Go Your Own Way

I really like the podcast and website, Song Exploder. I’ve listened to several episodes, and have learned a lot about how bands get from concept to a final version of a song. But I wish I liked more of the songs on the site. So many of the groups are unknown to me or just not that interesting to me, although I have gone into a few episodes to give them a try. I’ve yet to find one as powerful as the episode on Sharon Van Etten’s “Seventeen.” That song is the subject of one of my favourite posts and includes a link to Episode 156, which breaks down the song and tells the story of it.

Another one I’ve quite enjoyed is Episode 150, on Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” Lindsey Buckingham, a guitarist and singer who joined the band along with his then-partner, singer Stevie Nicks in 1974, tells the story of the song he wrote about his relationship with Nicks when they were breaking up, but still in the band together recording Rumours (released in 1977). Also during the recording of the album, bassist John McVie and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie went through a marital separation, and drummer Mick Fleetwood was going through a divorce. What dysfunction that all must have produced particularly with two romantic relationships in the band unravelling at the same time! But what a fantastic album they made. It was one of the earliest LPs I bought, and I played it a lot. I think I was oblivious to all that conflict at the time.

Buckingham and Nicks later left the band, though the original Rumours lineup got together again at the request of then-President Bill Clinton for an inaugural ball since he had used “Don’t Stop” as a presidential campaign song. The band re-formed, but then Christine McVie left again, followed by Buckingham, and McVie rejoined again. I know, hard to keep track of. Mike Campbell and Neil Finn (who was co-frontman for the band Split Enz then went on to form Crowded House) joined Fleetwood Mac for their latest tour.

Knowing about the inner turmoil of the band adds to one’s understanding of the song, “Go Your Own Way.” Buckingham does a terrific job of explaining how the song was made and the various instrumental elements in it. The Song Exploder episode is well worth listening to and can be found here.

Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy. 

Here’s the official audio from Fleetwood Mac’s YouTube channel:

There’s an official video on their channel; it’s a live performance and the sound quality is not the greatest, but then again, you get to see the original musicians in action near the time they made the record. It’s here. There’s also a later, live performance with better quality sound (I think it’s from around 2014, but don’t see Christine McVie playing, so am not sure):

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