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Go Your Own Way

March 24, 2023

I have always had a great appreciation for the musical group Fleetwood Mac. I was writing music at the same time they were at their zenith and I heard their songs daily. Although their style and mine are different, I found a great deal to learn from their compositions. There are personal reasons as well for my admiration.

Of their songs, Go Your Own Way always seems to stand out for me. Why? I suppose it’s the driving rhythm generated by Mick Fleetwood crunching on the drums and Lindsey Buckingham’s wonderful guitar work. It’s a great blend. Written and sung by Lindsey Buckingham, it became the band’s first top ten hit in the United States. This song in particular and above their others has stayed with me for so many years.

I often play along with certain CD recordings in an attempt to keep up my chops on the guitar. Go Your Own Way is one of the best songs I know of to keep up one’s skills at lead guitar in a rhythmic setting. It is also strangely therapeutic. Note: This song is played best with the volume turned up super high. Give it a listen here:

The following background was taken from

  • Lindsey Buckingham wrote this as a message to Stevie Nicks. It describes their breakup, with the most obvious line being, “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do.” Stevie insisted she never shacked up with anyone when they were going out, and wanted Lindsey to take out the line, but he refused.

    Stevie Nicks told Q magazine June 2009: “It was certainly a message within a song. And not a very nice one at that.”

  • While the Rumours album was being recorded, the marriage of John and Christine McVie (both of them Mac members) was also coming to an end. With two couples breaking up during the sessions, recording could be quite tense. They were also doing lots of drugs at the sessions, making sure there was plenty of Behind The Music material.
  • This was the first single from the Rumours album, which became one of the best-selling of all time. Describing the recording process for this song in Q magazine, drummer Mick Fleetwood said: “‘Go Your Own Way’s’ rhythm was a tom-tom structure that Lindsey demoed by hitting Kleenex boxes or something. I never quite got to grips with what he wanted, so the end result was my mutated interpretation. It became a major part of the song, a completely back-to-front approach that came, I’m ashamed to say, from capitalizing on my own ineptness. There was some conflict about the ‘crackin’ up, shackin’ up’ line, which Stevie felt was unfair, but Lindsey felt strongly about. It was basically, On your bike, girl!”
  • Fleetwood Mac is not known for their guitar solos, but Lindsey Buckingham’s solo on this is one of his most notable.

    PS – My friend and mentor Christine McVie passed away on my birthday last year. What a blow to the music world. I am still at a loss for words.

    Please let me know your feelings about this song.

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From → America, History, Music

  1. Great song by a talented group. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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