Goin' Back

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"Goin' Back"
D the D
Single by Dusty Springfield
B-side"I'm Gonna Leave You"
ReleasedJuly 1, 1966
RecordedJune 15, 1966
StudioPhilips Studio, Stanhope Place, London
Songwriter(s)Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer(s)Johnny Franz
Dusty Springfield singles chronology
"You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"
"Goin' Back"
"All I See Is You"
"Goin' Back"
1967 Dutch picture sleeve.
Single by The Byrds
from the album The Notorious Byrd Brothers
B-side"Change Is Now"
ReleasedOctober 20, 1967
RecordedOctober 9, 11 and 16, 1967
StudioColumbia Studios, Hollywood, CA
GenreBaroque pop, country rock
Songwriter(s)Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer(s)Gary Usher
The Byrds singles chronology
"Lady Friend"
"Goin' Back"
"You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"
Audio sample
"Goin' Back"
"Going Back"
Single by Phil Collins
from the album Going Back
B-side"Papa Was a Rolling Stone"
ReleasedDecember 3, 2010
StudioDinemec Studio, Geneva
G 7022
Songwriter(s)Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer(s)Phil Collins
Phil Collins singles chronology
"(Love Is Like a) Heatwave"
"Going Back"

"Goin' Back" (a.k.a. "Going Back") is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King in 1966.[1] It describes the loss of innocence that comes with adulthood, along with an attempt, on the part of the singer, to recapture that youthful innocence.[2][3] The song has been recorded by many artists, including Dusty Springfield, Goldie Zelkowitz, the Byrds, Elkie Brooks, Blerta, Ricky Ross (of Deacon Blue), Marianne Faithfull, Bill Drummond (of the KLF), Nils Lofgren, Freddie Mercury (on a Larry Lurex single), the Move, the New Seekers, the Pretenders, Diana Ross, Richard Thompson, Phil Collins, The Icicle Works and Bon Jovi, as well as by Carole King herself.[4]

Dusty Springfield's version[edit]

Although Goldie (of Goldie & the Gingerbreads) was the first artist to record the song, her version was withdrawn following disagreements with Goffin and King over the song's lyrics.[5][6] Carole King then decided to record "Goin' Back" herself, but ultimately she offered it to Dusty Springfield instead.[5] Springfield went on to have an international hit with the song and, consequently, it is her version that is considered the most well known.[5]

Springfield's version of "Goin' Back" was recorded on June 15, 1966 at Philips Studios, Stanhope Place, London, with musical accompaniment by Peter Knight and production by Johnny Franz.[7] It was released as a single on July 1, 1966, reaching number 10 in the UK Singles Chart, but was not released as a single in the U.S.[5][8][9]

Although "Goin' Back" was not included on any of Dusty Springfield's studio albums during the 1960s, it can be found on a number of her compilations, including Greatest Hits, Goin' Back: The Very Best of Dusty Springfield, Songbooks, Complete A and B-sides: 1963–1970, Live at the BBC, and the UK version of Golden Hits.[10]

Chart history (Dusty Springfield)[edit]

Chart (1966) Peak
Australian Go-Set [11] 9
New Zealand (Listener)[12] 15
Singapore Singles Chart[13] 6
UK Singles Chart[14] 10

The Byrds' version[edit]

The Byrds' recording of "Goin' Back" was released as a single on October 20, 1967 and reached number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100, but failed to chart in the United Kingdom.[15][16] The song was also included on the Byrds' 1968 album, The Notorious Byrd Brothers. The track has a subtle country feel to it; a sound the Byrds would later explore more prominently on their Sweetheart of the Rodeo album.[2]

The band's decision to record "Goin' Back" led to tensions within the group, principally due to rhythm guitarist David Crosby's lack of enthusiasm towards the song.[17] Crosby considered "Goin' Back" to be lightweight fluff, typical of the Brill Building style of songwriting.[17] He was therefore dismayed to find that his own song, "Triad", was in direct competition with "Goin' Back" for a place on The Notorious Byrd Brothers.[18] Ultimately, Crosby was fired from the band and "Goin' Back" was included on the album and released as a single.[19]

It has been erroneously claimed by some critics that the version of "Goin' Back" found on the Byrds' single release is a completely different take to the one that appeared on The Notorious Byrd Brothers album.[3] However, an examination of the Byrds' recording session logs by Rogan reveals that, in fact, the single version is the same take as the version found on the album.[20][21] The single version does feature a slightly different mono mix, which may have been the cause of this confusion.

In addition to the original release, the mono single mix of "Goin' Back" has also appeared on the 1982 compilation album The Original Singles: 1967–1969, Volume 2,[3] the 2002 compilation LP The Columbia Singles '65-'67,[22] and the 2012 Japanese CD Original Singles A's & B's 1965–1971.

In addition to its appearance on The Notorious Byrd Brothers album, the Byrds' recording of "Goin' Back" can also be found on several Byrds' compilations, including The Byrds' Greatest Hits Volume II, History of The Byrds, The Original Singles: 1967–1969, Volume 2, The Byrds, The Very Best of The Byrds, There Is a Season, and the UK version of The Best of The Byrds: Greatest Hits, Volume II.[2] Additionally, an early, alternate version of "Goin' Back" was included as a bonus track on the 1997 Columbia/Legacy reissue of The Notorious Byrd Brothers.[18]

Other cover versions[edit]

Carole King released her own recording of "Goin' Back" on her 1970 album Writer, and later re-recorded the song for her Pearls: Songs of Goffin and King album in 1980.[23][24]

The New Seekers recorded and released a folk rock version of "Goin' Back" as part of their 1973 album Now. The track featured band member Peter Doyle as the lead vocalist on this, his last album with the group.

Additionally, "Goin' Back" was recorded by Freddie Mercury in 1973, featuring guitar by Brian May and drums by Roger Taylor, and was released under the pseudonym Larry Lurex.[25]

Nils Lofgren recorded Goin' Back on his first eponymous solo album in 1975 and it has been a signature tune for his live shows ever since.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band covered "Goin' Back" in concert during a four night stint at The Roxy in Los Angeles on October 15–19, 1975. It can be heard on the recording of the October 18 early show that was released as part of Springsteen's live archive series on December 7, 2018.

"Goin' Back" was also recorded by Elkie Brooks on her 1982 album Pearls II, and by Diana Ross on her Love & Life: The Very Best of Diana Ross album in 2001.[26][27]

In 1983, Renée Geyer and Glenn Shorrock released a live version as a single from Geyer's live album, Renée Live. The song peaked at number 65 on the Australian Kent Music Report.[28]

In 1986, The Icicle Works released a version on their Seven Horses Deep EP, under the song title “Going Back”.

In 2011, Irish footballer Paul McGrath covered "Goin' Back" as part of an album of cover versions, with a percentage of the album's proceeds going to the Acquired Brain Injury Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Ireland.[29]

"Goin' Back" has also been recorded by Eydie Gormé (album: It Was a Good Time/ 1971), Johnny Logan (album: Straight From the Heart/ 1985), Marianne Faithfull (album: Horses and High Heels/ 2011), and by Phil Collins in 2010.


  1. ^ "Carole King Songs". Carole King Official Website. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  2. ^ a b c "Goin' Back by The Byrds review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  3. ^ a b c "The Notorious Byrd Brothers". ByrdWatcher: A Field Guide to the Byrds of Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  4. ^ "Goin' Back cover versions". Allmusic. Archived from the original on September 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  5. ^ a b c d "Lyn Paul – 1966". The Lyn Paul Website. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  6. ^ "Goldie & The Gingerbreads Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  7. ^ "Dusty Springfield: The 1960s Recording Sessions". www.wonderboymi.com. Archived from the original on 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  8. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. p. 838. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8.
  9. ^ "Dusty Springfield Discography 1963–2005". Dusty Springfield: Woman Of Repute. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  10. ^ "Goin' Back by Dusty Springfield album appearances". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  11. ^ Billboard Magazine, October, 1966. October 1966. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  12. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 21 October 1966
  13. ^ Billboard Magazine, November, 1966. 5 November 1966. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  14. ^ "Dusty Springfield: Artist Chart History". Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel. (2008). Top Pop Singles 1955–2006. Record Research Inc. p. 130. ISBN 978-0-89820-172-7.
  16. ^ Brown, Tony. (2000). The Complete Book of the British Charts. Omnibus Press. p. 130. ISBN 0-7119-7670-8.
  17. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 229. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.
  18. ^ a b Rogan, Johnny. (1997). The Notorious Byrd Brothers (1997 CD liner notes).
  19. ^ Menck, Ric. (2007). The Notorious Byrd Brothers (33​13 series). Continuum Books. pp. 91–92. ISBN 978-0-8264-1717-6.
  20. ^ Rogan, Johnny. (1998). The Byrds: Timeless Flight Revisited (2nd ed.). Rogan House. p. 623. ISBN 0-9529540-1-X.
  21. ^ Hjort, Christopher. (2008). So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star: The Byrds Day-By-Day (1965–1973). Jawbone Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-906002-15-2.
  22. ^ "The Columbia Singles '65-'67". Sundazed Records. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  23. ^ "Writer review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  24. ^ "Pearls/Time Gone By review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  25. ^ "Freddie Mercury or Larry Lurex". Freddie Mercury: Music? Not Only... Archived from the original on 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  26. ^ "Pearls II review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  27. ^ "Love & Life: The Very Best of Diana Ross review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-19.
  28. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  29. ^ "Ex-Manchester United and Aston Villa star Paul McGrath begins music career". Metro. Retrieved 2011-09-09.

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