While I am not a particularly big fan of the music of the 1970's one group that stood head and shoulders above the rest was The Doobie Brothers. Led by vocalist Tom Johnston, this group successfully combined elements of rock 'n roll and R&B and made some of the most memorable recordings of the decade. And despite a rash of personnel changes along the way the group continued to make great music throughout the 1970's. All of this great music is now available on Rhino's terrific two-disc compilation "The Very Best of The Doobie Brothers". This is a superb collection of one of America's greatest rock and roll bands.
It did not take long for the group to make its mark on the American music scene. Formed in San Jose, Ca. in 1970, The Doobies found themselves riding high on the Billboard Top Pop Singles Chart when in the fall of 1972 their debut release "Listen To The Music" leaped all the way to #11. Quite an accomplishment! Over the next few years, in the waning days of Top 40 radio on the AM dial, the hits just kept on comin' with memorable songs like "Long Train Runnin", "Black Water" and "China Grove". Meanwhile, The Doobie Brothers were also making their mark on the FM side. The album-oriented rock (AOR) format was just gaining traction in the early to mid 70's and Doobie's tunes were prominently featured in that format as well. What I particularly enjoyed about The Doobie Brothers was that no two songs seemed to sound alike. This was a very innovative group that featured tight harmonies and superior musicianship.
As I mentioned earlier the group was plagued by constant personnel changes which made the fact that their music was so consistantly good all the more remarkable. In 1975, Michael McDonald came aboard to replace Tom Johnston and lent his considerable talents to the group. But the group had a lot of trouble coming up with another big hit. "Takin' It To The Streets" and "It Keeps You Runnin'" were great records but it seemed the public had lost some interest. In late 1978 the group released the album "Minute By Minute". This record was greeted with wild enthusiasm by the public. Not only did it reach #1 on the Billboard Albums chart, but it stayed there for five weeks. "Minute By Minute" also spawned the #1 single "What A Fool Believes" which in my opinion would rank among the best singles of the 1970's. The group continued to have varying amounts of success until they finally disbanded in 1983. The Doobie Brothers re-formed briefly with Tom Johnston back at the helm and released the great Top 10 single "The Doctor" which thankfully Rhino has chosen to include in this collection.
Featuring a total of 33 tracks on 2 discs "The Very Best of the Doobie Brothers" is a compehensive anthology of the band's biggest and best radio hits. These are all the original hit singles you would remember from the radio. Virtually every one of the 27 singles that hit the Billboard Hot 100 are included here. In addition, what distinguishes this 2006 two-disc set from Rhino's previous single disc compilation is the inclusion of a handful of the most memorable tracks from The Doobie Brothers eight Top Ten albums of the 1970s. Great stuff! As usual, Rhino has also provided an attractive booklet which details all of the twists and turns that took place in the life of this marvelous group. "The Very Best of The Doobie Brothers" should be considered essential to any serious collection of American rock and roll. Very highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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The first double-disc Doobie set, this takes you on a soulful rock ride from the early Tom Johnston-era classics to the Michael McDonald smashes. It's their only album with every hit: What a Fool Believes; Black Water; Real Love; Long Train Runnin'; The Doctor; China Grove; Listen to the Music; Jesus Is Just Alright; Take Me in Your Arms; Takin' It to the Streets; Minute by Minute , and more. 33 tracks from 1971-91!