Named the “best break-up song ever recorded” by Fleetwood Mac News, “Go Your Own Way” is Lindsey Buckingham’s testimony to the world of his and lead singer, Stevie Nicks’ break up.
Released as a single in 1976, this track was the first debut from Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 album, Rumours. As an album that truly is about the rumours and tension within the band, “Go Your Own Way” is the perfect example of Fleetwood Mac’s drama. Band guitarist, Buckingham wrote this track after his complicated relationship with Nicks came to an end. Contradictory to their complicated relationship, this simple-lyric-song is where Buckingham forms his awareness that “Loving you/Isn’t the right thing to do” and even admits that he would have given Nicks his “world” but knows that she wouldn’t “take it from [him].” “Go Your Own Way” is Buckingham’s longing to move on. This song’s rhapsodic chorus will play over and over in your head.
To me, “Go Your Own Way” is more meaningful than the typical break-up songs. The consistent drumming and astounding guitar solo are imaginably one of the reasons why this rock song is a classic. The two-part harmony by Nicks and Buckingham in the chorus echoes their two-part relationship and break up. By singing this song, Nicks and Buckingham advance in parting their separate ways and unlike most exes, are forced to acknowledge the tension after their split. Though Buckingham attests his love for Nicks, he also fires shots at her, claiming that “packing up” and “shacking up is all [Nicks] want[s] to do.” Perhaps this classic tune was such a hit because of the drama that I imagine Fleetwood Mac fans got to witness. Feeling like the third party in Nicks and Buckingham’s relationship, but without the broken heart: oddly satisfying.
You can listen to “Go Your Own Way” here.