Never Going Back Again
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Never Going Back Again

"Never Going Back Again" is a song written by Lindsey Buckingham that was first released by Fleetwood Mac on their eleventh studio album Rumours (1977). It was also released as the B-side to the Top Ten single "Don't Stop" in the US and of the "You Make Loving Fun" single in the UK. It was also the B-side of "Dreams" in the Netherlands. It has been covered by other artists, including Colin Reid and Matchbox Twenty.

Fleetwood Mac version

Music historian George Case described "Never Going Back Again" as a "gorgeous" song with "bubbly SoCal philosophies about relationships."[2] It is one of several songs on Rumours that Buckingham wrote in the wake of the breakup of his relationship with fellow Fleetwood Mac member Stevie Nicks. He recalls it being one of the last songs written for the album, after he had started a rebound relationship with another woman.[3][4] Buckingham regards it as a sweet and naive song and doesn't consider the lyrics to be very deep.[4] He has described it as a "miniature perception of things."[4] It reflects a desire not to repeat previous mistakes.[5] Buckingham accompanies himself on acoustic guitar played using a Travis picking technique.[6] He drew further inspiration from session guitarist Ry Cooder.[4] To capture the optimal sound, producer Ken Caillat asked Buckingham if they could restring his acoustic guitar every 20 minutes, which Buckingham agreed to. Even though Caillat pitied the guitar techs job of restringing the acoustic guitar three times an hour for "the entire day", he approved of Buckingham's "magnificent" instrumental passages.[7]

"Never Going Back Again" is set in a 4
at a moderate tempo of 88 beats per minute. Buckingham's guitar is in drop D tuning with a capo on the fourth fret. Buckingham's voice spans from a C#3 to A#4.[8] When overdubbing his vocals, Buckingham realized that he had played his acoustic guitar part in the wrong key, so he had to record the song from scratch the following day.[7]

The working title for the song was "Brushes" because it was originally recorded with just Buckingham playing acoustic guitar and Mick Fleetwood playing a snare drum using drum brushes.[9] In the final release, the snare drum was removed.[9][10] However, the drums and lead guitar part removed from the original release was restored as a bonus track for the DVD-audio release of Rumours.[10][11] The alternate mix, created by Caillat, was received well by Fleetwood, who encouraged Caillat to put place "Brushes" in the running order for the 2004 remaster of Rumours.[12] According to Billboard Magazine reviewer Christopher Walsh, these parts represent "a pleasant surprise that adds to the song's emotional punch."[11]

Critical reception and legacy

Rolling Stone critic John Swenson describes "Never Going Back Again" as "the prettiest thing on [Rumours]," noting that the "delightful" vocal "belies the bad-news subject matter."[13]Stylus Magazine critic Patrick McKay regards it as one of the "strongest tracks" on Rumours.[14]Spin critic Chuck Eddy described "Never Going Back Again" as "an arty trance."[15] Cath Carroll praises "Never Going Back Again" as "a melodically uncluttered song with a simple chorus and a sharp resolve that says everything in a few elegant phrases."[16]

"Never Going Back Again" has appeared on several Fleetwood Mac compilation albums, including 25 Years - The Chain in 1992 and The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac in 2002.[17] It has also appeared on several live albums.[17]



Chart (2011) Peak
US Digital Song Sales (Billboard)[18] 35


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[19] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Cover versions

Matchbox Twenty covered "Never Going Back Again" on Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.[20] The Matchbox Twenty version is set in a minor key.[20]Billboard Magazine critic Steve Knopper describes this version as "gloomy."[21]Billboard writer Chuck Taylor describes this version as updating the original version's "unassuming demeanor with a subtly aggressive chug-along rock pulse."[22] According to Matchbox Twenty drummer Paul Doucette, the band intended to play around with the song before coming up with their dark interpretation of what Doucette calls "a sad record when you think about it."[21] Doucette felt that the version they came up with "turned out great."[23] Matchbox Twenty lead vocalist Rob Thomas stated that "we took drums from 'Tusk' and put them in there and at the end, turned it into 'The Chain.' We used all minor chords and made it real brooding."[22]

Guitarist Colin Reid covered "Never Going Back Again" on his 2001 album Tilt, with Eddi Reader providing the vocals.[24]AllMusic critic Ronnie D. Lankford Jr. described this version as "lovely," stating that it "offer[s] a fresh take on a perhaps overplayed classic."[24]

The guitar part from "Never Going Back Again" was used (albeit in a lower key than in the Fleetwood Mac version) in a 2014 television commercial for Bank of America.[25]

Everclear singer Art Alexakis sampled "Never Going Back Again" for the song "Kill Jerry Garcia" (once at about 0:33 then again at the end of the song) on the 1990 album Deep in the Heart of the Beast in the Sun by pre-Everclear band Colorfinger.

Danish experimental pop band Slaraffenland covered "Never Going Back Again", inserting free-form jazz figures and changing the instrumentation while keeping the "sunny" sound of the original.[26]


  1. ^ Q staff (May 1997). "The recording of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (February 1976 - February 1977)". Q magazine (128). Retrieved 2013.
  2. ^ Case, George (2010). Out of Our Heads: Rock 'n' Roll Before the Drugs Wore Off. Hal Leonard. p. 189. ISBN 9780879309671.
  3. ^ Classic Albums - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours. Eagle Rock. 2005. ASIN B0007GADZE.
  4. ^ a b c d DeMain, Bill (2004). In Their Own Words: Songwriters Talk about the Creative Process. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 102. ISBN 9780275984021.
  5. ^ "'Never Going Back Again': Know Your 'Rumours': 'Glee' vs. Fleetwood Mac". Rolling Stone. Retrieved .
  6. ^ 25 Top Acoustic Songs - Tab. Tone. Technique. Hal Leonard. 2013. ISBN 9781480359376.
  7. ^ a b Bosso, Joe (February 7, 2012). "Fleetwood Mac's Classic Album Rumours Track-By-Track: Never Going Back Again". MusicRadar. Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ "Never Going Back Again". Musicnotes. Retrieved 2016.
  9. ^ a b Caillat, Ken & Stiefel, Steve (2012). Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album. Wiley & Sons. pp. 144-145. ISBN 9781118218082.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ a b Walsh, Christopher (December 23, 2000). "Surround Sound Demonstrations Impress Confab Attendees". Billboard Magazine. p. 44. Retrieved .
  11. ^ a b Walsh, Christopher (June 30, 2001). "DVD Audio". Billboard Magazine. p. 19. Retrieved .
  12. ^ "Ken Caillat Question and Answer Session". Retrieved .
  13. ^ Swenson, John (April 21, 1977). "Rumours". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 20, 2008. Retrieved .
  14. ^ McKay, Patrick (August 14, 2007). "Fleetwood Mac Rumours". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved .
  15. ^ Eddy, Chuck (August 1992). "Blue Light Special". Spin. Retrieved .
  16. ^ Carroll, Cath (2004). Never Break the Chain: Fleetwood Mac and the Making of Rumours. Chicago Review Press. pp. 128-130. ISBN 9781556525452.
  17. ^ a b "Never Going Back Again". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  18. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Digital Song Sales)". Billboard. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  19. ^ "British single certifications - Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2019.Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Never Going Back Again in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  20. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  21. ^ a b Knopper, Steve (February 21, 1998). "Timing Could Be Big Boost for Lava/Atlantic's 'Legacy'". Billboard Magazine. pp. 15, 43. Retrieved .
  22. ^ a b Taylor, Chuck (May 9, 1998). "Atlantic's Matchbox 20 Accelerates from Zero to Sixty with 'Yourself' Set". Billboard Magazine. p. 78. Retrieved .
  23. ^ Sheffield, Skip (October 2, 1998). "Matchbox 20: Still on the Road". Boca Raton News. p. 4E. Retrieved .
  24. ^ a b Lankford Jr.; Ronnie D. "Tilt". AllMusic. Retrieved .
  25. ^ Swanson, Dave (January 19, 2014). "Fleetwood Mac's 'Never Going Back Again' Featured in Bank Commercial". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved .
  26. ^ "The Very Best Covers of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours". Consequence of Sound. 2017-02-04. Retrieved .

External links

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