Richard Marx – Hold on to the Nights

First Hit #1: July 23, 1988

Man this is a ballad-heavy year, and Richard Marx is no exception. Like the rest of them, Hold on to the Nights isn’t wholly positive, though it’s slightly more ambiguous than most. There’s an undercurrent of infidelity in the song, but it’s never quite explicit, as Marx sings about being true to everyone himself and breaking rules. This song is probably about cheating, but it’s really vague on that point, presumably because then it could possibly be used in a wedding or something while the crowd is none the wiser. It could even be about any other slightly taboo love affair, we don’t know, the song is really vague on that point. It’s not too far off of the other big ballads of the year in arrangement – minimal piano, big electric guitar – but it’s not bad overall. I wonder what was going on that everyone decided that ballads were the thing to listen to.

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3 Responses to Richard Marx – Hold on to the Nights

  1. RBerman says:

    Definitely a cheating song, probably a one night stand on the road. He’s already in a steady relationship, as shown by; the awkward first line “Just when I thought I couldn’t ever want for more,” as well as the allusion to promises to other lovers in the second verse. All he knows about this new fling is how beautiful her face is, and the fact that tonight is his only shot with her.

    Marx writes pretty tunes and sings so prettily that he once complained about sounding like a little girl. The bassline makes nice use of an inverting walkup on the chorus: I/III, IV, Vsus, V, repeated three times. As a I recall, a live version also got some radio play.

  2. tPenguinLTG says:

    Regardless, the arrangement is quite powerful.
    Hey, I like it. I’m not sure why everyone seems to hate ballads…

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