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May 20, 2010

Mini-obsession: "Hold Back the Night" by the Trammps

Right now, I'd love to have a heavy-hitting post about juicy bar news, but I'm too busy writing a piece about the Night of 1,000 Dylans coming to Creative Alliance Saturday for all that serious stuff.

When I'm in Hardcore Writing Mode, I toss on the headphones and listen to one song or one album in repeat, until the assignment is finished. Today's mini obsession is with "Hold Back the Night" by the Trammps. Have you heard it? I'll post the video below, but if you're too lazy to read past this paragraph, click here to listen to it. Now, lemme tell you what I love about this song ...

I love how the band waits a full 40 seconds before hitting you with the first words. That's a bazillion years in today's pop music time. Today's mainstream pop music listeners would almost never wait that long for the singing to start. 

The Trammps (these are the Philly guys who did "Disco Inferno") aren't the best singers, but that's kinda the point. The harmonies aren't super polished, and the lead singer's voice is gruff and crackling. And oh, that beat. It's urgent but not overpowering -- just enough to get you to dance your pain away.

"Hold back the night / turn on the light / don't wanna dream about you baby."


Graham Parker did a rockin' version of this track in the '70s.

The Trammps released a remastered version of the song on their 1991 disc, "Disco Inferno," which sounds too clean. I like the old one, with all its analog hiss and dirtier arrangement:

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:40 AM | | Comments (5)


Sounds like they used the same session players and arranger as the O'Jays.

The only cure for this is some Curtis Mayfield. Move on up!

Hey dudes, let's all blow off our afternoon classes, hang out in the quad and blast Quadrophenia from start to finish.


"Can you see the reeaal meeee? can ya? CAN YA?"

behold your next major obsession:

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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