"Gold Forever" was written by Steve Mac, Wayne Hector and Claude Kelly, and it was produced by Mac. Steve Mac and Wayne Hector previously wrote the band's debut single "All Time Low" (2010) which charted at number one in the UK. It was announced as the lead single from The Wanted's upcoming second studio album and the 2011 Comic Relief single on 10 February 2011. It was described as "a ballad you can rave to". The song was scheduled to be the first single from The Wanted's second album, but was not originally intended to be released for Comic Relief until the charity's head Richard Curtis contacted the band and asked for it to be the official Comic Relief single for 2011. Band member Max George explained the meaning of the song: "This song is about a day in your life that you never forget. It's an upbeat, feel-good track and our favourite so far. We're really excited to get it out there, and delighted that it is supporting such a great cause." Some of the music video was filmed on the same set as the film The King's Speech. The Wanted performed "Gold Forever" live on Red Nose Day 2011 on 18 March 2011. They also performed it live on BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge on 16 March 2011.
Lewis Corner from Digital Spy gave the song four stars out of five, describing it as having "a winning mix of thumping beats, melancholic synths and a twinkling piano hook that sounds like Coldplay having a Sunday School sing-along. Throw in some intermittent blasts of electro-trance and the result is a number that is not only chart-friendly, but one that makes for a welcome change of pace from the recent slew of cover charity singles." Ann Lee of Metro gave the song a negative review writing, "It's getting quite hard to tell the members of The Wanted apart seeing as they all sound the same with the harsh distortion of Auto Tune. Fans of dance tracks tinged with a soppy edge and cheesy Euro beats will like this." On 20 March, "Gold Forever" entered the UK Singles Chart at number 3, behind Adele's "Someone Like You" and Nicole Scherzinger's "Don't Hold Your Breath". The song slipped to number 4 the following week.