Goin’ Back

Released July 1, 1966
Format 7″ single
Recorded June 15, 1966, Philips Studio, Stanhope Place, London
Genre Pop
Label Philips

Writer(s) Gerry Goffin, Carole King
Producer(s) Johnny Franz

“Goin’ Back” (a.k.a. “Going Back”) is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King in 1966. 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. The song has been recorded by many artists, including Dusty Springfield, Goldie Zelkowitz, The Byrds, Elkie Brooks, 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 and Bon Jovi as well as by Carole King herself.

Although Goldie (of Goldie & The Gingerbreads) was the first artist to record the song, her version was withdrawn following disagreements with Goffin and King over the song’s lyrics.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

Dusty’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. It was released as a single on July 1, 1966, reaching #10 in the UK Singles Chart but was not released as a single in the U.S.

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 version of “Goin’ Back” was included as a bonus track on the 1997 Columbia/Legacy reissue of The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

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. 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.

Other cover versions

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.

“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

Additionally, “Goin’ Back” was recorded by Larry Lurex in 1973, featuring vocals by Freddie Mercury, guitar by Brian May and drums by Roger Taylor.

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.

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 15–18, 1975.

“Goin’ Back” has also been recorded by Eydie Gormé (album: It Was a Good Time/ 1971), the New Seekers (album: Now/ 1973), Nils Lofgren (album: Nils Lofgren/ 1975), Johnny Logan (album: Straight From the Heart/ 1985), Marianne Faithfull (album: Horses and High Heels/ 2011), and by Phil Collins in 2016.