album predominantly based on her tumultuous relationship with then-ex-boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil. Winehouse dated other men before returning to and marrying Fielder-Civil the following year. It's likely this song reflects her missing and longing for him.
  • "He Can Only Hold Her" interpolates the Icemen's 1966 R&B single "My Girl (She's a Fox)." The track features Jimi Hendrix on guitar, the result of sessions he recorded with the saxophonist Lonnie Youngblood. Brothers Robert and Richard Poindexter, the writers of "My Girl (She's a Fox)," get co-writing credits along with Winehouse.
  • The sister of John Harrison, the original demo producer of "He Can Only Hold Her," introduced him to the Icemen's song. He played "My Girl (She's a Fox)" for Winehouse and made a backing track that sampled the tune. Though it pricked Winehouse's interest, she wasn't forthcoming to Harrison about using his track. "She was really private about it," he recalled to Mojo magazine. "I kept on saying, 'right we've been in here four days,'" he explained. "So I didn't have any concept of the lyrics or her melody until one day she said, 'OK, set up the mike.' She just recorded two vocals, and they really were totally perfect. It was amazing. She'd worked everything out in her head."
  • When Harrison didn't get a credit for his contribution to the song, he sued Winehouse for copyright infringement. They came to a settlement over the song and the singer added his name to the track.
  • Mark Ronson produced the album version. It was one of six Back to Black tracks they recorded in the Anglo-American's New York studio. Ronson also gets credited with providing the finger snaps on "He Can Only Hold Her."


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