Right Back Where We Started From

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"Right Back Where We Started From"
Single by Maxine Nightingale
from the album Right Back Where We Started From
A-side Right Back Where We Started From
B-side Believe in What You Do
Released 1975
Format 7" single
Recorded 1975
Genre R&B, disco
Length 2:59
Label United Artists
Writer(s) Pierre Tubbs and J. Vincent Edwards
Producer(s) J. Vincent Edwards, Pierre Tubbs
Certification Gold
Maxine Nightingale singles chronology
"Love on Borrowed Time"
"Right Back Where We Started From"
"Gotta Be the One"

"Right Back Where We Started From" is a song written by Pierre Tubbs and J. Vincent Edwards[1] which was first recorded in the middle of 1975 by Maxine Nightingale for whom it was an international hit. In 1989, a remake by Sinitta, then 25, reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart. The music features a significant repetitive sample from the song 'Goodbye, Nothing To Say' written by Stephen Jameson and Marshall Doctores, recorded by Jameson under the name of Nosmo King, then by The 'Javells ft Nosmo King', both in 1974.[2][3][4]

Maxine Nightingale version[edit]

In the UK[edit]

In a 3 May 2008 interview with Michael Shelley of WFMU, Edwards recalled that after hearing Maxine Nightingale sing on the session for Al Matthews' "Fool" that track's producer Pierre Tubbs had come up with "Right Back Where We Started From" as a good title for a song for Nightingale herself to record and had invited Edwards to co-write the song. Utilizing a tune which Edwards had written "a couple of years before", Tubbs and Edwards wrote "Right Back Where We Started From" in about seven minutes while driving to the hospital where Tubbs' wife was set to give birth: the song heavily reflects Edwards' admiration for the Motown songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland. A rough demo featuring Edwards' vocal was cut the next day and it was Edwards - who had performed with Nightingale in the West End production of Hair - who approached Nightingale with an offer for her to record the song.

Nightingale recorded "Right Back Where We Started From" within a week of Edwards offering her the song, although she had initially refused succumbing to Edwards persuasion only on the condition that the track be released under a pseudonym. Edwards also had to convince Nightingale to accept a royalty payment rather than a one-time session fee equivalent to $45 US. "Right Back Where We Started From" would ultimately be released in Nightingale's real name; she would also be awarded a more substantial royalty than she had agreed to. According to Edwards consideration was given to "Right Back Where We Started From" being recorded as a duet featuring Nightingale and himself but this possibility ended when Private Stock Records recruited Edwards to cut a remake of "The Worst That Could Happen". Nightingale herself had opined to Rolling Stone that Edwards' vocal on the demo was "pretty horrendous".

"Right Back Where We Started From" was recorded at Central Sound Studio a small demo studio on Denmark Street in Camden: personnel on the session included two former members of the Electric Light Orchestra: Mike de Albuquerque (bass guitar) and violinist Wilfred Gibson who did the strings arrangement.[5] In the WFMU interview, Edwards identified other players on the session as drummer Pete Kircher and keyboardist Dave Rowberry: also Tubbs played guitar and Edwards provided percussion. Nightingale would advise Rolling Stone that she had disliked Tubbs's utilization of both a crashing keyboard arrangement and heavy hand claps: she was also discomfited by being required to sing in a higher key than she was accustomed to.

Mike de Albuquerque recalled: "We were doing...one of those demo sessions where everybody goes and sits down with music in front of you and you try and get through as many tunes as possible....I remember [Pierre Tubbs]...saying, listen guys, I want to record in entirety four pieces in this three hour session...and we recorded two pieces with Maxine and two with somebody else....[Let] me stress, it was a demo session that this multi million selling thing came out of, it wasn't let's go and remake it... it was the original demo session....[That] multi million selling recording, I would think, cost [Tubbs] less than a £100 if you put the other tracks into the pudding".[6]

Released within two weeks of its recording by United Artists - who employed Tubbs in its art department - "Right Back Where We Started From" broke in the London discos and reached #8 on the UK Singles Chart dated 29 November 1975.[7]

In the US[edit]

United Artists issued "Right Back Where We Started From" in the US in January 1976 and the single entered the charts in February to rise as high as #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1976. Although "Right Back Where We Started From" was held off from the top of the Hot 100 for four weeks, the single - which received Gold certification for sales of a million on 27 April - did reach #1 on the charts for the two other major US music industry journals, Cash Box and Record World.

"Right Back Where We Started From" also appeared on Billboard's Adult Contemporary and Black Singles charts at #5 and #46, respectively.[8]

Following the single's US success Nightingale completed a Right Back Where We Started From album with Tubbs producing: Billboard ranked the album at #65.[9]

Chart performance[edit]

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

"Right Back Where We Started From" was prominently featured in the 1977 film Slap Shot making the song a favorite of ice hockey fans. The VHS release of Slap Shot replaced "Right Back..." - plus all the other songs featured in the theatrical release - with generic musical tracks, due to licensing issues. Starting in the pre-2010 decade (and including the DVD/Blu-Ray release), copies of the movie shown on broadcast TV had the original music back in the film. Echoing its usage during road-trip scenes in that film, HBO used the song in episode one of its series 24/7: The 2011 NHL Winter Classic, when the Pittsburgh Penguins were traveling to Buffalo, New York.

Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where We Started From" is also featured on the soundtrack of the films The World Is Full of Married Men, Slums of Beverly Hills, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, Starsky and Hutch, Yours, Mine and Ours, The Family Stone, College Road Trip, An Extremely Goofy Movie, Rugrats in Paris", and Shrek Forever After.

Preceded by
"Disco Lady"
Johnnie Taylor
Cash Box
#1 on Top 100 Singles chart

April 24, 1976
Succeeded by
"Let Your Love Flow"
the Bellamy Brothers
Preceded by
"Disco Lady"
Johnnie Taylor
Record World
#1 on Top 100 Pops

May 1, 1976
Succeeded by
"Welcome Back"
John Sebastian

Sinitta version[edit]

"Right Back Where We Started From"
Single by Sinitta
from the album Wicked
B-side "I Just Can't Help It"
Released May 1989[12]
Format 7" single, 12" single, CD single
Recorded 1988
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:16
Label Fanfare Records
Writer(s) J. Vincent Edwards, Pierre Tubbs
Producer(s) Pete Hammond
Sinitta singles chronology
"I Don't Believe In Miracles"
"Right Back Where We Started From"
"Love On a Mountain Top"

A 1989 remake of "Right Back Where We Started From" was included on the 1988 Sinitta album Wicked and was released as the album's second single in June 1989 reaching #2 in New Zealand,[13] #4 UK, #5 in Ireland, #6 in Australia, #16 in Denmark, #25 in Germany and #17 in Spain. Sinitta's "Right Back Where We Started From" also reached #48 in the Netherlands and became the singer's only chart item in her native US reaching #84 on Billboard's Hot 100 and #48 on the magazine's Hot Dance Chart (Maxi-single sales). It was certified silver by the BPI.[14]

Formats and track listings[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Right Back Where We Started From" - 3:16
  2. "I Just Can't Help It" - 3:43
12" Single
  1. "Right Back Where We Started From" (Left Back On The Side Mix) - 7:12
  2. "I Just Can't Help It" - 3:43
  3. "Right Back Where We Started From" - 3:16

Right Back Where We Started From served as the title cut for a Sinitta retrospective released in 2009.

Other versions[edit]

  • Celly Campello included a Portuguese rendering of the song: "Vamos começar tudo outra vez", on her 1976 eponymous album.
  • Anita Sarawak recorded the song for her 1976 album Sophisticated Lady.
  • Birgitta Wollgård recorded the song for her 1978 album Ställd Mot Väggen.
  • A Dutch rendering: "Jij maakt mij stapelgek", was introduced in 1991 by Flemish singer Sylviane [Coigné]: Bouke remade the song for his 2008 In mijn gedachten album. Another Dutch rendering: "Een, twee, drie", recorded by Bart Kaëll, reached #32 on the Dutch charts in Belgium in 1995.
  • Marcia Hines' 1996 album Discotheque - composed of covers of classic dance hits - included a remake of "Right Back Where We Started From".
  • The 2000 direct-to-video animated Walt Disney Pictures film An Extremely Goofy Movie featured a cover of "Right Back Where We Started From" by Cleopatra. The Cleopatra cover was also later included on the soundtrack for the 2008 Disney film College Road Trip.
  • Alternative rock band Lazlo Bane covered the song for their Guilty Pleasures album. However the title was changed to "Get Right Back".
  • The 2008 self-titled debut album of indie rock band Army Navy,[15] included a cover of the song as a bonus track. It was recently used in the Shrek Forever After teaser trailer. and also the featured in the trailer for Parental Guidance.
  • The Jonas Brothers sampled the main riff of the song for their track "Keep It Real" on their 2009 album, Lines, Vines and Trying Times.
  • René Froger recorded the song for his 2010 album Hollands Glorie.
  • Dutch singer Johnny Valentino has a 20 February 2010 single release with a translation of "Right Back Where We Started From", entitled "Het Gaat Gebeuren" ("It will happen").
  • Boston Bruins organist Ron Poster plays a rendition of the song during games.
  • The Hanson Brothers recorded a punk rock version of the song. It was featured in the soundtrack of Slap Shot 3: The Junior League under the title "Get it Right Back". [16]
  • In 2012, The Chandler Travis Philharmonic[17] recorded a version for a fund raising cd titled "Super Hits Of The Seventies" for radio station WFMU.
  • The 2013-2014 New York Rangers have been using this song in the locker room after victories.