Hold Back

Composers: Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Recording date: July-December 1985
Recording locations:
RPM Studios & Right Track Studios, New York City, USA
Producers: Steve Lillywhite & The Glimmer Twins        Chief engineer: Dave Jerden
Never performed onstage

Probable line-up:

Drums: Charlie Watts
Bass: Ivan Neville
Electric guitars: Keith Richards, Ron Wood (incl. solo) & Bobby Womack
Vocals: Mick Jagger
Organ: Chuck Leavell

Hear the voice of experience, a word from the wise
Grab opportunities while you're alive

Cause if you follow the crowd
Cause if you act like a coward
You'll end up yelling out loud

Hold back, you'll regret it some day
Choke on that, don't let it pass you by
Hold back, you better seize the hour

If you look in your history books, if you delve in the past
Stalin and Roosevelt, yeah, they both took their chances
And George grasped the nettle, it's do or dare
From the banks of the Delaware

Yes, don't hold back
Trust your gut reactions, yeah
Be bold, be bold, baby
If you don't take chances, you won't make advances, hold back

Don't matter if you ain't so good looking
If you ain't sharp as a blade
Don't be afraid

Hold back, life is passing you by
Choke on that, keep on moving
Keep on moving, yeah

If you run with the crowd, yeah, you're going to end up, end up in the madhouse
Shouting those cold walls down
Yeah, don't hold back

Don't hold back, you're messing with your life
Hold back, yeah
Life goes by fast sometimes
Be bold, be bold, be bold, be
bold baby
You're wasting your time

I want your attention, so pin back your ears
I've been climbing this tree of promises for over 40 years
The visions get broken and bust on the ground
So watch me, watch me rebound

Yeah, don't hold back, you're wrecking your life
Choke on that, yeah
Don't hold back, you're messing with your life



Ivan Neville, Aaron's son, is playing bass. That one was a track we'd put down almost at the end of the sessions but never really considered, you know: Oh well, put that one on hold for another album. But Charlie's drums were SO strong and the arrangement was developed so well that all we needed really was to re-do the bass, because the sound wasn't up to par on it - we'd only done it as a kind of dub in Paris. So when Ivan walked in one night, it was, Hey, Ivan, get out there.

- Keith Richards, 1985

The solo is Woody on overdub using an RCA amplifier from the '40s that is capable of running on AC or batteries.

- Alan Rogan, guitar technician

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