Hold Me Now

Album: Into the Gap (1983)
Charted: 4 3
  • The biggest American hit for The Thompson Twins, this song was written by band members Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie, with additional contributions from the third member, Joe Leeway (he does the falsetto backing vocals).

    Bailey and Currie were a couple - they got married in 1991 and had two children together. They wrote the song after a heated argument that they had resolved. "We actually decided, well, this is an interesting emotional subject," Bailey said in our 2014 interview. "What it feels like to get back together again after separation and the kind of ideas that come up and the way that emotion and physicality somehow are brought together."

    The song has such permanence in part because it was triggered by a real relationship. Over the course of its 4:44 running time, the song takes us through Bailey's desperate pleas, as he's not even sure what caused the damage or what to apologize for. He is, however, eager to work through their problems and move on. In the chorus, Bailey asks Currie to hold him, stay with him and love him again.
  • Thompson Twins had a very modern sound with many of their songs relying on electronic instruments, but this one was more organic than their previous efforts, with a guitar, marimbas and piano out front in the mix. "It's such an emotional song, we wanted to have that warmth you often can't get from synthesizers," Alannah Currie explained.

    They wrote the song using a drum machine, but played it using real percussion instruments.
  • Tom Bailey studied classical music, which informed the writing of this track. He told us why the song works so well from a musical perspective: "The bass line and the chord sequence are the same in the verse as they are in the chorus. There's no change. The only change is in the amount of instrumentation that goes on top of that. So you could play the same four chord trick around the verse and the chorus continuously. The only time it diverts from that is in the middle eight immediately after the second chorus.

    So it's very repetitive. And of course although it's a medium tempo emotional song, because of its repetition and it's groovy-ness, it has one foot in the dance department, as well."
  • The group was named after the two detectives in the Belgian cartoonist Hergé's comic strip The Adventures of Tintin. This song was included on their third major-label album, Into the Gap. The group had seven members when they recorded their first album, but pared down to three for their second. In 1986, Joe Leeway left the group and Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie continued as a duo, releasing three more album.

    Bailey and Currie stopped performing in 1987, however, and divorced in the early '00s. It wasn't until the 2014 Retro Futura tour that Bailey once again performed the group's hits, including this one. On the tour, Bailey created new video presentations for the songs and in some cases altered their arrangements.
  • In the UK, this song was released in November 1983 and quickly rose up the chart thanks to an appearance on Top Of The Pops. The group was promoting this song in the UK before the album was finished; Into the Gap wasn't released until February 1984.

    In America, "Hold Me Now" didn't peak until May 1984, helped in large part by they video, which made hot rotation on MTV. The album stayed on the US chart for over a year.
  • Thompson Twins performed an 8-minute version of this song at Live Aid on July 13, 1985. A massive benefit concert to aid hunger relief efforts in Africa, they concert was help on two stages, one in Philadelphia and another in London. Thompson Twins played the Philadelphia stage; after performing this song, they were joined by Nile Rodgers (who produced the group) on guitar and Madonna on backup vocals and tambourine for a rendition of the Beatles song "Revolution."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 12

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenThe only version I ever heard runs close to 5 minutes, which IS about a minute too much of repeated "Hold me now/hold me in your loving arms."
  • Brandon Kwit from PhoenixReminds me of my relationship struggles.
  • Howard from Levittown, PaThis song, as far as I know, got its world premiere 1/1/8i4 on the PBS special, "Good Morning, Mr. Orwell." It was long weeks before it came out as a single, then a video that I'm not sure was needed. The performance on GMMO would have been enough.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxThe closing line about asking forgiveness is one of my favorites. Brings to mind a Bill Cosby sketch where the husband says to his angry wife, “I didn’t do anything, but I apologize!”
  • Kayla from Winnipeg, Mb@Megan.. yes it was used in the Wedding Singer! Along with many other amazing songs! :)

    Anyway, this song is unbelievable! I mean it's just so catchy and SO fun to sing along to! The Thompson Twins never disappoint! "Doctor Doctor" is my favourite, it's just so so good!
  • Jake from Los Angeles, CaJoe Leeway,the percussionist, now lives in Los Angeles, and is a practicing Hypnotherapist.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI love this song! It's soooo catchy! Wasn't this on "The Wedding Singer"?!
  • Sibella from Pretoria, South AfricaThe Thompsons aren't actually twins. They just look like it. They have different surnames (Thompson and Thomson).
  • Robert from Houston, TxIs that Robert John singing the counter vocal during the outro? Anybody know?
  • Bella from Pretoria, --Pete from Nowra, I don't really know this music, I just wanna mention that I'm a huge Tintin fan and I dig their name!I have all the books.
  • David from Deerfield Beach, FlPosted 11/26/2007. "Hold Me Now" is one of my favorite songs of the entire 1980's. "Lay Your Hands On Me" the following year in 1985 was also a pretty good song.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiai use to love the Tin Tin books read everyone as a kid
see more comments

Dave EdmundsSongwriter Interviews

A renowned guitarist and rock revivalist, Dave took "I Hear You Knocking" to the top of the UK charts and was the first to record Elvis Costello's "Girls Talk."

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Gary Louris of The JayhawksSongwriter Interviews

The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.

Donald FagenSongwriter Interviews

Fagen talks about how the Steely Dan songwriting strategy has changed over the years, and explains why you don't hear many covers of their songs.

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.