In an era of breakups and makeups within the core of Fleetwood Mac, Never Going Back Again is an emblematic representation of the intertwined romance and musicality functioning throughout the production of Rumours. Opening with the twangs of southern comfort, Lindsey Buckingham cries for the girl who “broke down and let [him] in”, pairing his vivacious vocals with the soft, honeyed chords of his acoustic guitar. The song stands at a modest two minutes and 20 seconds – the shortest of the album – suggesting a sense of immediacy and forward movement. Despite the tones of heartbreak, the lyrics advocate for an optimistic perspective of the future, Buckingham promising that he’ll never go back again.
The major key of the acoustic rhythm carries a positive spirit of hope, accompanied by a steady pace reinforcing the pledge of progressive movement. The song relies on very few superfluous additions, solely showcasing Buckingham’s range of vocals and acoustic melodies. The construction of the track nods towards simplicity, setting itself apart from Rumours as a whole.
Buckingham is professing that after spending time in his own darkness post-breakup with fellow band mate Stevie Nicks, he found hope in the prospect of a new woman and was reminded that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Happiness is a state of mind that we sometimes lose, and this track serves as a minimalistic reminder that we can find it even (sometimes especially) when we stop looking. Sandwiched between tracks Dreams and Don’t Stop, Never Going Back Again is our glimmer of hope in reality and our reminder to always move forward.
Listen to the track here: