Song of the Day: “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red

PictureBookSimplyRedalbumcoverOn this day (July 12) in 1986, Simply Red’s “Holding Back the Years” topped the charts in the U.S. This song was the third single released off of the British soul and pop band’s debut album, Picture Book. It is one of two Simply Red songs (the other being their cover of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes “If You Don’t Know Me by Now“) to reach number one in the US. It also reached number four on the Adult Contemporary chart. “Holding Back the Years” had initially been released in the UK the year before, reaching number 51. The song was nominated in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards.

When he was only 17 years old, Simply Red’s frontman Mike Hucknall wrote this in his bedroom at his father’s house. This song is song “about that moment where you know you have to leave home and make your mark, but the outside world is scary. So you’re holding back the years”. There is a lesson to be learned here – especially as we get older. Don’t let fear hold you back from living your dreams and just do what you’re meant to do with your life. This song speaks to me more now than it did when I was 15-16. Can anybody else relate?

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