‘Hold It Against Me’, the first single off the Britney’s seventh studio album, ‘Femme Fatale’ was released a whopping 5 years ago today.
The song features production credits from fan fave Max Martin and Dr Luke who is responsible for massive hits from Ke$ha and Katy Perry. The line ‘If I said I want your body now, would you hold it against me?’ was used in a slightly different form in the Bellamy Brothers’ 1979 hit, ‘If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me’. The brothers expressed their annoyance with the similarities to their ‘signature’ line. David Bellamy stated, ‘If you listen to the lyrics of Britney Spears’ single you will find some major similarities… She’s a talented gal, but professionally, well, in all honesty, we feel completely ripped off. Where’s the origionality.’ His brother Howard simply stated, ‘Hey Brit, If I said you ripped off our song, would you hold it against me?’
However, the line is hardly a Bellamy original, which makes this whole scenario pretty funny. Howard himself stated in a 2007 interview that he got his line from Goucho Marx, who used to say it to women on his game show, ‘You Bet Your Life’ in the 1950’s.
On the first day of its release, the song garnered the highest ever number of US radio plays in a single day registering 619 plays on mediabase and 595 plays on Nielson BDS.
The song sold 411,000 downloads in it’s first week available for purchase in the US, breaking the record for the best debut sales week for a digital song by a female artist. Prior to Britney, was Taylor Swift’s, ‘Today was a fairytale’ with 325,000 downloads. Britney’s reign only lasted a month, as she was later beaten by Lady Gaga’s, ‘Born This Way’ with 448,000 first week sales.
‘Hold It Against me’ was simultaneously released on radio worldwide and debuted at number 1 in 20 countries worldwide. When the song took the top spot in the US charts, Brit became the second artist to debut multiple songs at number 1 on the Billboard Top 100. (3 debuted at number 1 in 2009). The only other act to achieve multiple number 1’s prior to this point was Mariah Carey.
The video was directed by Jonas Akerlund (‘Ray Of Light and Telephone director) and his wife B Akerlund was the stylist for the video. The video features a lot of product placements and it is rumoured that Britney netted $500,000 for it.
The song was penned by Bonnie McKee, who claims the song was inspired by Katy Perry. She explains: ‘Hold It Against Me was a happy accident. It was actually inspired by Katy because I was writing for her at the time and I went in the other room where I was working with Britney in between. She came into the room in some tight sexy little dress and I jokingly said, ‘Damn Katy, If I told you, you had a nice body, would you hold it against me?’ I was like Bingo! And I wrote the song.’
McKee added that she never got to meet Britney when working on Femme Fatale. She said: ‘Which is funny as I am singing a lot in it. But she knows who I am and she has been really sweet about praising me. Britney is just all sex, all day. It’s like, how many sexual innuendos can I come up with?’
Britney freaked out when she saw the original choreography to HIAM, so apparently it had to be changed. Brian Freedman, Britney’s long term choreographer (a fan fave) was in charge of the routine. In the audition, the dancers needed to learn a dance to Robyn’s ‘Criminal Intent’ – to avoid any leaks.
Britney came up with idea for the Brit vs Brit fight!
The hooded dancers were compared to the Graeae, the three sisters who shared a single eye in the Greek Mythology.
Parts of the video were inspired by the 1975 classic, ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’. The multi-coloured letters are inspired by the Def-Leppard font.
There were 2 videos released – one with and one without the product placement. See the comparisons between the 2 videos below:
The video is widely believed to symbolise Britney’s life and career from her rise to fame, to her troubled times to her return to the stage and in control.
Britney announced the video on Twitter on the 4th February 2011 – in a series of video snippets to create a hype over the release. James Montgomery (MTV) called the promotion ‘brilliant’ and said that it earned Britney ‘a spot in promotional history’.
Celebrate with us by watching the iconic VEVO certified video.
Click HERE for a great HIAM article by FUSE