Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bob Welch - Ebony Eyes (1978)

 Ebony Eyes
b/w Outskirts

Released: January 1978 (Capitol)
Written by: Bob Welch
Produced by: John Carter
Album: French Kiss

 U. S. Billboard Charts:
 Hot 100 14

Joe Walsh?  Bob Welch?  What did I know?  When I was 11 years old they were all the same to me.  I just listened to whatever they were playing on the radio.  This song was the follow-up to the Top 10 single Sentimental Lady that I once described as "a solo recording from a Fleetwood Mac member, this has a familiar early Mac sound to it. This song was a favorite of mine back in 1977."  This single doesn't remind me so much of Fleetwood Mac.

The best parts to this tune are the instrumental guitar intro and the guitar/string part on the chorus.  There's really not a melody to either the 2 chord verse or 2 chord chorus, so I'm guessing the guitar licks are what vaulted this to the respectable #14 spot on the chart because those licks are the only hooks to be found.  Lyrically, it's just about a horny guy trying to score with a lady at a club.  And guess what color the lady's eyes are.  Add in a bizarre (and weak) bridge and we've got something here that's good, not great.

This song is taking me back to the local skating rink that I frequented almost weekly when I was in 6th grade.  I don't even remember the place having a name like "Skate-O-Rama" or "Whole Lotta Skatin' Goin' On."  It was just the skating rink.


  1. A frickin' C? Average. You've got to be kiddin' me, man. This is a solid B+ or even an A-. Of course it's all about the riffage - duh! The song charted higher on both the Cash Box (#12) and the WLS (#10) charts which makes me feel better.

    I like pairing this one with Cliff Richard's "Devil Woman" on playlists. They're both riffs on dark ladies.

    If knowing more about song structure and compositional elements would make me more critical of the music I know and love, I choose blissful ignorance for the first time ever in my lifelong pursuit of knowledge. (Although your mention of the strings in the chorus made me focus on listening to them for the first time ever. Touché)

    FYI: "Sentimental Lady" was indeed recorded by Welch's former group before he recut it. Imagine the song performed at a glacierly slow tempo and that is the Mac version.

  2. Herc, I am with you on the rating. Should at least be in the B category.

    1. Maybe the song can earn extra credit somehow?