Album: single release only (2022)
Charted: 3 6
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • After the huge success of the "Sacrifice" and "Rocket Man" mashup "Cold Heart," Elton John released another tune that cuts from the same cloth. "Hold Me Closer" combines the chorus of "Tiny Dancer" with two verses from "The One."
  • John duetted with Dua Lipa on "Cold Heart," and the English pop icon recruited another female partner for "Hold Me Closer." Sir Elton revealed to The Guardian that it was his husband, David Furnish, who suggested putting Britney Spears on the track. Elton and Britney first met in 2014 at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party. In 2015 she tweeted about how she loved "Tiny Dancer," and the two superstars developed a friendship. Elton agreed that Britney's soft vocals were the perfect choice.
  • Following a series of public meltdowns, in 2008 Britney was involuntarily placed under a conservatorship with her father and attorney as conservators. "Hold Me Closer" marked her comeback to the music scene after the conservatorship was finally terminated by a judge. The protective love song doubles as a message from Elton to Britney that he is there for her after the traumatic legal battle.
  • "Hold Me Closer" is Britney's first new music release in six years since her 2016 album Glory. (Two outtakes from that record, "Swimming In The Stars" and "Matches," came out in late 2020).
  • Andrew Watt (Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa) and Cirkut (Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Ava Max) created the breezy, club-friendly production. American songwriter and producer Andrew Watt previously worked with Elton on six songs from the singer's 2021 collaboration album, The Lockdown Sessions, including the Stevie Wonder collaboration "Finish Line" and his version of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

    Cirkut hadn't worked with Elton before, but the Canadian is a regular Spears collaborator, including on "Mmm Papi," his first major songwriting credit.
  • When Elton John gave Andrew Watt instructions for the collaboration, he told him not to put pressure on himself. "This isn't the 'New Tiny Dancer,'" the producer recalled Elton telling him. "'This is a fun, new version for people to listen to when they're having a drink in Ibiza and dance to. It's not serious.'" (quote from Rolling Stone)
  • According to Watt, Britney got very involved in the creative process. "She came up with her own ideas. She wanted to speed up the record a little bit, and we did that," he said. "She's such a pro with dance music and understanding that kind of stuff and what works for her."

    Britney only needed a single day in his studio to nail her parts. "She knew exactly what she wanted to do," Watt said. "She had spent tons of time with the record; she knew all the lyrics; it was, like, her thing."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.

Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

Jonathan Cain of Journey

Jonathan Cain of JourneySongwriter Interviews

Cain talks about the divine inspirations for "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Faithfully."