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Back for Good – Take That

Remember 1995? Sure you do. It was the year boy band Boyz II Men owned the charts with two of the longest-running #1 songs of all time. In fact, their duet with Mariah Carey on “One Sweet Day” still holds the record for the song to hold the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 for 16 weeks. That’s four months, my friends. That’s a really, really long time.

If you remember Boyz II Men, you no doubt remember the British boy band called Take That. In the early 1990s, they notched multiple number one hits on the British charts, but chart success in the United States proved elusive. Until “Back for Good” hit the airwaves.

This sensitive ballad quickly raced to the number one position in England in March 2005 and sold 300,000 copies in its first week. Four weeks later it was still number one and hold sold nearly 1 million copies.

Listen to “Back for Good” by Take That

Read the “Back for Good” lyrics

American listeners didn’t love the song nearly as much. But they did love it enough to propel it all the way to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. That was good enough to secure one-hit wonder status for one of England’s brightest boy-band talents. A band that also launched the career of Robbie Williams who has 30 Top 40 singles in Britain but has not yet landed a single song in the American Top 40.

Fame is a curious, fickle beast.

Perhaps most important, “Back for Good” was also featured in the final episode of the original British version of The Office, produced by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. It was the love theme for Tim and Dawn (the British equivalent of the American version of The Office’s Tim and Pam). If you haven’t seen the British version of the The Office, order it on NetFlix today. It is sheer comedic brilliance. The fact Ricky Gervais used “Back to Good” in his best TV show gives the song massive credibility, even if it was used in a ironic manner.

And to come full circle with the comparison to Boyz II Men, that chart-topping band covered “Back for Good” for their Love album. That version didn’t chart.

Buy Back for Good by Take That

Watch “Back for Good” video by Take That

Written by

I'm an obsessive music collector, cataloger, commenter and trivia nut. Sometimes I'm even a listener. One-hit wonders have always been a guilty pleasure.

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8 Responses to "Back for Good – Take That"

  1. Matt Thurston says:

    “Back for Good” has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. My second favorite latter-day boy-band hit after Backstreet Boys “I Want if That Way.”

    Robbie Williams’ writing partner for at least two albums, including the 8-million copies sold “Intensive Care” in 2005, was one of my all-time favorite songwriters, Stephen Duffy.

  2. Michael Waterman says:


    It’s amazing how often Stephen Duffy’s name appears in the mix. I knew about his connections to Barenaked Ladies but never Take That. The man is a hitmeister who must live very well on royalties from other people singing his songs.

    And yes, I’ll admit that there are a few boy band songs that get in my head and don’t leave for weeks. The one that lasted the longest was “Because of You” by 98 Degrees. So hooky and instantly singable. I think it was the bait that reeled in Jessica Simpson.

  3. Tar says:

    It pained me to see a song that is considered a classic being labeled as a one-hit-wonder here.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not upset or anything. Just feel it’s always a mysterious for me on what please americans.

    And I’m not from the UK.

  4. Michael Waterman says:

    It’s amazing to how an artist can have so many “hits” in one country but only hit the top 40 once in another. Take That is a great example. Lots of hits in England. Minimal chart success in the United States. Thanks for your comments and reading

  5. William says:

    This is a great song, but it amazes me that Take That is a one hit wonder in the US. I’m an American and have always made a point of picking up the most current Take That album (Beautiful World, The Circus, Progress) and their music is terrific. I think Gary Barlow is probably one of the best pop song writers alive. I’m so obsessed with them that I’m flying to London next summer to watch their sold-out stadium tour (and I’m not even embarrassed to admit it). If you want to know how popular ‘Back For Good’ is in the UK, watch the Diana Anniversary Concert from 2007. Take That closed the show with that song and everyone was singing along (that’s credibility).

    I’m surprised Robbie Williams didn’t have any top 40 hits. I’m no chart expert, but I thought ‘Rock DJ’, ‘Angels’, or ‘Millenium’ would have made it on the charts.

  6. Cj says:

    This song brings back cool memories. What it’s like to be young dumb and in love. Lol

  7. Siborg says:

    Take That a one hit wonder? Hahaha that’s a good one, been living in a cave for long?

  8. Michael Waterman says:


    Take That is a one-hit wonder in America, but not the UK where they were huge. So yes, the one-hit wonder distinction is correct–if you’re talking about the Billboard Top 40, which is what uses as the benchmark. Thanks for reading the site.

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