The Story of... 'Back for Good' by Take That

18 January 2024, 13:16 | Updated: 18 January 2024, 14:11

Take That
Picture: RCA/YouTube

By Tom Eames

Take That's number one single 'Back for Good' is the ultimate 1990s ballad, and we still can't help but passionately sing along whenever we hear it.

But what was the story behind the classic love song? Here's everything you need to know about the tune...

  1. Who wrote it?

    Gary Barlow in 1994
    Gary Barlow in 1994. Picture: Getty

    The song was written by Gary Barlow, who also sang lead vocals on the track.

    It was engineered by OMD keyboard player Phil Coxon.

    Barlow claimed he wrote the song in just 15 minutes, and it was included on their 1995 album Nobody Else.

  2. They debuted it at the Brit Awards

    Take That - Back for Good (live at The BRIT Awards 1995)

    In an unusual move, the song was unveiled for the first time at the 1995 BRIT Awards.

    As it was the age before the Internet, demand was so high for the song, that its release date was brought forward.

    The song was made available to the media an unprecedented six weeks before release, a rarity at the time.

  3. The band got ill making the music video

    Take That - Back for Good (Official Video)

    The song's famous music video was shot in black and white, and shows the band walking and dancing in the rain.

    Most of the footage was shot at the backlot of Pinewood Studios, and was the last music video to feature Robbie Williams until 2010.

    The cars used in the video were a 1958 Chevrolet Impala and a 1951 Mercury Custom, both customised in the styles of the late 1950s/early 1960s.

    Due to spending so long in cold and wet conditions, several members of the band became ill afterwards with flu.

  4. It was Take That's biggest hit

    Take That interview: Band reflect on 10 years as a trio ahead of new album: "You know Robbie, he might come back"

    The song entered the UK Singles Chart at number one, selling nearly 350,000 copies in its first week. It was one of the fastest-selling singles of the year, selling almost as much as the rest of the Top 10 that week added together.

    It was number one in the UK for four weeks, and is their biggest-selling single. It is also the biggest-selling boyband single ever in the UK, with sales of 1.2 million as of September 2017.

    It also reached number seven in the US, making them the first British boy band to achieve a top ten single there in the 1990s, with 5ive the only other group to do so that decade.

    It took 17 years before The Wanted and One Direction also achieved the feat for a British boyband.

  5. Barry Gibb denied writing it

    How Deep Is Your Love (Odyssey Version)

    It was supposedly rumoured that the Bee Gees helped write the song.

    Speaking to The Guardian in 2013, Barry Gibb denied this was the case, saying he has "never even heard" the song.

    Take That and Barry Gibb eventually teamed up for a duet of 'How Deep Is Your Love' in 2018, a song which was a hit for both groups.

  6. Noel Gallagher is a big fan

    He said: "If it touches people, it's a good song.

    "You know, people go on about Take That – but 'Back for Good' said something to me. And if it touches me…"

  7. Robbie covered it as a hard rock anthem

    Back For Good - Robbie Williams - ROCK version

    As a way of mocking his boy band roots, Robbie Williams often performed a 'hard rock' live version in the style of the Sex Pistols, and it was also the B-side to his single 'Angels'.

    He eventually performed this version with Take That, after receiving his Brit Icon Award in 2016.

  8. Boyz II Men covered it, along with many others

    Back For Good

    Cover versions include:

    - Boyz II Men

    - McAlmont & Butler

    - Coldplay (live, with Gary Barlow)

    - JLS

    - Boyce Avenue