My Legends of Pop Music – Part Thirty-Three – The Doobie Brothers
If get this right, there will be many cover versions by future bands. I shall try and link live versions if they exist from the tellybox or a film, the sound quality may not be the best, but there is nothing like watching a real talent live.
So, in a sort of chronological order, my thirty third legends are: The Doobie Brothers.
They were never huge I the UK, I will never understand why, perhaps as they did not release that many albums or singles here. Some of their songs though are iconic and I am sure many of you will know them. They have sold over 40 billion albums, and that is what legends do.
Some of their music is 50 years old, the link to the live concert at the end is from 2021, as good now as it was then. Also of note, each track listed here is a live performance.
The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band from San Jose, California, known for their flexibility in performing across numerous genres and their vocal harmonies. Active for five decades, with their greatest success in the 1970s, the group’s current line-up consists of founding members Tom Johnston (guitars, vocals) and Patrick Simmons (guitars, vocals), alongside Michael McDonald (keyboards, vocals) and John McFee (guitars, pedal steel, violin, backing vocals), and touring musicians including John Cowan (bass, vocals), Bill Payne (keyboards), Marc Russo (saxophones), Ed Toth (drums), and Marc Quiñones (percussion). Other long-serving members of the band include guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (1974–1979), bassist Tiran Porter (1972–1980, 1987–1992) and drummers John Hartman (1970–1979, 1987–1992), Michael Hossack (1971–1973, 1987–2012), and Keith Knudsen (1973–1982, 1993–2005).
Johnston provided the lead vocals for the band from 1970 to 1975, when they featured a mainstream rock sound with elements of folk, country and R&B. Michael McDonald joined the band in 1975 as a keyboard player and second lead vocalist, to give some relief to Johnston, who was suffering health problems at the time. McDonald’s interest in soul music introduced a new sound to the band. Johnston and McDonald performed together as co-lead vocalists for one album, Takin’ It to the Streets, before Johnston retired fully in 1977. Frequent line-up changes followed through the rest of the 1970s, and the band broke up in 1982 with Simmons being the only constant member having appeared on all of their albums. In 1987 the Doobie Brothers reformed with Johnston back in the fold; McDonald, who had previously made several guest appearances since their reformation, returned to the band full-time in 2019 for their 50th anniversary tour.
The group’s fourteen studio albums include six top-ten appearances on the Billboard 200 album chart, including 1978’s Minute by Minute, which reached number one for five weeks, and won the band a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, while the single “What A Fool Believes” from the album won three Grammys itself. The band has released six live albums, and numerous greatest hits compilations, including 1976’s Best of The Doobies, which was certified diamond by the RIAA for reaching album sales of ten million copies, the band’s best selling album. The band’s sixteen Billboard Hot 100 top-40 hits include “Listen to the Music“, “Jesus is Just Alright“, “Long Train Runnin’“, “China Grove“, “Black Water” (#1 in 1974), “Takin’ It to the Streets“, “What A Fool Believes” (#1 in 1979), and “The Doctor“, all of which remain in heavy rotation on classic rock radio.
A full discography is here: The Doobie brothers
Jesus is Just Alright – recorded in 2010, first released in 1972.
China Grove (from Rockin’ Down the Highway: The Wildlife Concert) – great sax on this.
Black Water (Official Music Video) – Slowing it down with this one, great harmonies.
Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While) – recorded live in 2012. Bit of Motown style here.
Takin’ It To The Streets (Live) – Recorded just last year in 2021. Showing their age but they really can belt out a tune.
What A Fool Believes 1979 Grammy’s Live – Even if you have not heard of this band, I am pretty sure you will know this tune.
Minute by Minute – 1979 – Live in Baltimore – I bet you know this one as well.
Real Love – Live performance 1982
The Doctor – Live performance.
Dangerous – Live at the Wolf Trap concert. Good old rock ‘n’ roll.
Probably another of their most famous songs, certainly a favourite with me:
To finish with, the full live concert from The Doobie Brothers -Live!!! @ The Forum in Los Angeles – musicUcansee.com
Singalong, enjoy and be happy!
Links to previous Legend articles:
© Phil the ex test manager 2022