|All Artists: Laura Branigan|
Title: Hold Me
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Styles: Dance Pop, Adult Contemporary
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075678126529, 075678126543
10 track 1985 Release
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Great Album: It's Amazing that this album was a commercial f
L.A. Scene | Indian Trail, NC USA | 06/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early 1980s, Laura Branigan had emerged as a top female artist - and one who was very successful in terms of commercial sales. On her first two albums, Laura showed all the signs of her being great with such hits as "Gloria", "Solitaire", and "How am I Supposed to Live Without You". It was her third album, 1984's "Self Control" that truly solidified her status as a top female performer of "Diva" status ( the term "Diva" is often thrown around today to refer to a great female vocalist). It was "Self Control" that truly validated that Branigan was a true "Diva" with such songs as "The Lucky One", "Self Control", "Heart", and "Ti Amo". So as Laura's fourth album "Hold Me" was released, many felt the trend would continue. What would happen would surprise a lot of Branigan fans. Not only did "Hold Me' crash and burn in terms of commercial sales, but it would become an album that would quickly go out of print. Even some 2 decades after the release of "Hold Me", this album's failure is still puzzling. "Hold Me" is in a lot of ways an album that picks up where "Self Control" left off. It uses the same formula - and is of the same high quality of that album.
Perhaps the timing of "Hold Me" was the problem. For her first three albums, Branigan would ride the Synth-Pop wave of the early 1980s. But 1985 would mark a transition year in the music industry. Pop music was moving away from the Synth-Pop sound and now was beginning to move more toward a natural "guitar-laden" sound. Artists such as John Cougar Mellencamp, John Fogarty, and Bruce Springsteen were now taking up the airwaves. Branigan's "Hold Me" would maintain the Synth-Pop sound that was established on the first four albums. This might have resulted in "Hold Me"'s commercial downfall.
When looking at a Laura Branigan album, an important point to consider is that Branigan is not a songwriter and is not someone who plays her own instruments. Branigan relies on her voice - which is as powerful as any female vocalist we have seen in the rock/pop era. Therefore the quality level of Branigan's albums are going to be highly dependent on the songwriters and surrounding cast for the album. One thing that made "Self Control" a terrific album is that Branigan benefited from both of these things. Laura's longtime producer Jack White would produce "Hold Me". White had produced each of Laura's first three albums. "Hold Me" would be his last album as he probably took the fall for the disappointing commercial sales. Like "Self Control", Laura brings her Diva-style voice that gives the songs such a terrific sound. However, the strongest tracks on this album are going to be the ones that Jack White contributes to the songwriting. No doubt, White knows how to get the most out of Branigan. It's also no surprise to me that Laura's career never recovered after splitting her association with White.
Here is a Synopsis of the songs:
"Hold Me": This is the title-track arranged by Harold Faltermeyer (famous for the "Beverly Hills Cop" song "Axel F"). Faltermeyer contributes the keyboards on this Synthesizer-laden track. This song also features some horn work. Laura brings a lot of passion to the song through her vocals - this will be a trademark throughout the album.
"Maybe Tonight": Producer Jack White and co-producer Mark Spiro wrote this song. White knows what makes Branigan tick and he composes the perfect song for her. Laura's passion in the song is alive and well - she shows great range in her vocals. This is complimented by some terrific background vocals. There is nice drum work on this track as well.
"Foolish Lullaby": White and Spiro strike gold again. Laura delivers one of her most passionate performances that she ever has. Laura sings this song from the point of "the other woman". She delivers incredible passion as she sings "If you are so sure that she's the one; Why are you lying here with me?"
"Spanish Eddie": This was the one song that garnered airplay. This song has an urban feel. Laura delivers the song in the form of a narrative describing what I would call a modern-day "urban outlaw". This song features some nice guitar-work.
"Forever Young": Laura covers the song made famous by the German band Alphaville. Laura once again delivers a passionate performance - and one that I feel is superior to the original.
"When I'm With You": The combination of White, Spiro, and Faltermeyer strike gold again with Laura. This song has a terrific opening with some horns. It transitions nicely to a Synth-Pop song. Once again, the name of the game is passion as Laura delivers a performance of a woman melting in a man's arms.
"I Found Someone": This is a Michael Bolton written song that was later covered by Cher. Laura has done a lot of songs covered by other artists and in each case, I've always felt her versions were superior. This is no exception.
"Sanctuary": Not a bad song, but one of the weaker tracks. It does feature some good guitar work.
"Tenderness": This is a White and Spiro song. Laura lends a rare hand in the songwriting. Laura might not have the high passion level as in the other tracks, but this still isn't bad.
"When the Heat Hits the Street": This has a very urban-styled Synth-Pop sound. Laura does a terrific job with her vocal ranges in this song. The last part of the song is awesome.
The liner notes don't contain lyrics but do have production and songwriting credits. My CD is 2 decades old - and I still don't stop playing it. Overall, I listen to this album and am still amazed that this wasn't a platinum album. Branigan is still at her peak on this collection. If you can find this album, don't hesitate to get it."
Hold her ...
W. Wilkinson | Colonie, NY United States | 02/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm actually very privelaged because I own ALL of Laura's proper studio albums ON CD, including this out-of-print 1985 album, "Hold Me."
This album actually received a LOT of negative reviews, and was the first Laura album not to go gold. But this may actually seem strange if you listen to it now because it really doesn't sound very different from her first 3 releases. "Hold Me," "Maybe Tonight," "Foolish Lullaby," and "Spanish Eddie" are all awesome, perfect 1980s synthpop. "Forever Young" follows next, and it's the only song on the CD that I almost always skip. "I Found Someone" comes after that, and this is the same song that Cher brought into the Top 10 in 1987. But Laura's version is more melancholy and more subdued, and not as polished as Cher's version; it's just a tad better if you ask me. The remainder of the songs on the second half of the collection aren't as good as the ones on the first half, but are still very listenable and enjoyable, even if they do sort of blend together somewhat.
I found this CD on Ebay for less than 5 dollars. Odds are you won't find it that cheap anywhere anymore, especially now that Laura has passed. Perhaps someday her CDs will all be remastered and reissued like Sheena Easton's. One can only hope ...
My favorite Laura Branigan album
"jiffy" jim link | Hoboken, NJ United States | 10/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have every Laura Branigan album issued on the Atlantic label on CD (except for Branigan 2 which I have on vinyl). This one is my favorite and I listened to it just about every day, in its entirety, when it was released (I had it on cassette then....it pretty much wore out...fortunately, I got a copy on CD before it got too expensive...I think I paid in the $25-$30 range...WORTH EVERY CENT!)
This album was not a hit back in 1985 and many (including myself) cannot figure out why. It really should have clearly been a career triumph for Laura Branigan.
There was only a slight shift in instrumentation and production than from the previous 3 albums. Harold Faltermeyer was added to the mix. Considering his hit "Axel F" it seemed like a wise move. Some of the criticism, I remember, was directed at the first single "Spanish Eddie" as not being the most accessible tune on the album. I loved it! Exciting story and rhythm in addition to LB's as-always first rate vocal. Some also blamed the cover art as being a bit too soft as the reason this project failed to catch on. Other objections were the album strayed too far into Euro-dance/Euro-pop territory.
But it's a consistantly great album. "Sanctuary" is the only song that I would consider good vs. great. I particularly like the closing track, "When The Heat Hits The Streets"....great driving song! It was featured in an auto commercial towards the end of the album's viable shelf life. Would have made a good 2nd or 3rd single. Anyway the $74 dollar asking price (as of Oct. 2008)for this CD is actually justified if steep...the album really is that great! I would go on but I feel the other reviewers here have done an admirable job of conveying how strong this release is and describing the tracks."