Britney Spears’ and Max Martin’s history together goes way back. Back to 1999 to be more specific, when Martin wrote and produced the hit that made Spears a star, the #1 Baby One More Time. Since then, other successes such as Oops!…I Did It Again, Stronger and If U Seek Amy proved that Spears was one of the best choices to voice Martin’s compositions. When promoting the home album of Hold It Against Me, Femme Fatale, the pop star spoke about her chemistry with the song-writer: “He gets exactly what I am saying when I tell him what I want and don’t want musically. His melodies are incredible and he is always coming up with weird sounds, which I love. […] There is nobody I feel more comfortable collaborating with in the studio.”
At first, Hold It Against Me was set out to be a Katy Perry song. Only upon hearing the finished product did Max Martin and his collaborator Dr. Luke realize that it was not suited to her style at all. It was the first single released from Femme Fatale, Spears’ 7th studio album, which she spoke of in high terms: “I’ve poured my heart and soul into this album over the last 2 years. I’ve put everything I have into it.”
Hold It Against Me is accompanied by a video which portrays Britney’s musical career, from her arrival on the scene (symbolized by her falling on Earth from space), to her rise to success and even the breakdowns due to pressure caused by being a celebrity. Grammy-winning director Jonas Åkerlund was behind it, who was also responsible for Madonna’s Ray of Light. Spears has expressed her desire to collaborate with the director ever since seeing that Madonna video back in 1998.
Hold It Against Me spent 1 week as number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by Bruno Mars’ Grenade.