You Gotta Go There to Come Back

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You Gotta Go There to Come Back
Studio album by
Released2 June 2003
RecordedJanuary 2002 – January 2003 in England
ProducerKelly Jones
Stereophonics chronology
Just Enough Education to Perform
You Gotta Go There to Come Back
Language. Sex. Violence. Other?
Singles from You Gotta Go There to Come Back
  1. "Madame Helga"
    Released: 19 May 2003
  2. "Maybe Tomorrow"
    Released: 21 July 2003
  3. "Since I Told You It's Over"
    Released: 10 November 2003
  4. "Moviestar"
    Released: 9 February 2004

You Gotta Go There to Come Back is the fourth studio album by alternative rock band Stereophonics. Produced by Kelly Jones and released on V2 in 2003, this LP became their third consecutive album to top the UK chart, selling 101,946 copies in its first week alone. It is the final Stereophonics album to feature long-time original drummer Stuart Cable before he was fired in September 2003.


Kelly Jones produced the album himself, working fast in hoping to capture the "vibe" of the band's concerts; "I wanted to create a record that was very raw, very spontaneous but had loads of detail and textures and layers," Jones noted, "We pushed ourselves in many places we've never been before."[3] He later recalled that recording the album was, for many years, the best recording experience the band ever had, saying: "All the crew were in the room, all the girlfriends were in the room, all the band were there, it was the best recording session ever. It just felt like a fucking really good time."[4]

Musical and lyrical style[edit]

You Gotta Go There to Come Back features a blues rock styled sound in the mold of early 1970s rock bands,[2] and also displays influences of garage rock and soul.[4] Kelly Jones described the album, with its "very 70s, Stevie Wonder, rock overdub feel", as the fulfillment of his desire to make an album like his favourite soul music: "I was really into soul music - it’s not something I’m ashamed about. I was brought up on Stevie Wonder and I love Talking Book and all the overdubs on it, and all that freestyling Marvin Gaye thing. I’d always wanted to make a record like that, and this was the first one I produced so that’s probably why I went 'Fuck it I’m just going to do it'."[4] The NME felt that the album's "retro-garage" style made it "accidentally hip," comparing it to acclaimed contemporary garage rock revival "headbanger blues" bands like the White Stripes,[2] a sentiment also shared by music critic Neil McCormick.[3]

Throughout the album there are "different moods and changes." Jones stated: "Every few bars, when your brain's saying, 'Have you heard that now', I wanted to put something new in there." He felt this set the album apart from most other contemporary albums, which he felt "sound like one song from beginning to end."[3] Jack Smith of the BBC detected influences from AC/DC, Stevie Wonder, the Isley Brothers and Creedence Clearwater.[5] The album also sporadically features "ornate strings reminiscent of Chris Farlowe's British soul in the 1960s."[3] Jones' emotional lyrics for the albums draw on his break-up with his girlfriend of 12 years, and one critic noted how Jones' "life unfolds through words" on the album.[1] Jones said of the lyrics:

"The songwriting has changed because as a person you change. It's been an emotional rollercoaster these last two years, whether it be divorce, sex, drink, drugs, arguments, whatever it might be, I can only write about what I'm experiencing. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them, learning about yourself and becoming a better person. That's what the title of the album basically means."[3]

The opening song, "Help Me (She's Out Of Her Mind)", has been described as "easy funk", and comparisons were drawn between Jones' vocals on the song and John Lennon's "Cold Turkey" vocals.[5] Jason MacNeil of PopMatters compared the "moody, murky blues rock" song to Southern soul, while describing "Maybe Tomorrow" as "English soul."[6] Lead single "Madame Helga" has been described as gospel[1] and glam metal,[2][3] with "dirty guitars duplicating a funky brass section."[3] The acoustic, country-styled "Climbing the Wall" features horn and string sections and a Southern rock guitar solo,[6][1] while the "pseudo-experimentalism" of "I'm Alright (You Gotta Go There To Come Back)" features looped drums and a piano.[7] The quieter "Rainbows and Pots of Gold" has soul influences and concerns "a friend who stole [Jones'] girl."[3]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
BBC Wales4/5 stars[9]
Mojo2/5 stars[10]
Q3/5 stars[11]

Critical response[edit]

You Gotta Go There to Come Back received generally mixed reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 60 based on 10 reviews.[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

You Gotta Go There to Come Back joined its predecessors at #1 on release. It was re-issued with bonus tracks in February 2004, coming into the UK charts again at #35, finally re-entering at #16 in September 2004. It was the 28th biggest selling album of 2003 in the UK.[13] The track "Maybe Tomorrow" became one of their biggest hits; it was played over the credits of the Academy Award-winning movie Crash (2004) and also during the opening scene of the film Wicker Park (2004). It was also used in a season one episode of One Tree Hill and featured on the first Charmed soundtrack.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kelly Jones[14].

1."Help Me (She's Out of Her Mind)"6:55
2."Maybe Tomorrow"4:33
3."Madame Helga"3:55
4."You Stole My Money Honey"4:18
6."Climbing the Wall"4:55
8."I'm Alright (You Gotta Go There to Come Back)"4:36
9."Nothing Precious at All"4:20
10."Rainbows and Pots of Gold"4:11
11."I Miss You Now"4:50
12."High as the Ceiling"3:19
13."Since I Told You It's Over"4:43
Total length:59:12

Bonus tracks[edit]

The track "Moviestar" appears on later editions of the album as track 4 and was released with a DVD containing the videos for the singles.

Vinyl editions[edit]

The album was released in gatefold sleeve at first, containing two records. When "Moviestar" was included on the album the gatefold sleeve contained three records.


This album is the only Stereophonics record which features both Stuart Cable and Javier Weyler. Cable played drums on most tracks as the band's drummer and Weyler, who replaced Cable as the band's drummer in 2005, contributed to the record as an engineer, programmer and percussionist.

The drums on the track "I'm Alright (You Gotta Go There To Come Back)'" are supposedly played by Mac Hine. This is a nod to the drum machine which was used on the track instead of real live drumming.



  1. ^ a b c d e Wilson, MAcKenzie. You Gotta Go There to Come Back at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b c d e Dalton, Stephen (7 June 2003). "Stereophonics : You Gotta Go There To Come Back". NME. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h McCormick, Neil (17 April 2003). "Let's be nice to the Stereophonics". Telegraph. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Burrows, Marc (8 March 2013). "Album by Album: Kelly Jones on the Stereophonic's Back Catalogue". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Jack (2003). "HOMECLIPS Stereophonics You Gotta Go There To Come Back Review". BBC. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b MacNeil, Jason (9 October 2003). "Stereophonics You Gotta Go There to Come Back". PopMatters. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  7. ^ Future, Andrew (17 May 2003). "Stereophonics You Gotta Go There To Come Back". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  8. ^ a b "You Gotta Go There To Come Back". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  9. ^ Smith, Jack (2003). "Stereophonics You Gotta Go There To Come Back Review". BBC Cymru Wales. BBC. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  10. ^ "Stereophonics: You Gotta Go There To Come Back". Mojo. July 2003. p. 107.
  11. ^ "Stereophonics: You Gotta Go There To Come Back". Q. July 2003. p. 109.
  12. ^ "Stereophonics - You Gotta Go There To Come Back". Uncut. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  13. ^ "UK Top 40 Hit Database". Every Hit. Archived from the original on 12 October 2008. Retrieved 28 February 2010.
  14. ^ a b c You Gotta Go There To Come Back (CD booklet). Stereophonics. V2 Records. 2003.CS1 maint: others (link)
  15. ^ a b c "You Gotta Go There to Come Back credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 July 2013.

External links[edit]