The enduring love affair of ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’ and Thompson Twins
Of all the pop masterpieces given to us by Thompson Twins - Hold Me Now, You Take Me Up, King for a Day, among many more - few feel as uplifting and majestic as 1985’s Lay Your Hands on Me.
The song comes from the album Here’s To Future Days (which included King for a Day). A more stripped down version of the tune was released nearly a year before the album was, but was reworked with the help of Nile Rodgers, who added the electric guitar and gospel choir.
Oddly enough, it was one of three songs titled Lay Your Hands On Me released during the ‘80s, with Peter Gabriel releasing one in 1982 and Bon Jovi releasing his in 1988. (Elton John would record a similar song - Healing Hands - in 1989.)
The term “laying of hands” - of which the song seems based - has religious implications, but Thompson Twins frontman Tom Bailey, in an interview with Songfacts.com, called the song “nonspecifically religious.”
“… I’ve always been very fond of the kind of layered metaphor where the song can be about one thing but also about another,” Bailey said. “Typically, people talk about their love for God in a religious song, but what they're also saying is that they love someone human.”
Thirteen remixes have been made from Lay Your Hands on Me, with the 1985 Rodgers' remix being the best chart performer. The tune would reach No. 13 on the UK and No. 6 on U.S. charts. It remains among Tom Bailey’s regular setlists as he performs as a solo act these days.