Posts Tagged ‘Carole King’

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, 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 the versionfrom writer Carole King herself

Carole King hit it big with Tapestry in 1971, but her first solo effort, 1970’s “Writer”, didn’t make much of an impact. After years of writing songs for other people, and in the wake of her divorce from Gerry Goffin, King was ready to stake out her independence, which included reclaiming some of those songs as her own. “Goin’ Back” falls into that category: It had already been recorded by Dusty Springfield and The Byrds, but King, much like she would do the next year with “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” dominates on her own version, a spirited ode to drawing from the past in order to step into the future: “Thinking young and growing older is no sin / And I can play the game of life to win.” Barely-there backing vocals from fellow troubadour James Taylor augment the song’s dreaminess, a show of support for King as she gains her “little bit of courage.” That surge carried King through to the No. 1 success of Tapestry, which would lead to a rediscovery of Writer that boosted it onto the charts a year later.

The Byrds recording of “Goin Back”  taken from the album Notorious Byrd Brothers, released as a single on October 20th, 1967 but failed to chart in the United Kingdom.  Musically, the track shares similarities with other songs on the album such as “Get To You” and “Natural Harmony”, through the use of baroque arrangements and instrumentation. The track also resembles a subtle country feel. 

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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. Crosby considered “Goin’ Back” to be lightweight fluff, style of songwriting.  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 album. Ultimately, Crosby was fired from the band and “Goin’ Back” was included on the album and released as a single.