Meaning of Back to Black by Amy Winehouse & Song Story

The title track from the album Back to Black, the second and last in Amy Winehouse’s discography, captivated music lovers, music critics and the singer’s colleagues. The composition rose high in the charts and was sold in huge numbers in several countries. It entered the lists of the best songs, received numerous accolades and was covered by famous performers.

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse Song History

Amy co-wrote the song with Mark Ronson. They used the services of one publishing house and met at the initiative of the company’s management.

Mark remembers:

It was in New York, in March 2006, in the studio that I then had on Mercer Street. She said she thought I was some old man with a beard, like Rick Rubin. I just thought, “Let’s talk about music. Let’s see what she likes.” She said she enjoyed going to bars and clubs, playing snooker with a guy and listening to The Shangri-Las…

I said that right now I can’t play anything for her, but if she lets me work on something for one night, she can come back tomorrow. So I wrote a little piano riff that became the chords for the Back to Black verse. I layered it on the drum parts, tambourine and a ton of reverb. She came back the next day and really enjoyed it.

Mojo, 2010

Ronson also said that the song “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” by The Shangri-Las was his biggest inspiration.

The meaning of Back to Black

The lyrics were written by Amy Winehouse while going through a breakup with Blake Fielder-Civil. The singer talked about who the song Back to Black is about in several interviews:

Back to Black is when you ended the relationship and returned to what is comfortable for you. My ex went back to his girlfriend and I went back to drinking and the dark times.

Sun, 2006

All songs [в альбоме Back to Black] about the state of my relationship with Blake. Never in my life have I felt such feelings for anything as I did for him. It was akin to catharsis, because I was horrified by the way we treated each other. I thought we would never see each other. Now he’s laughing about it, like, “Are you saying you really thought we’d never see each other? We love each other. We have always loved each other.” But it doesn’t seem funny to me. I wanted to die.

Rolling Stone 2007

Recording and release

The composition was recorded in several studios: first at New York’s Chung King Studios and Daptone Studios, and then at London’s Metropolis Studios. Mark Ronson is the producer.

On April 30, 2007, Back to Black was released as the third single from the album of the same name. Immediately after the release, the track did not rise high in the charts. Immediately after the death of Amy Winehouse, the song hit the charts again. It reached number one in Greece and also reached the top 10 in Austria, the UK, Germany, Sweden and several other countries.

The song was certified platinum in the US for sales of over a million copies. The track sold 340,000 copies in the UK.

Video clip of Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

The music video for Back to Black – Amy Winehouse was directed by Phil Griffin.

Watch also the music video from the documentary Amy (2015), in which Amy Winehouse records the song Back to Black with Mark Ronson.

Cover versions

Subsequently, the composition was performed by The Rumble Strips, Lightspeed Champion, Ronnie Spector and other musicians.

The most popular cover was Back to Black in the version of Beyonce and Andre 3000 (Andre 3000). She was included in the soundtrack of the film “The Great Gatsby” (The Great Gatsby).

Interesting Facts

  • In the clip, the inscription RIP the Heart of Amy Winehouse is visible on the grave.
  • Mitch Winehouse, Amy’s father, criticized Beyoncé and Andre 3000’s version, saying they didn’t bring anything new to the song.

Back to Black Lyrics

He left no time to regret
Kept his dick wet
With his same old safe bet
Me and my head high
And my tears dry
Get on without my guy
You went back to what you knew
So far removed from all that we went through
And I read a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to
I go back to us

I love you much
It’s not enough
You love blow, and I love puff
And life is like a pipe
And I’m a tiny penny rolling up the walls inside

Chorus x2

Black, black, black, black
Black, black, black
I go back to
I go back to

Chorus x2

Back to Black Lyrics – Amy Winehouse

He didn’t regret it for long.
And, not having time to dry the farm,
Put on the old win-win option.
High, head held high
I wiped away my tears
And I continue to live without a boyfriend.
You’re back to what you knew before
Detached from everything we’ve been through
And I go on my restless way.
Fate played the cards
I will return to darkness

We said goodbye only in words,
I have died a hundred times.
You return to her
And I’m coming back
I return to us.

I love you so much,
But this is not enough.
You like to sniff, and I like to blow.
And life is like a pipe
On the walls of which I roll a small coin.

Chorus – 2 times

Darkness, darkness, darkness, darkness
Darkness, darkness, darkness
I return to…
I return to…

Chorus – 2 times

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