Go Your Own Way
Writer(s): Lindsey Buckingham (see lyrics here)
Released: December 1976
First Charted: January 1, 1977
Peak: 10 US, 10 CB, 10 HR, 8 RR, 45 AC, 1 CL, 38 UK, 11 CN, 20 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): -- US, 2.0 UK
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 124.5 video, 701.13 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
The recording sessions for Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours were frought with extensive drug use and fractured relationships. Bassist John McVie and singer Christine McVie’s marriage crumbled, as did drummer Mick Fleetwood’s. Guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks, who’d just joined the band on the previous album, were also splitting up. She’d been romantically linked with the Eagles’ Don Henley and Jefferson Starship’s Paul Kanter and written songs about her breakup with Buckingham.
He responded with “Go Your Own Way,” his “scathing” SJ “answer record” MA in which he slams her, singing, “shacking up is all you want to do.” Nicks demanded that he remove the lyric, but he kept it. She said he “knew it wasn’t true” WK and that she hadn’t been with anyone else while they were together. SF She said he wrote it to push her buttons, saying “I’ll make you suffer for leaving me.” WK
The song, in which Buckingham aspired to create a groove groove similar to the drum feel of the Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man,” WK became the lead single from Rumours and the band’s first top-ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. It produced demand for the album: pre-orders hit 800,000 copies, the largest advance sales in Warner Brothers’ history at that time. WK
Much of the album’s success can be attributed to Buckingham. He “had the studio savvy and production diligence to make their records far livelier models of craftmanship than ordinary pop-rock.” MA Co-producer Richard Dashpot said “It wasn’t necessary or even expedient for them all to be in the studio at once. Virtually every track is either an overdub, or lifted from a separate take of that particular song. What you hear is the best pieces assembled, a true aural college.” TC
First posted 4/10/2020; last updated 11/5/2022.