Goin' Back

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • "Goin' Back" is the opening track on Comes A Time, a mellow, melodic record that gave little hint of the hard-driving Rust Never Sleeps that would come a year later.

    In the chorus of "Goin' Back," Young sings about a simple yearning for return to a freer past, but everything else in the song's lyrics is just plain weird. At times, they're almost apocalyptic. There's a sky filled with fire and Earth rocks careening through space. There are people torn apart by the shadows of buildings and high mountains sunken in cities. That sense of confusion and dissociation is actually the point of the song.

    "Goin' Back" is "sorta like the debris of the '60s," Young says in Jimmy McDonough's Shakey. "There's nowhere to stay, nowhere to go and nothin' to do. You could go anywhere..."

    Lots of musicians from the fabled '60s just pretended to be part of the hippie scene in order to appear hip, but Young's participation was about as real as it gets. He's been singing about the hippie dream and the loss of '60s pretty much since the moment the decade and the movement ended.

    Like one of the great painters who does a long series of works rendering the same object or theme over and over again, Young has taken us to the territory many times over the course of his career. What makes "Goin' Back" unique in that canon is that there's little on the surface to give away the subject matter.
  • Young recorded the guitars for this song at Triad recording studios in Florida, a place that had only recently been opened up by a couple relatively neophytes to the music business. He took those tracks down to Nashville where he did overdubbing himself.
  • Young is very fond of the final product. "That's one of my favorite records," he says in Shakey. "It's funky. Not that it's technically great, that's for sure... There's something there that's me, that record."
  • Nicolette Larson, best known for her version of Young's "Lotta Love," sings harmony on this song.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Mike Scott of The WaterboysSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Whole Of The Moon" and "Red Army Blues," and why rock music has "outlived its era of innovation."

Yoko OnoSongwriter Interviews

At 80 years old, Yoko has 10 #1 Dance hits. She discusses some of her songs and explains what inspired John Lennon's return to music in 1980.

Dan ReedSongwriter Interviews

Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Vince ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.