This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #445: Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to ask this beautiful woman out on a date but almost didn’t. The reason for my hesitancy had nothing to do with my level of interest (which was high), it was simply because of the potential for complications due to the fact that we worked together. It isn’t always the best policy to date someone you work with. The reasons are fairly obvious. It is all fun and games when things go well but, when things go wrong and you still have to show up each day and work together it can be hard. If nothing else, it can be awkward. In the case of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, it leads to songs like “Go Your On Way”.
Fleetwood Mac was one of the biggest bands in the world during their heyday in the 1970s. The group consisted of five people: drummer, Mick Fleetwood and then, two couples, John and Christine McVie and then, Nicks and Buckingham. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had been together for several years and had just broken up. Even though they had separated, the members of Fleetwood Mac decided to keep the band together. “Go Your Own Way” was written by Buckingham about his feelings toward Nicks after the break-up. The lyrics to this song are pretty self-explanatory and reveal a man who was bitter and hurt by Nicks leaving him. To be honest, I am not sure why the band agreed to even record such a song nor, how they were able to perform it with passion and professionalism each night on stage. It is obviously a source of discomfort and awkwardness akin to ripping a bandage off of a wound that hasn’t fully healed. Nonetheless, the song became a hit.
When you watch the video, you will note the physical distance that Nicks keeps from Buckingham throughout the performance. As well, note the intensity with which Buckingham plays his guitar. There is a lot of emotional baggage on view. I suppose that some people like to watch the suffering of others because it gives them a feeling of superiority. Maybe that is why audiences always reacted positively whenever Fleetwood Mac played this song. They knew that their lives may not be great but, at least, it isn’t as publicly bad as what is transpiring on stage. For me, I find this hard to watch. I can’t imagine ever getting to the point in my relationship with my wife that I would want to punish her in such a public way, night after night. For such a popular song, it is as disturbing as any song on this entire list could possibly be. Watch the video, if you wish. If you have your own wounds that haven’t yet healed may I kindly suggest that you take a pass. Some of the biggest songs contain some of the saddest stories. “Go Your Own Way” is one of those songs.
Fleetwood Mac have their own website that can be found here.
Thanks to Rolling Stone Magazine for supporting good music since their inception as a rock’s pre-eminent music publication. A link to their great website can be found here.
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