As a perpetual fan of the underdog, I've always had a soft spot for short-term Fleetwood Mac member and highly underrated solo artist Bob Welch. Not a lot of pop music fans and perhaps fewer radio programmers from the '70s onward have fully appreciated the unique pop music voice of this talented singer-songwriter. The songwriter of pre-Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks Mac classics (and later Welch solo tunes) "Sentimental Lady" and "Hypnotized," Welch was unfairly shut out of that band's 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. In addition, his solo career that lasted around a decade from the mid '70s to the early '80s was rather consistently a tortuous one for the artist, as Welch struggled through leadership of an ignored hard rock supergroup called Paris and a declining solo career into the '80s marred by sub-par marketing and heroin addiction.
Therefore, I enthusiastically recommend and champion one of Welch's deep tracks of the '80s, to complement a catalogue most known for excellent and still too-seldom heard '70s gems "Ebony Eyes," "Rebel Rouser" and "Future Games." Taken from Welch's 1980 solo LP, Man Overboard, the synthesizer-heavy "Nightmare" should have been a considerable rock hit in the post-disco, pre-new wave landscape of that period. As always, Welch's unique vocal style combines interestingly with slick production to become far more than it probably has any business being. However, this track also showcases the artist's nimble and forceful yet never excessively flashy lead guitar playing. Welch has probably long ago made peace with the fact that he'll never quite be celebrated to a level matching his talent and musical output. But I can still complain about it if I want. This is America, dammit!
- Sample or download "Nightmare" here.
- Compare prices on Bob Welch CDs here.
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Album Cover Image Courtesy of Capitol