Go Your Own Way

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For the album by Gareth Gates, see Go Your Own Way (album). For the airline slogan, see Independence Air.
"Go Your Own Way"
Single by Fleetwood Mac
from the album Rumours
B-side "Silver Springs"
Released January 1977
Format 7"
Recorded 1976
Genre Hard Rock

3:36 (Album Version)
3:54 (Full Version)

5:48 (Live Version)

5:00 (The Dance (Fleetwood Mac album) Version)

4:53 (Rumours: 35th Anniversary Version)
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Lindsey Buckingham
Producer(s) Fleetwood Mac, Richard Dashut, Ken Caillat
Certification Silver (BPI) – September 20, 2013)
Fleetwood Mac singles chronology
"Say You Love Me"
"Go Your Own Way"
"Don't Stop"
(1977 UK)

(1977 USA)
Rumours track listing
Audio sample
file info · help

"Go Your Own Way" is a song by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released as a single in January 1977.


Written by Lindsey Buckingham, it was the first single from the group's 1977 album Rumours. Buckingham had heard Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones, and he thought that type of drum approach would work well. Ken Caillat, Fleetwood Mac's producer, remembers that Mick Fleetwood initially had a hard time with the drums. "I remember watching him guide Mick as to what he wanted – he’d be so animated, like a little kid, playing these air tom fills with his curly hair flying. Mick wasn’t so sure he could do what Lindsey wanted, but he did a great job, and the song took off.”[1]

When first played by B. Mitchell Reed, a popular DJ in LA, he was underwhelmed. "I don't know about that one" he said dismissively to millions of listeners. Buckingham contacted Reed, demanding to know what the problem was. to which he responded "I can't find the beat". Both Fleetwood and Buckingham took the blame for this. Fleetwood attributed it to his drumming.

“'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."[2]

Buckingham attributes the problem to the acoustic guitar track he added last minute.

"As soon as I came up with the acoustic part, the whole song came to life for me because it acted as a foil for the vocals and a rhythmic counterpoint…so when it comes in, you don’t have a reference point for where the ‘one’ is, or where the beat is at all. It’s only after the first chorus comes in that you can realize where you are – and that’s what that deejay was confused about.”[2]

Nevertheless, the song peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group's first top-ten hit in the U.S.[3]In the UK, the single was not as successful, and would only reach #38. However, the song became very popular in the U.K. over a longer period as Rumours received more radio airplay and it re-entered the singles chart on many occasions. This led to the song selling gradually over the years. It has been certified Silver in the U.K. for digital sales of over 200,000 copies. The song was also a #1 hit in the Netherlands. It is ranked number 120 on Rolling Stone‍ '​s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time[4] and is on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.[5]


The song is about the complicated relationship that Buckingham and fellow Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks were having.[6] Conversely, the B-Side track, Silver Springs, was written by Stevie Nicks, on the same theme, and is often regarded as a response to the A-Side.


All appearances[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

"Go Your Own Way" has been covered by NOFX,[9] The Lumineers,[10] Vomit Launch,[11] Seaweed,[12] The Cranberries,[13] Jellyfish, [14] Jennifer Brown,[15] Wilson Phillips,[16] Biffy Clyro,[17] Carrie Underwood,[17] Boy George,[17] Kate Ceberano,[18] Silverstein,[17] Keane,[19] Lea Michele,[20] Lissie,[2] Head and the Heart,[21] Colbie Caillat, [17] and Art of Dying.[2]



  1. ^ Bosso, Joe. "Fleetwood Mac's classic album Rumours track-by-track". Musicradar. Retrieved March 17, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d Robbins, Patrick. "Five Good Covers: Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)". Cover Me. Cover Me. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  3. ^ Go Your Own Way at AllMusic
  4. ^ "Fleetwood Mac, 'Go Your Own Way' - 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". infoplease. Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved April 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ CNN: Mac's Buckingham, Nicks still have tension, love Retrieved 2013-07-17
  7. ^ Stubbs, Kenneth. "Rock Band 2 Cheats, Codes & Guides". GamesRadar. Future US, Inc. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Guitar Hero World Tour full set list revealed". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  9. ^ "NOFX cover of Fleetwood Mac's Go Your Own Way". WhoSampled. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  10. ^ Filbin, Patrick. "The Lumineers Cover Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way'". Paste Magazine. Paste Media Group. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Vomit Launch - Go Your Own Way Live". last.fm. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Go Your Own Way By Seaweed on Sub Pop Records". Sub Pop. Sub Pop Records. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Cranberries - Go Your Own Way". Last.fm. CBS Interactive. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Video Jellyfish - Go Your Own Way - Live in Frankfurt, Germany". 2K music. 2K14. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Jennifer Brown "Go Your Own Way" Lyrics". Lyrics Box. LyricsBox. Retrieved April 16, 2015. 
  16. ^ Gabel, Sue. "Wilson Phillips performing for one night only at the Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom". axs. Retrieved March 19, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Video Kate Ceberano "Go Your Own Way"". 2Kmusic. 2K14. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Keane - Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac) - Live on BBC Radio 2 (2010-05-10)". Youtube. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  20. ^ Marsi, Steve. "Glee Sneak Peek: Lea Michele Belts Out "Go Your Own Way"". TV Fanatic. TV Fanatic. Retrieved April 29, 2015. 
  21. ^ "The Head & The Heart cover Fleetwood Mac". Retrieved March 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]