The Rutles

Hold My Hand

Song Review by

Although there is nary a miss on The Rutles, "Hold My Hand" is among the tunes that work with intimate perfection. This has everything to do with Neil Innes' ability to emulate song styles without having to imitate or directly rip off a solo note for note or a lyric verbatim. Here he works on several strata at once within the context of numerous direct Beatles allusions. Innes makes these musical touchstones obvious to anyone and everyone who could mentally connect the song structure of "All My Loving" with lyrical references to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." Indeed, this is sheer genius at work.

Armed with the knowledge that he is far from the only person who maintains an active and somewhat personal relationship to practically every line of every Beatles song, Innes bounces back and forth incorporating a seemingly endless barrage of references throughout the two-minute-and-eight-second running time. Notable among these is the almost majestic chord sequence that opens both this track and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand." The lyrics likewise use much of the same pop love song imagery. The start-stop rhythm, and most specifically the vocal harmony tag during the final refrain, defer to the listener's existing rapport with "All My Loving" in order to maximize the effect and subsequent impression of familiarity. Although these are the most apparent connections, parallels could likewise be derived from other seminal Beatles tunes such as "Can't Buy Me Love," with it's strong chorus and driving 12-string electric guitar. The original LP version includes an extended "tuning" introduction to the song that features a nod to the "one-two-three-four" count off heard on "Taxman" as well as the jet airplane sound effects from the introduction of "Back in the U.S.S.R." This 20-second intro was edited from the 1990 Rhino CD.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Rutles 1978 Rhino 2:11
No Image 1982
Various Artists
All You Need Is Cash [Video] 1996 Rhino