5 Great Songs Written and Sung by Late Fleetwood Mac Alum and Solo Artist Bob Welch

Today (June 7) marks the 12th anniversary of the death of Bob Welch, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist who played with Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974 before launching a solo career. Welch, who had been suffering from painful spinal issues, died by suicide at his home in Nashville. He was 66.

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As a member of Fleetwood Mac, Welch helped bring the gap between the group’s early blues-oriented material featuring original frontman Peter Green and the band’s emergence as a pop-rock powerhouse after Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the lineup.

Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971, around the same time as Christine McVie, in time to record the Future Games album with the group. He quickly became an important songwriting contributor, while sharing vocal duties with McVie and, until 1972, Danny Kirwan.

[RELATED: 5 Greatest Fleetwood Mac Live Performances]

Welch was featured on five Fleetwood Mac albums, and he wrote and sung some of the group’s best-known early-1970s songs. During his tenure with the band, the group enjoyed little chart success, although his song “Hypnotized” received some radio airplay.

In 1974, Welch convinced Fleetwood Mac to relocate to Los Angeles, his hometown. In December of that year, he exited the group to start a solo career. He was replaced by Buckingham and Nicks.

During the late 1970s, scored a series of solo hits, some featuring contributions from members of Fleetwood Mac.

To commemorate the anniversary of Welch’s passing, here are five great songs he recorded, either with Fleetwood Mac or solo:

“Sentimental Lady” — Fleetwood Mac (1972) and Solo (1977)

“Sentimental Lady” was a delicately melodic love song that appeared on the 1972 Fleetwood Mac album Bare Trees, Welch’s second record with the group. The tune seems to be sung from the perspective of a guy who’s unsure about his lover’s dedication to him.

Welch recorded a new version of the song for his 1977 debut solo album, French Kiss. The then-current Fleetwood Mac lineup, minus Nicks, served as his backing band on the track, with Mick Fleetwood on drums, John McVie on bass, Christine McVie on keyboards, and Buckingham on guitar.

Buckingham and Christine McVie also contributed backing vocals to and co-produced the track, with Christine’s voice being particularly prominent.

The song became Welch’s biggest hit, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Bright Fire” – Fleetwood Mac (1973)

“Bright Fire” was a song from Penguin, the first of two studio albums Fleetwood Mac released in 1973. The song is a breezy pop-rock tune softly and sweetly sung by Welch.

The song features enigmatic, poetic lyrics that seem to be about embracing a passionate outlook on life.

“Hypnotized” — Fleetwood Mac (1973)

“Hypnotized” was a standout tune from Fleetwood Mac’s 1973 album Mystery to Me. Welch said the shuffling, jazzy song was inspired by his fascination with UFOs and the paranormal.

Christine McVie’s melodic backing vocals shine through on the track.

“Ebony Eyes” – Solo (1977)

“Ebony Eyes” was the second single Welch released from his debut album, French Kiss, and it was another hit. The song reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 in 1978.

“Ebony Eyes” is a catchy, mid-tempo rock tune about a guy who pursues a woman at a dance after he becomes obsessed by her dark eyes. Pop star Juice Newton sang backing vocals on the song.

“Precious Love” – Solo (1979)

“Precious Love” appeared on Welch’s second solo album, Three Hearts, which was released in 1979. The soaring, string-driven dance tune that finds the singer pouring his hear out to the object of his desire.

The song was Welch’s last Top-40 hit, reaching No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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