On this day in music history: July 12, 1986 – …

On this day in music history: July 12, 1986 – “Holding Back The Years” by Simply Red hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #29 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Mick Hucknall and Neil Moss, it is the first US chart topper for the British pop/soul band from Manchester, UK. Lead singer Mick Hucknall initially begins writing what becomes “Holding Back The Years” when he is only seventeen years old, inspired by his mother leaving the family when he is three years old. Hucknall completes the song a few years later with band mate Neil Moss, while both are members of The Frantic Elevators. The band originally record “Holding Back The Years” in 1982, making only a minimal impact. After the Elevators break up, Hucknall forms Simply Red in 1985, re-recording the song for their debut album “Picture Book” with veteran producer Stewart Levine (The Crusaders, Hugh Masekela). When it is first released as the album’s third single in the UK, it stalls at #51 on the charts. Undaunted, WEA reissues it in the Spring of 1986 where it soars to #2. On the heels of its UK chart success, Elektra Records in the US releases it as a single. Entering the Hot 100 at #88 on April 5, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart fourteen weeks later. The success of “Holding Back The Years” propels “Picture Book” to Platinum status in the US, also earning Simply Red two Grammy nominations including Best New Artist of 1986.