Heroes Are Hard To Find

Fleetwood Mac

Reprise, 1974

http://www.fleetwoodmac.com

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/16/2007

Another album, another personnel change. The revolving door that is Fleetwood Mac turns once again as Bob Welch makes his final appearance, and a nice farewell it is. Welch shares songwriting chores with Christine McVie, which makes the album a slightly bipolar but still enjoyable affair, Welch’s more experimental songs and rockers trading off with McVie’s romantic pop-flavored ballads. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

This album is a transitional one, further progressing the band’s already-clear move towards mainstream pop-rock, most evident in McVie’s compositions. Welch’s compositions were always strongest when he stretched the boundaries of traditional rock styling, but he keeps things pretty straightforward for the most part here. That’s not to say he doesn’t stretch out beyond the mainstream rock formula a bit.

Welch’s atmospheric, layered guitars flavor the album nicely. His spacey guitar work is stellar on the dark “Coming Home” and it saves “Bermuda Triangle” from being a rather pedestrian and, well, dorky affair. “Born Enchanter” is another nice track featuring one of Welch’s signature trippy grooves. His more traditional rock songs don’t fare as well, however. “She’s Changing Me” and “Silver Heels” just don’t bring much to the table, although ”Heels” includes the great lyric “If I could sing like Paul McCartney / or get funky like Etta James / I'd never change.”

McVie provides a couple of great tracks. “Come A Little Bit Closer” is a beautiful up-tempo ballad that should have been a hit, but was probably little light for AOR radio back in ’74. Regardless, her voice is great and accompanied by some soulful pedal steel guitar; it’s a standout track from her long and fruitful career. “Bad Love” is a little on the heavier side than we’re used to and Welch’s Santana-flavored guitar work propels the song nicely over Fleetwood’s tribal drumming.

Welch would be missed, but also soon overshadowed by a couple of new additions a year later when The Mac began its propulsive flight to superstardom. Overall, I find this one of the most enjoyable of post-Peter Green / pre-Rumours-era albums. A little uneven, but a good listen.

Rating: B-

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© 2007 Bruce Rusk and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Reprise, and is used for informational purposes only.