This Mick Hucknall acoustic version of 'Holding Back the Years' is stunning

18 August 2020, 17:21

Mick Hucknall
Picture: Sky Arts

By Tom Eames

'Holding Back the Years' is one of the most emotional ballads of all time.

Simply Red's classic 1985 hit remains something of a tearjerker to this day, thanks largely to Mick Hucknall's powerful vocals and lyrics.

When we rediscovered a live TV performance by Mick of the song, we simply (sorry) had to share it.

Mick was appearing on Sky Arts TV show Songbook in 2008, when he performed a soulful acoustic version of 'Holding Back the Years', and it's absolutely stunning. Watch it below:

Mick Hucknall - Holding Back The Years

This is a perfect example of a musician showing how gifted their voice is, with no frills or distractions, just the power of music.

Mick co-wrote the song with his former Frantic Elevators bandmate Neil Moss. Mick first started writing it when he was just 17 while living at his father's house, but it took several more years before he added the famous chorus.

Read more: The Story of... 'Holding Back the Years'

The song is thought to be inspired by Mick's family and upbringing. His mother left the family when he was just three. It was this upheaval that inspired him to write the song. The lyrics "Strangled by the wishes of pater (father), hoping for the arms of mater (mother)" particularly reflect this.