Written by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, the song was originally recorded by The Four Seasons in 1966, reaching No. 9 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. In the UK Top 50 chart it spent three weeks – all at No. 50. It is the only hit to feature the group's arranger Charles Calello in the temporary role of bassist/bass vocalist, having replaced original member Nick Massi.
The lyrics tell about a man who cheated on his girlfriend. When she leaves, he realizes that he did love her and is very remorseful about his past actions. He vows to win her love back. It is in some ways a re-casting of the melody from their previous hit, "Let's Hang On!".
Cash Box described it as a "raunchy, blues-drenched ode about a love-sick fella who hopes to be re-united with his ex-gal," and said that it has "money-in-the-bank-sound."
In 1979 American soul and R&B group the Spinners recorded a medley of "Working My Way Back to You" and Michael Zager's "Forgive Me Girl," staying at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in April 1980. On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the medley (released in December 1979 in the U.S.) peaked at the No. 2 position in March and April 1980 for two weeks, behind "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd. The Spinners' version also made it to No. 6 on the Soul Singles chart and No. 8 on the disco/dance chart. The version of the Spinners was taken up in French by the French Canadian singer Jean Nichol under the title "Je voudrais te retrouver" (I want to find you).
The Irish boybandBoyzone released a cover version of "Working My Way Back to You" as their debut single in May 1994. The song reached No. 3 on the Irish Singles Chart. It is one of their only singles to feature Mikey Graham on lead vocals.
The band later recorded a French version in collaboration with Alliage. This French version of the track is credited as being a major turning point in the career of producer-songwriter Steve Mac. A lack of interest from the "usual producers" led to Polydor phoning up Mac and asking him to take on the role, and by doing he effectively made a decisive progression from his early dance-pop singles to the mature balladry he has since made a very successful career out of.