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Heroes Are Hard to Find
Studio album by
Released13 September 1974
RecordedJuly 1974
StudioAngel City Sound, Los Angeles
Genre
Length39:26
Label Reprise
Producer Fleetwood Mac, Bob Hughes
Fleetwood Mac chronology
Mystery to Me
(1973)
Heroes Are Hard to Find
(1974)
Fleetwood Mac
(1975)

Heroes Are Hard to Find is the ninth studio album by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 13 September 1974. This is the last album recorded with Bob Welch, who left the band at the end of 1974. It was the first Fleetwood Mac studio album recorded in the United States, in Los Angeles.

Background

The album was recorded during a low point for the group, with Bob Weston's affair with drummer Mick Fleetwood's wife causing a temporary disbandment, which led to subsequent legal problems when manager Clifford Davis organized a completely new lineup using the Fleetwood Mac name to fulfill their remaining tour dates. [2] Welch convinced the band to relocate to America so they could be closer to their record label. Christine McVie was initially hesitant, but agreed to travel with the band to Los Angeles. [3] The band secured an injunction that prevented the fake Fleetwood Mac from performing, although Davis also won an injunction that temporarily barred the lineup of Fleetwood, the McVies, and Welch from touring or releasing any new music. [4] Through the help of concert promoter Bill Graham, the lineup of Fleetwood, the McVies, and Welch managed to convince Warner Brothers that they were the real Fleetwood Mac and negotiated a new contract with the label that allowed them to release and perform music under the name Fleetwood Mac. The legal dispute with Davis was eventually settled out of court in 1978. [5]

The title track was edited and issued as a single but it failed to chart. Cash Box said of the title song that the "tight sweet harmonies back ( Christine McVie) up with some excellent instrumentation". [6] Even without a successful single to support the album, it still managed to peak at No. 34 on the Billboard 200 chart, which at the time was the highest Billboard placing for any Fleetwood Mac album. [7] It also reached No. 5 on the Billboard FM Action chart. [8]

Bob Welch later re-recorded "Angel", "Bermuda Triangle" and "Silver Heels" for His Fleetwood Mac Years & Beyond (2003). A re-write of "Silver Heels", titled "Hustler", with explicit lyrics appeared on Bob Welch Looks at Bop (1999). [9]

Cover art

The cover art was taken by photographer Herbie Worthington using a three-way mirror and features a shirtless Mick Fleetwood with his chest puffed out and his three year-old daughter Amelia standing on his shoes. Worthington later supplied the cover art for Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. The lace underwear worn by Fleetwood was gifted to him by a close friend. [4]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic [10]
Christgau's Record GuideB− [11]
Rolling Stone(positive) [12]
Rolling Stone Album Guide [13]

Reception

Heroes are Hard to Find received mixed reviews upon its release. Rolling Stone believed that Heroes are Hard to Find "stacked up as a pleasant album", and singled out "Prove Your Love" as "exquisitely pretty" and "Come a Little Bit Closer" as "a gorgeous tune reminiscent of the Beach Boys". [12] Robert Christgau criticized the band for succumbing to pop cliches of the early 1970s, specifically their use of a string synthesizer, pedal steel, and "half-assed horns". He dismissed Welch and McVie for sounding bored and "less than perfect" respectively and labeled Heroes are Hard to Find as their worst album to date. [11] Retrospective reviews were more positive, with Hal Horowitz of AllMusic complimenting the songwriting abilities of Welch and McVie and praising the album for being both cohesive and diverse.

Track listing

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."Heroes Are Hard to Find" Christine McVieC. McVie3:35
2."Coming Home" Bob WelchWelch3:55
3."Angel"WelchWelch3:55
4."Bermuda Triangle"WelchWelch4:08
5."Come a Little Bit Closer"C. McVieC. McVie4:48
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
1."She's Changing Me"WelchWelch2:58
2."Bad Loser"C. McVieC. McVie3:25
3."Silver Heels"WelchWelch3:26
4."Prove Your Love"C. McVieC. McVie3:57
5."Born Enchanter"WelchWelch2:54
6."Safe Harbour"WelchWelch2:32
2020 remaster bonus track
No.TitleWriter(s)Lead vocalsLength
12."Heroes Are Hard to Find" (single version)C. McVieC. McVie2:47

Personnel

Fleetwood Mac

Additional personnel

Production

  • Fleetwood Mac – producers
  • Bob Hughes – engineer, producer
  • Doug Graves – engineer, assistant engineer
  • Lee Herschberg – remastering
  • Desmond Strobel – design

Charts

1974 weekly chart performance for Heroes Are Hard to Find
Chart (1974) Peak
position
Canada Top Albums/CDs ( RPM) [14] 46
US Billboard 200 [15] 34

References

  1. ^ Molanphy, Chris (14 January 2023). "Thinking About Tomorrow Edition". Hit Parade | Music History and Music Trivia (Podcast). Slate. Retrieved 10 February 2023.
  2. ^ Alterman, Loraine (28 February 1974). "Fleetwood Mac Flak: Manager Takes Name, Not Members, On Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
  3. ^ Evans, Mike (2011). Fleetwood Mac: The Definitive History. New York: Sterling. pp. 108–109. ISBN  978-1-4027-8630-3.
  4. ^ a b Fleetwood, Mick; Bozza, Anthony (October 2014). Play On (first ed.). New York, NY: Little Brown and Company. pp. 152–154. ISBN  978-0-316-40342-9.
  5. ^ Golsen, Tyler (6 October 2023). "How a contract dispute saved Fleetwood Mac". Far Out Magazine. Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  6. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 7 December 1974. p. 18. Retrieved 11 December 2021.
  7. ^ "Fleetwood Mac (2004 CD)". aln3.albumlinernotes. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  8. ^ Zhito, Lee, ed. (28 September 1974). "FM Action week ending 9/28/74". Billboard. Vol. 86, no. 39. p. 22. ISSN  0006-2510.
  9. ^ "Bob Welch, November 8 - 21, 1999". The Penguin. 8 November 1999. Archived from the original on 16 February 2019. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  10. ^ Heroes Are Hard to Find at AllMusic
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: F". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN  089919026X. Retrieved 24 February 2019 – via robertchristgau.com.
  12. ^ a b Barnes, Ken (24 October 1974). "Fleetwood Mac Heroes Are Hard to Find > Album Review". Rolling Stone. No. 172. Archived from the original on 21 November 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  13. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). "Fleetwood Mac". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. London: Fireside. pp.  302–304. ISBN  0-7432-0169-8. Retrieved 22 February 2012. Portions posted at "Fleetwood Mac > Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 3888a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 28 July, 2023.
  15. ^ "Fleetwood Mac Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 28 July, 2023.