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Friday, June 08, 2012

Rough week for guitar players, I'm afraid. First Pete Cosey (I've been listening to "Get Up With It" and "Electric Mud" since I heard), now Bob Welch. Like the Yardbirds or the Bluesbreakers Fleetwood Mac produced a number of notable guitarists. I guess that's how it went in the British blues scene back then. Welch's stretch with the band represented a stylistic departure, a move away from the blues and towards a more -- I hesitate to say pop, but that's what it was-- a pop sound. Some of this was probably attributable to Christine (née Perfect) McVie's presence. "Bare Trees" was successful, and it's follow-up, "Penguin" was the band's highest charting album to that point. Welch also brought "Hypnotized" to the band on his last album with the Mac, "Mystery to Me". His solo career is probably best summed up by noting that his biggest hit after leaving the band was a remake of "Sentimental Lady", but there is no denying that he was a talented cat. He kept plugging at it, and it's sad that it ended this way for him. A possible clue-- I just went onto iTunes, and none of the sides he cut with Fleetwood Mac are there. Amazon has them as CDs, or on vinyl, but not as mp3s. This strongly suggests that the guy who saved Fleetwood Mac from commercial oblivion hasn't been seeing a lot of mailbox money lately, and if that's true it's a crime.

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