Originally recorded by The Frantic Elevators (1982).
Hit version by Simply Red (UK #51/#8 BEL/#3 NETH 1985 |US #1/UK #2/CAN #6/IRE #1/AUS #22 1986).
From the wiki: “Frontman of Simply Red, Mick Hucknall, first began writing ‘Holding Back the Years’ when he was 17 while living at his father’s house. Hucknall’s mother left the family when he was three; the upheaval caused by this event later inspired him to write the song while he was a fine arts student at Manchester School of Art. The chorus did not come to him until many years later. Hucknall’s early group, The Frantic Elevators, first recorded the song in 1982. Bandmate Neil Moss was also co-credited with the song’s composition.