I Can't Hold Back

Album: Vital Signs (1984)
Charted: 80 13
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Songfacts®:

  • Like most of Survivor's hits, this song was written by guitarist Frankie Sullivan and keyboard player/guitarist Jim Peterik. These two got along like oil and water, but managed to set aside their differences during songwriting sessions. According to Peterik, the writing of this song was the high point of their collaborations, with Sullivan coming up with guitar riffs and Peterik forming melodies and writing most of the lyrics.

    Peterik had the title in mind for two years before they were able to craft it into a song. After Sullivan came up with a riff, Peterik sang the first line, "There's a story in my eyes." From there, they put together this song about a guy whose heart is filled with desire.
  • Jim Peterik says the pre-chorus on this song is what gives it a killer hook. He's referring to the part that goes "I can feel you tremble when we touch..."

    This part is so memorable that it sounds like it could be its own chorus.
  • The lead singer on this track is Jimi Jamison, who joined the band starting with the Vital Signs album after original singer Dave Bickler had surgery to remove throat nodules. Jamison proved a worthy frontman and a photogenic face of the band, which helped the video for this song get significant airplay on MTV.
  • Ron Nevison, who also worked on albums by Heart, Chicago and Night Ranger, produced the Vital Signs album. Jim Peterik credits him for coming up with a very unusual arrangement on this track, mixing up sections to keep it interesting.
  • The video, which was directed by Bob Radler, was shot in Chicago and partly based on a scene in the movie Risky Business. Jimi Jamison's love interest in the clip is Lee Ann Marie, who can be seen riding a float in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. MTV, which had been on the air only three years, gave the video plenty of spins.

Comments: 3

  • Patrick Longworth from Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, CanadaI am not a fan of Ron Nevison as producer but this is a great song and a great introduction to Jimi Jamison. I love the song, the lyrics and oh the video is so great, a more relatable story than in "The Search is Over".
  • Rachel from NjI love this song! Jimi Jamison had such range. An amazing voice for an amazing song!
  • Dave from Wheaton, IlI was wonderin', since Jim Jamison's death, does Dave Bickler sing this song in concert, now?
see more comments

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