Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "I Won't Hold You Back"
Oh, I know, it's not cool to like Toto. Just ask my buddy Steve Lukather, he's gotten so much abuse he's got a hair trigger, if you bring up the band's name he figures you're going to complain.
But I'm not.
Hell, I don't even own a copy of "IV," you didn't have to! "Rosanna" was all over the radio! It was ubiquitous!
But it's Lukather's solo composition that I still want to listen to all these years later. Oh, and "Make Believe"... Hell, that's how I go to know Steve. I wrote how much I loved hearing it on XM, despite its kinda corny, kinda stupid lyrics, and Steve took offense...and I told him that this was about as positive as I get!
And I still love hearing "Make Believe"... It's the David Paich piano intro, the saxophone, the track positively SWINGS! On paper it's nothing, but on wax it puts you in an exquisite mood and lifts you out of your seat. And then there's the break...
The day we met in the pouring rain"
It's so SUNNY! Oh, I know it's dark and precipitating, but music when done right embodies joy, and you can hear it in this cut. Hell, listening to it I make believe my life has no pitfalls, that it's an endless highway of good times.
But "Make Believe" is not the track I'm writing about.
Once again, the piano sets the mood. This is heavy, this is meaningful. And the strings...arranged by David Paich's father, Marty...when was the last time you heard a real orchestra on a pop record?
And the verses are sincere, but it's the way they're sung that truly resonates, like Steve is singing from the depths of his heart, that he really means it.
But what puts the track over the top is the chorus...
"You know I won't hold you back now
The love we had just can't be found
You know I can't hold you back now"
It's the way the words are EMPHASIZED!
And the way the strings swirl. And the piano fills.
And the way the whole band comes in before the last line...and then drops out.
But first and foremost, it's about TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT'S VOICE!
Background vocals. They never get any respect. But Crosby & Nash sweetened James Taylor's records, Flo & Eddie added beauty to Zappa's material, and here Timothy B. truly delivers. Oh, there's ultimately a great Lukather solo, the recording works on every level, but what puts it over the top is TIMOTHY B!
The little things matter.
Sure, you've got to write the song. You've got to be able to play. But sometimes the littlest sound, the littlest vocal, makes all the difference.
And I'm sure Mr. Schmit didn't get a royalty, he doesn't go to sleep thinking about "I Won't Hold You Back," but he made it a hit!
Ain't that music. We hear something and are bonded to it and oftentimes it's years later before we realize exactly why.
I heard this on the satellite minutes ago.
But it's only when I pulled it up on Spotify, on the good speakers, that it all became clear...IT'S ABOUT TIMOTHY B!