Posted by themusicsover on June 7, 2012
August 31, 1945 – June 7, 2012
Bob Welch was a Los Angeles singer-songwriter who is perhaps best known for his three years in Fleetwood Mac as well as for his solo releases of the 1970s. Raised in a show business family, Welch first learned to play the clarinet as a child, but by his early teens he had moved on to the guitar. After some time at UCLA, he joined a vocal group, the Seven Souls, as their guitarist. In 1967, they recorded a single, “I’m No Stranger,” for Okeh Records . Although the record didn’t sell much initially, its b-side, “I Still Love You,” became a valuable Northern Soul collectible in later years. After the group broke up in 1969, Welch played around with other outfits until joining Fleetwood Mac in 1971. Primarily a British blues act at the time, Fleetwood Mac began to evolve into a hit-making rock band thanks in part to Welch’s strong sense of melody. Their albums with Welch were much different from what they were previously known for – and that was not a bad thing. Mystery To Me, released in 1973, was arguably the best of the Welch era. Although not a big-seller, the album’s “Hypnotized” became an FM staple and probably the most recognizable Fleetwood Mac song until the later releases with Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. In 1974, Welch parted ways with the band in order to further his solo career. And with the release of 1977′s French Kiss, there was no denying that he was a star. The album went on to sell more than a million copies thanks to such hits as “Ebony Eyes” and a re-record of Fleetwood Mac’s “Sentimental Lady” which cracked the Top 10 on the US charts. He followed that up about 15 months later with the gold-selling Three Hearts. He continued to release albums and tour well into the 2000s. Bob Welch was 66 when he reportedly took his own life on June 7, 2012. He had been suffering from health related issues prior to his death.