Q - 7/93, p.1063 Stars
- Good - "...it's a tasteful affair and retains an emotional edge. Welch also added a looser, jazzier tinge to the mood, contrasting nicely with some sturdy rhythms...With its refreshing lack of calculation, this still sounds contemporary..."
Fleetwood Mac: Bob Welch (guitar, vocals); Bob Weston (guitar, slide guitar); Christine McVie (keyboards, vocals); John McVie (bass); Mick Fleetwood (drums).
Additional personnel: Martin Birch (acoustic guitar).
Released in 1973 and now regarded as an important transitional album in Fleetwood Mac's long march towards superstardom, MYSTERY TO ME featured the lineup of Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, singer/guitarist Bob Welch and guitarist Bob Weston. The hiring of Welch had angered original guitarist Danny Kirwan and after a 1972 gig, the volatile Kirwan went berserk backstage and was fired. On MYSTERY TO ME, the follow-up to PENGUIN (1973) and the band's strongest album in years, the luminous elements of the future Fleetwood Mac were falling in place; Bob Welch's rambling, mystical reverie "Hypnotized" became (and remains to this day) a rock radio standard.
The Welch-Weston-John McVie-penned "Forever" grooves with an atypical African gloss, and the bluesy growl of Welch's "The City" lashes out at New York, contradicting Lindsey Buckingham's giddy city ode "Empire State" on 1982's MIRAGE. Yet it is Christine McVie's thoughtful, majestic "Why," which unfolds from a backcountry fingerpick to a soaring poem of regret and passage, that marks the transition from early Mac (which officially ended with 1974's HEROES ARE HARD TO FIND) to one of the most influential Anglo-American bands of all time.