Artist: Fleetwood Mac
Album: Mystery to Me (1973)
During no other time did Fleetwood Mac sink deeper into gloomy, mystical rock than the three-year period of lead singer Bob Welch’s membership.
Though Welch parted ways with the band just a year after their 1973 release of the phantasmagoric Mystery to Me, carrying on a successful solo career that later ended dismally in suicide, Welch’s dazed vocals eternally haunt the album’s most spellbinding single, “Hypnotized”.
As the triple-timed, pulsing drums of Mick Fleetwood intensify, the beat succumbs to a bluesy gush of hollowed guitar and electro-warped keyboards. And Welch slinks into his dreamy tale:
“It’s the same kind of story that seems to come down from long ago…
Two friends having coffee together,
And something flies by their window…”
Perhaps the truly eerier vocals of the track are that of Christine McVie’s…the unmistakeable, higher-register cries of “got me hypnotized”, that seem to creep in from nowhere.
The supernatural and the unexplained further guide the reverie, from “North Carolina and a strange, strange pond” to “a place down in Mexico…where a man can fly over mountains and hills; he don’t need an airplane or some kind of engine…and he never will”. Urban legend is narrated as instrumentally alluring as possible.
A Mac timepiece and illusory dive into kaleidoscopic Welch-realm, “Hypnotized”–like fine wine–only gets better with age .