Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Man Who "Saved" Fleetwood Mac

"He's the guy who saved Fleetwood Mac," said lanky drummer and usually jovial Mick Fleetwood once in the 70's. Naysayers will digress and disagree, but at a certain point in its history, Bob Welch may have achieved just that. After the Peter Green-helmed blues-based band named after its drummer and bassist respectively ran a spell of misfortunes, such as member departures, and member dillusions, in stepped Welch to save the day. Though fleeting, he had made his mark, for the Mac, as well as for himself.

Bob Welch's French Kiss was one of '77's delightful surprises.
Snazzing up an already classic ballad, Welch proceeded to "Sentimental Lady" a refreshing shot-in-the-arm, so to speak; the once languid hit was now given some Pop sheen, with a little production chores help provided by former Mac bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, offering a brittle soundwash and crystalline production sparkle.
Earcandy perfection.

Save for the hit single, and an evocative "Ebony Eyes," French Kiss traversed between semi-hard rock and disco-ish pop, an album originally slated for release as Welch's third offering under the name Paris, Welch's previous band after leaving Mac.
With enough muscle to duke it out with other bands of that time such as Boston, and pop sense to keep the competition at bay, French Kiss is definitely one for the ages.


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