Welcome Back (John Sebastian song)

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"Welcome Back"
German cover
Single by John Sebastian
from the album Welcome Back
B-side"Warm Baby"
ReleasedMarch 1976
GenreFolk rock, blues rock
Songwriter(s)John Sebastian
Producer(s)Steve Barri, John Sebastian
John Sebastian singles chronology
"She's A Lady"
"Welcome Back"

"Welcome Back" is a popular record that was the theme song of the 1970s American television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.[1] Written and recorded by former Lovin' Spoonful frontman John Sebastian, it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week in May 1976 after only five weeks on the chart, and also topped the adult contemporary chart[2] (the show itself had become an instant ratings success upon its premiere the previous fall). It also reached No. 93 on the country chart.


TV producer Alan Sachs wanted a Lovin' Spoonful-like theme song for a new ABC sitcom entitled Kotter.

Chart performance[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The song is featured twice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023). It is first used in an opening montage depicting Scott Lang's (portrayed by Paul Rudd) life following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), and is used again in a similar montage at the end of the film after Lang and his family escape from the Quantum Realm and defeat Kang the Conqueror (portrayed by Jonathan Majors).[13]

Other versions[edit]

  • Northern California experimental band Mr. Bungle covered the song on January 13, 1992, in back-to-back English and Spanish versions, at The Berkeley Square in Berkeley, California.
  • Canadian country music artist Chris Cummings covered the song in 2009 and released his version as a single. The version was later included on his 2010 album Give Me Tonight.
  • The song was sampled by rapper Lupe Fiasco for his song "Welcome Back Chilly", rapper Mase for his song "Welcome Back", hip hop group Onyx in their song "Slam Harder", and by rapper AZ for his song "Once Again".[citation needed]
  • Swedish dream pop group jj recorded a version of the song in 2009. This version of the song is used in the trailer for the second season of MTV's Scream.[14]
  • The song is often used by Atlanta Braves organist Matthew Kaminski for former Braves players when they are at bat for their current team.
  • The artist Rumer recorded it for her 2012 album Boys Don't Cry.
  • On May 1, 2020, Count Bass D released a cover of the song on his Bandcamp site, commenting, "This take is a nod to the light at the end of this Coronavirus tunnel. It's a peaceful piano rendition aimed to help with the stress of these times."[15]
  • In season 5 of "Scrubs", J.D. leads the group in a rendition of "Welcome Back Coxer" after Dr. Cox takes a hiatus from work.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Judy, Stephen (1976). "Editor's Page: Welcome Back". The English Journal. 65 (6): 7–8. ISSN 0013-8274. JSTOR 814547. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 217.
  3. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 267. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  4. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Lyrics: Welcome Back by John Sebastian". Top40db.net. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  8. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 10/29/77". www.cashboxmagazine.com:80. Archived from the original on January 20, 2008. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  9. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  10. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1976/Top 100 Songs of 1976". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Top 50 Adult Contemporary Hits of 1976
  12. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles - 1976".
  13. ^ Iacobucci, Jordan (February 17, 2023). "Every Song in Ant-Man & the Wasp: Quantumania". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  14. ^ ""Welcome Back" ("Welcome Back, Kotter" theme song)". Pitchfork. September 8, 2009. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  15. ^ "Welcome Back - Count Bass D". Bandcamp. May 1, 2020. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  16. ^ "Welcome back cox". Scrubs. Season 5. Episode 22. May 9, 2006. Retrieved August 6, 2023 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]