Hold It Against Me

Album: Femme Fatale (2011)
Charted: 6 1

Songfacts®:

  • This bass-thumping dance track is the lead single by singer Britney Spears, from her seventh album. The song features production credits from Max Martin, who has penned several of Spears's hits including her debut single "…Baby One More Time" and Dr. Luke who has produced many of Kesha and Katy Perry's hits. The song was released on January 10, 2011. Dr Luke and Martin are long-time collaborators, having produced hits for the likes of Kelly Clarkson ("My Life Would Suck Without You") and Pink ("Who Knew").
  • The line, "If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?," was used in a slightly different form in the Bellamy Brothers' 1979 hit "If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me)." The brothers subsequently expressed their annoyance at the pilfering of their signature lyric. David Bellamy said in a statement: "If you listen to the lyrics of Britney Spears' new single, you'll find some major similarities... She's a talented gal. But professionally, well, in all honesty, we feel completely ripped off. Where's the originality." Meanwhile his brother, Howard quipped: "Hey, Brit, if I said you ripped off our song, would you hold it against me?"

    However, the line is hardly a Bellamy original. In 2007, Howard Bellamy told Songfacts that he got the line from Groucho Marx, who used to say it to women on his game show, You Bet Your Life, in the 1950s.
  • On its first day of release, the song garnered the highest ever number of US radio plays in a single day, registering 619 plays on Mediabase and 595 plays on Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems (BDS).
  • Whilst Dr. Luke and Max Martin are familiar names, the third credited producer was a newcomer to most music fans. Prior to this song, Montreal native Billboard (born Mathieu Jomphe)'s resumé also included production credits on tracks by Kesha ("Cannibal", "Animal") and Robyn ("Call Your Girlfriend"), but this was his first song to reach the upper regions of the Hot 100.
  • The song sold 411,000 downloads in its first week available for purchase in the US, breaking the record for the best debut sales week for a digital song by a woman as lead artist. The prior mark for biggest debut week by a female artist was held by Taylor Swift's "Today Was a Fairytale" with 325,000 downloads.

    Britney's record lasted only a short period as a month later Lady Gaga set a new record for biggest first weekly digital sales figure by a female artist when "Born This Way" clocked up opening-week digital sales of 448,000.
  • "Hold It Against Me" was simultaneously released to radio stations worldwide and debuted at #1 in 20 countries worldwide, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan and the US.
  • When this song took the top spot on the US singles chart in its first week, Spears became just the second artist to debut multiple songs at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. She previously came in at #1 with "3" in 2009. The only other act to achieve multiple #1 starts prior to the former Mouseketeer was Mariah Carey with "Fantasy" and "One Sweet Day" in 1995 and "Honey" in 1997.
  • The song's music video was directed by Jonas Akerlund, who previously worked on the Madonna "Ray of Light" and Lady Gaga/Beyonce "Telephone" clips. The Swedish filmmaker's wife, B. Åkerlund, was the stylist for the video, and she told MTV News, "We were going for a punk-rock couture look in this video, with a touch of glam."
  • The video finds Spears plugging her own perfume, Radiance, plus cosmetics company Make Up Forever, the online dating site Plenty of Fish, and Sony. Sources connected to the clip claimed that the singer netted $500,000 for the various product placements. The question has to be asked - would you hold it against her? A number of media commentators did, such as Washington Post writer Liz Kelly, who called the clip "an infomercial," adding, "I would write more, but suddenly feel the need to put on some Make Up Forever and dash out to buy a Sony flat screen TV."
  • Bonnie McKee penned the lyrics. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the songwriter revealed that she came up with the idea for the song after a comment she made to Katy Perry. She explained: "'Hold It Against Me' was a happy accident. It was actually inspired by Katy because I was writing with her at the time and I went in the other room where I was working on Britney in between. She came into the room in some tight, sexy little dress and I jokingly said, 'Damn Katy, if I told you, you had a nice body would you hold it against me?' I was like, 'Bingo!' and I wrote that song."

    McKee added that she never got to meet Britney when working on Femme Fatale, "which is funny because I'm singing a lot of it."

    "But she knows who I am," she continued, "and she's been really sweet about praising me. Britney Spears is just all sex, all day. It's like, how many sexual innuendos can I come up with?"

Comments: 1

  • Joel from Columbia, ScThe answer to that question, Brit, is yes. (=
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