36. "Sentimental Lady"
In 1971, L.A.
singer-guitarist Bob Welch was playing with a band in Paris when he was
recommended to Fleetwood Mac by a secretary for their management. "I said,
'I'll be there in two seconds,'" he recalled later. "'Could you send
me plane fare?' I knew I was being scrutinized not so much for my musical
talents but for my psychological soundness." Welch joined a group moving
past its blues origins. The highlight of his time with Fleetwood Mac,
"Sentimental Lady," was a tender ode to his wife, Nancy, with a
mellow California feel that was new to Fleetwood Mac. After Welch left the
band, a somewhat slicker version of the song (recorded with Buckingham,
Christine and Fleetwood) became a solo hit for him. It remains a beloved soft-rock
chestnut. "I had many great times with him after Lindsey and I joined
Fleetwood Mac," Nicks said when Welch died in 2012. "He was an
amazing guitar player. He was funny, sweet – and he was smart." As
Fleetwood put it, "If you look into our musical history, you'll see a huge
period that was completely ensconced in Bob's work."