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Sam Phillips — Holding on to the Earth
Album: The Indescribable Wow
Avg rating:
6.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 795









Released: 1988
Length: 2:56
Plays (last 30 days): 1
If I close my eyes
I'm afraid I won't wake up
If I stop and listen
I'm afraid I'll hear too much

Trying to hold on to the earth
Holding on for what it's worth

I've got a long black cadillac
marble hot tub in the back
Champagne waterfall
solid gold question mark twenty feet tall

Try to paint a world of shapes
Over the holes as we're falling
The tightened grip is our mistake
As we're trying to hold on to the earth

Looking for his name
wet on brave lips carved on road
Look for flame and mercy
Hope that tired hands can hold
Comments (98)add comment
Incense and Peppermints meets The Door
 kcar wrote:
Nice segue from U2's "Love is Blindness"...
 
Same segue 7 years later.... and still not appreciated here.... yuck
stalfnzo - 'Fingers dug into the dirt as the world spins and tries to throw me off'.... that is just the greatest quote .... sums it all up for me
 westslope wrote:
Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints c/o of E_A_D_G from Washington DC.  (Or just DC for you insiders....)

That's it.  From the opening bars. 

 
Well why stop there?  Let's also say it reminds us of The Monkees' Steppin' Stone
Old school Sam . . . nice!  Thanks RP!
 MassivRuss wrote:
Am I the only person who thinks Patti Smith when I hear this?

 
Now that you mention it, no, I hear it too! It's pretty enjoyable all-around :-)
 westslope wrote:
Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints c/o of E_A_D_G from Washington DC.  (Or just DC for you insiders....)

That's it.  From the opening bars. 

 
I think "Incense & Peppermints" has an Em - A - Em - C progression in the verse.  The chorus has a few more chords thrown in. (Em - Ebm - Dm - A ?)  There are parts of this song which sound reminiscent, especially given the strumming tempo and the sitar sound, but the chord progression of this song is entirely different from that of I&P.  It seems pretty clear that she and her producer (T Bone Burnett) were deliberately going for a psychedelic sound with this tune anyhow.  You probably know this, but "Incense & Peppermints" was co-written by Ed King, who also co-wrote "Sweet Home Alabama".
One of my very favorite songs. "Holding on the the earth." Oh my god, that spells out my life completely. Fingers dug into the dirt as the world spins and tries to throw me off. Great song
 westslope wrote:
Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints c/o of E_A_D_G from Washington DC.  (Or just DC for you insiders....)

That's it.  From the opening bars. 

 
Yup.
Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints c/o of E_A_D_G from Washington DC.  (Or just DC for you insiders....)

That's it.  From the opening bars. 
Sam can do no wrong ...
 stalfnzo wrote:
Sam is great, and this is one of my very favorite songs. Thanks, Bill

 
.... as above :))
Am I the only person who thinks Patti Smith when I hear this?
Sam is great, and this is one of my very favorite songs. Thanks, Bill
 Byronape wrote:

Because that's where she keeps all of her stuff.

 
OMG I so needed that laugh right now. Thank you.
 ziakut wrote:
Well put...but I didn't see it as that at first. I thought it was a close up of female genitalia with her head sticking out of it. Thanks for the relief Frater_Kork. Whew! I know...I'm a sick bastard. What else is new?
 
You guys crack me up.
From the beginning she's chosen great material. This song, with its retro feel, is very cool.
 Jelani wrote:
I thought, initially, via the vocals, that this might be Cyndi Lauper...
 



But way worse
A young Sam. Over the years a little loss of range, and a little raspier. But still she sounds great. 
 Mandible wrote:
why is she tryin to hold on to the earth anyway?
 
Because that's where she keeps all of her stuff.
When I first heard this played, I thought it was a cover of the Eels' Flyswatter. But with different lyrics. 
 Randomax wrote:
Love this song and all the songs on Martinis & Bikinis!!!  Ms. Phillips rox...saw her open for Bruce Cockburn once...awesome (used to be married to Tbone Burnett - right? or did I dream that?)
 
Yeah, she was married to T-Bone. I think he produced one of her albums after the divorce. 
Nice segue from U2's "Love is Blindness"...
I thought, initially, via the vocals, that this might be Cyndi Lauper...
I dig me some throwback 60's - gotta love the sitar!

 Mandible wrote:
4>6
why is she tryin to hold on to the earth anyway?
 

Agoraphobia?
Kinda old ( a little crimsony and cloverish) and 70s sort of guitar work, and edgy vocals, humm. I do like it, gots a backbeat and I can use it :-)
This works for me.....{#Headache}
 Frater_Kork wrote:

Yeah, that was a truly risque album cover... Around 1955.
I mean, that is just waaay too much elbow.
 
Well put...but I didn't see it as that at first. I thought it was a close up of female genitalia with her head sticking out of it. Thanks for the relief Frater_Kork. Whew! I know...I'm a sick bastard. What else is new?
 ziakut wrote:
The song is good enough to sell without the risque album art. Wonder if the rest of the album is any good. Maybe I'll check it out. Wonder why this artist felt so compelled to use this close up? Hmmm....
 
Yeah, that was a truly risque album cover... Around 1955.
I mean, that is just waaay too much elbow.
Hey, the Wikipedia link is for Sam Phillips - the Sun Records guy!....Samuel Cornelius Phillips {#Lol}. It should go to Leslie Ann Phillips, aka Sam Phillips.

The song is good enough to sell without the risque album art. Wonder if the rest of the album is any good. Maybe I'll check it out. Wonder why this artist felt so compelled to use this close up? Hmmm....
Love this song and all the songs on Martinis & Bikinis!!!  Ms. Phillips rox...saw her open for Bruce Cockburn once...awesome (used to be married to Tbone Burnett - right? or did I dream that?)
I join the earlier suckers who thought they were getting Doors and well it was never going to live up to that but still a decent little tune.
Shades of Teardrop Explodes....


She now has a pretty cool web site.

samphillips.com
 ca1vinandhobbes wrote:
Thought it was about to be a Doors song...
 
My thought was if it might have sounded retro back in '88....

Nancy Sinatra and Question Mark & The Mysterians — together again for the first time!
This was the first Sam Phillips song I heard years ago that got me started being a big fan of hers.
 LD wrote:
She was also the female villan, Katya, in the third Die Hard movie.
 

Holy crap, you're right! I just saw 10 minutes of that on cable TV at my gym—she and Jeremy Irons were about to get it on in a very S/M way. I wonder how the hell she got that gig. 
 Mandible wrote:
4>6
why is she tryin to hold on to the earth anyway?
 
I assume she feels as if she might otherwise fall off.  I guess it also could mean she's digging with her hands and is having a hard time holding onto the dirt.

4>6
why is she tryin to hold on to the earth anyway?
 E_A_D_G wrote:

Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints
 
{#High-five} Yes that's what it reminded me of as well.
 kalkin84 wrote:
too repetative.
 
Repetitive, too.

Who cares? You mean to tell me the Fabs never repeated a lyric? Why, that was standard songwriting procedure prior to Rubber Soul. Fuhgedaboutit.


 ca1vinandhobbes wrote:
Thought it was about to be a Doors song...
 
I was thinking Zombies when I heard the intro!
 kalkin84 wrote:
too repetative.
 

On of my all time favorite albums, and if I like something I don't mind the artist
repeating it.  Maybe music just isn't your thing, because most of it does have
parts in the piece that repeat.  
 ca1vinandhobbes wrote:
Thought it was about to be a Doors song...
 
LOL! Me too.

 kalkin84 wrote:
too repetative.
 
Guessing you've never heard "Around the World" by Daft Punk

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/daftpunk/aroundtheworld.html

 rangersfan wrote:
TRIPINDICULAR!
 
That's the word I'm looking for!

 Hannio wrote:
The most puzzling of musical criticisms. If you don't like repetition, then maybe music in general is not for you.
 
Yeah, that's exactly what I think whenever anybody throws out that word on the RP comment pages.
 n4ku wrote:
Been a while since I have heard this on RP. Gives me this 60s vibe every time. I like it a lot (being a child of that era).
 
yep. i say 8

Hannio wrote:
The most puzzling of musical criticisms. If you don't like repetition, then maybe music in general is not for you.
I totally disagree. Sure, there's some level repetition in almost every song, but other times some artists are flogging a dead horse. I'm withholding my own opinion on the repetition in this song for now. This was my first time hearing and I'd like to get a second opinion.
SmileOnADog wrote:
Sam is or was married to T-Bone Burnett, a musician and big producer. He won multiple Grammys for the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" and Down from the Mountain in 2002. I just saw him on a movie credit last month again, can't remember what tho. He has produced a lot of artists, including notably Bruce Cockburn who is a R-P regular (fortunately!). I would guess Sam is raising a family and doing music as her time/energy permits. Sam's last album as "Leslie" was "The Turning", which was an interesting and eclectic Christian Contemp effort circa 1988, after that she must have rearranged the mental furniture to something less Evangelical shaped. I think she probably decided she's rather be an artist than toe various doctrinal lines, and back then that was probably more of an issue than it is now. I saw her open for Bruce Cockburn in Phoenix around 1991 or so, I think it was on his "Burning Light" tour. "T Bone Burnett has helmed highly successful recordings for Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, k.d. lang, Alison Krauss, Counting Crows, the Wallflowers, Sam Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Ralph Stanley among numerous others. Burnett was musical director for the concert film, "Roy Orbison and Friends: Black and White Night," which featured Orbison and an all-star band of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Burnett and many others."
She was also the female villan, Katya, in the third Die Hard movie.
kalkin84 wrote:
too repetative.
The most puzzling of musical criticisms. If you don't like repetition, then maybe music in general is not for you.
Thought it was about to be a Doors song...
too repetative.
I agree, I loved stuff like this back in the sixties! I love this song, it brings back my teen angst. Good times... good times..
steeler wrote:
Yes!
:crown: Indescribable
E_A_D_G wrote:
Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints
Yes!
Wow. If that wasn't recorded in the 60's, it should have been. :meditate:
n4ku wrote:
Been a while since I have heard this on RP. Gives me this 60s vibe every time. I like it a lot (being a child of that era).
Strawberry Alarm Clock - Incense and Peppermints
Been a while since I have heard this on RP. Gives me this 60s vibe every time. I like it a lot (being a child of that era).
SmileOnADog wrote:
Sam is or was married to T-Bone Burnett, a musician and big producer. He won multiple Grammys for the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" and Down from the Mountain in 2002. I just saw him on a movie credit last month again, can't remember what tho. He has produced a lot of artists, including notably Bruce Cockburn who is a R-P regular (fortunately!). I would guess Sam is raising a family and doing music as her time/energy permits. Sam's last album as "Leslie" was "The Turning", which was an interesting and eclectic Christian Contemp effort circa 1988, after that she must have rearranged the mental furniture to something less Evangelical shaped. I think she probably decided she's rather be an artist than toe various doctrinal lines, and back then that was probably more of an issue than it is now. I saw her open for Bruce Cockburn in Phoenix around 1991 or so, I think it was on his "Burning Light" tour.
Thank you for answering my question (which was, "who the hell is Sam Phillips?") !
This was one of the very first albums I ever owned on CD. Need to get it again, not sure where it went.
def an unusual voice, but i like it. i think this is overall her best album and highly recommended, although the others do have a few songs that are good. i first heard her on the soundtrack for "ruby in paradise," which is a fine little film directed by victor nunez and starring ashley judd in one of her first movie roles (also highly recommended).
Sam is or was married to T-Bone Burnett, a musician and big producer. He won multiple Grammys for the "Oh Brother Where Art Thou" and Down from the Mountain in 2002. I just saw him on a movie credit last month again, can't remember what tho. He has produced a lot of artists, including notably Bruce Cockburn who is a R-P regular (fortunately!). I would guess Sam is raising a family and doing music as her time/energy permits. Sam's last album as "Leslie" was "The Turning", which was an interesting and eclectic Christian Contemp effort circa 1988, after that she must have rearranged the mental furniture to something less Evangelical shaped. I think she probably decided she's rather be an artist than toe various doctrinal lines, and back then that was probably more of an issue than it is now. I saw her open for Bruce Cockburn in Phoenix around 1991 or so, I think it was on his "Burning Light" tour. "T Bone Burnett has helmed highly successful recordings for Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, k.d. lang, Alison Krauss, Counting Crows, the Wallflowers, Sam Phillips, Gillian Welch, and Ralph Stanley among numerous others. Burnett was musical director for the concert film, "Roy Orbison and Friends: Black and White Night," which featured Orbison and an all-star band of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Burnett and many others."
themotion wrote:
who is this chipmunk?
I was thinking, Who is this Monkee? (NTTAWWT)
ndfan75 wrote:
That's because Wilson Phillips sucked more than I can ever express in words, but this chick sounds like a whacked out version of the Bangles..
Sm Phillips aka Leslie Phillips is a former Christian music singer turned secular. She's also been in films. She's apparently not related to Chynna of Wilson Phillips. Chynna Phillips was the daughter of Michelle and John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, while Carnie and Wendy were the daughters of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Tough legacy to follow but the first album did well though it is "Soft Rock" Chynna has since married Billy Baldwin. Carnie lost a whole lotta weight.
who is this chipmunk?
She made a great album in 1991: Cruel inventions, but has remained virtually unheard of since. Up untill RP played this song!
TRIPINDICULAR! :bounce:
She used to be called Leslie Phillips. She was a Contemporary Christian Music astist. I used to have a couple of her old albums back when I was a teenager.
totally groovy, man!
Never heard of her but this is a great song :clap:
KirstenL4W wrote:
This song is played during the closing credits of "Ruby in Paradise." I never heard of Sam Phillips before I saw that movie, but I do like her stuff. It probably helps that she was introduced to me via one of my favorite movies ever.
Same here. I loved "Raised on Promises" enough to track it down years ago, and it's remained a staple of my library since. It's also one of my favorite movies ever.
The music sounds like "Love Power" from The Producers.
:sunny: :meditate:
Imkirok wrote:
Was she the Phillips from "Wilson Phillips"? Doesn't really sound like it.
That's becaus Wilson Phillips sucked more than I can ever express in words, but this chick sounds like a whacked out version of the Bangles..
Love that cover.
Cool song that you don't hear very often. Thanks RP!
GregK wrote:
I originally thought this was Siouxie Sioux. Nice. Thanks Bill.
Wash your ears out. BTW. Where is the Sioux Godess on RP?
Imkirok wrote:
Was she the Phillips from "Wilson Phillips"? Doesn't really sound like it.
No, she's the Sam Phillips who used to be married to T-Bone Burnett though.
Imkirok wrote:
Was she the Phillips from "Wilson Phillips"? Doesn't really sound like it.
NO.
Although I love most things Sam Phillips, the sixties sound of this song made me think of the Austin Powers movies. Kinda ruins the experience. :lol:
Was she the Phillips from "Wilson Phillips"? Doesn't really sound like it.
This song is played during the closing credits of "Ruby in Paradise." I never heard of Sam Phillips before I saw that movie, but I do like her stuff. It probably helps that she was introduced to me via one of my favorite movies ever.
I originally thought this was Siouxie Sioux. Nice. Thanks Bill.
mojoman wrote:
Hey here's a thought. This is her real singing voice, and it's a damn fine one, too. She's one of the best things on RP.
Not only is her voice pretty, but, well...she might be the best looking singer on RP. :hearteyes: :heartkiss: Cool tune, per usual.
TimeWave wrote:
roflmao
I know Roflmao and he did NOT have a sex change!!!
ChardRemains wrote:
bad sixties imitation voice needs an enema.
Hey here's a thought. This is her real singing voice, and it's a damn fine one, too. She's one of the best things on RP.
ChardRemains wrote:
bad sixties imitation voice needs an enema.
Now, do you really think that will work? I think the name of the album talks a lot about her humble self perception
ChardRemains wrote:
bad sixties imitation voice needs an enema.
This sounds to me like she is trying to imitate Patty Smith.
Spliff wrote:
When did that gruff Sun Records guy get a sex change?
roflmao
bad sixties imitation voice needs an enema.
The album this is on is "The Indescribable Wow" not the Incredible Wow.
From the 80's right? Anything else from this album get radio play then? Some of the title seem familiar.
Great stuff! We don't hear this one enough on RP.
When did that gruff Sun Records guy get a sex change?