I picked up this disc at work for cheap, thinking I didn’t know much by this band and this would be a great way to try them out. As it turns out, I knew just about every song!
Every time I think of this band, I remember Michael Douglas in the Columbian jungle with Kathleen Turner, in Romancing The Stone. They find that crashed airplane full of drugs, and the pilots had had some magazines on board. Turner’s freaking out, in general… meanwhile Douglas is sitting there saying “Dammit man, the Doobie Brothers broke up! Shit! When did this happen?” Hahaha classic.
And the songs on this disc? Stellar.
China Grove, of course, everyone knows. It was probably on every Hits Of The 70s Rock compilation ever. Surely you know it! Long Train Runnin’ is another hit tune, of course, I love those funky guitars. Sounds like Sly and the Family Stone or something. There’s a great harmonica solo too. Takin’ It To The Streets is yet another huge hit, a staple of popular radio. Through the good headphones, the bass sound on this track is huge. Loved it.
Four tracks in and here comes another tune everyone knows! Listen To The Music, of course, is a lovely jam out with that great shout-along chorus. Pure classic. Black Water keeps the hits on coming. It’s a bit trippy, with acoustic guitars and violin and that southern bluesy feel and that indelible refrain.
Holy crap, I knew Rockin’ Down The Highway too, though I haven’t heard it as much as the others here so far. A solid rockin’ tune. Jesus Is Just Alright jams along over bongo drums and some fantastic guitar work and hammond organ stabs. Even the slow jam breakdown section is pretty and bluesy. It Keeps You Runnin’ is another radio hit, that goofy synth bounce thing. We’ve all heard this so many times, the chorus is definitely etched in our brains.
South City Midnight Lady is the Doobies’ best Eagles impersonation. I knew this one too, of course, and the songwriting on it is superb. Just a great tune. Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me) is full-on Otis Redding soul-shouter bliss. Quick tempo, totally lifting. Not sure I’d ever heard this one before, but I wish I had! If this Stax/Motown soul blaster don’t get you off your ass to dance, nothing will! And finally, Without You closes us out with a big and juicy fuzz blues guitar rock-out. Somehow, I can hear the Black Crowes covering this one with aplomb.
Holy hell, this disc truly is a collection of Hits. I couldn’t have told you I knew some of these songs by reading the track listing, but once I plugged it in and hit Play, I knew almost the whole damn thing by heart! Way to go, Doobie Brothers!