The First Ever Take Of ‘Go Your Own Way’ by Fleetwood Mac

CIRCA 1977: (L-R) Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and John McVie of the rock group 'Fleetwood Mac' pose for a portrait in circa 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Music is rather peculiar among the arts in that, in addition to being among the most complex, it is also one of the most adaptable. While the author may revise a paragraph, trash an entire segment, or rework a narrative, the writer is limited by the uniformity of the art form, the idea that events occur in sequence. In contrast, a hit song occurs all at once. It does not soak us, but rather douses us in feeling.

One could claim that a composer’s able to relate with the audience is dependent upon the ability to acquire and distill an unified auditory atmosphere. It’s for this purpose why several artists recognized the advantages of overdubbing right away. It enabled bands such as Fleetwood Mac to slowly build that musical mood — to produce an initial take and then utilize it as a skeletal track, rethinking its possibilities layer by layer. It’s a common approach that gives musicians far more artistic freedom, and based by this initial take of 1977’s ‘Go Your Own Way,’ it was a blessing.

‘Go Your Own Way,’ from Fleetwood Mac’s legendary record Rumours, was penned by Lindsey Buckingham as a letter to Stevie Nicks and recounts the couple’s split in very straightforward terms. “Packing up, shacking up is all you want to do,” Buckingham sings at one point, a phrase Nicks requested him to cut because she’d haven’t slept with somebody as they were involved. It was definitely a track with a statement. ”Nicks told Q Magazine in 2009. And not a very nice one at that.”

While playing with Fritz, which was before Fleetwood Mac, the two became acquainted. Their romance, however, was always on the ropes by the moment they were invited to join the Mac. “We were breaking up when Fleetwood Mac asked us to join,” Nicks told Billboard. “We moved down from San Francisco to L.A. in 1972, and made Buckingham Nicks in 1973, and were having problems all through that.”

Buckingham’s shaky original vocal tape reveals his displeasure. When they initially started recording, Mick Fleetwood said he didn’t have a clear notion of what the composition would be. Fortunately, the further the group worked on it, the further it unveiled itself. “‘Go Your Own Way’s’ rhythm was a tom-tom structure that Lindsey demoed by hitting Kleenex boxes or something,” Fleetwood told Q. “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 capitalising on my own ineptness.”

Listen to the track below: