Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz turns 30 today. It was released on March 9, 1993. And it’s so much more than its title track.
1993 was a pretty wild year in rock. Two years after the Seattle grunge explosion of 1991, rock acts of every size, shape, and color were being signed in big cities all over America. And the singles from the albums they produced were making their way onto rock radio and MTV en masse. Take a look at my 12-Inch Poll from a couple of weeks ago. ’93 was STACKED, with debut albums from Radiohead and Tool, sophomore releases by Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, and Nirvana‘s final studio recording.
It wasn’t just “new” acts getting the big bumps in ’93, though. Lenny Kravitz was already two albums into his deal with Virgin Records. He’d put himself on the map with 1989’s Let Love Rule (the title track is still one of my all-time fave Kravitz cuts). And his 1991 follow up, Mama Said, yielded a whopping SEVEN singles. That’s half the album!
3 Reasons to Revisit ‘Are You Gonna Go My Way’ by Lenny Kravitz
By the time Lenny put Are You Gonna Go My Way out into the world in March of 1993, he was already a known commodity. He deftly blended elements of rock, soul, blues, and even funk in way that make his music accessible, but still let him stand out from his alternative rock contemporaries.
His third album, I’d argue, does the best job of this. And I’d argue that the numbers bear that out. The title track ended up being his first Number One single on rock radio, and the album has gone double platinum in the three decades since its release. Let’s look back at how Lenny fit right into rock in 1993, while still standing out.