Doobie Brothers - The Doobies evolved from a San Jose, USA, outfit called Spud, which featured drummer John Hartman and guitarist Tom Johnson. Bassist Dave Shogren and guitarist Pat Simmons completed the line-up, and in September 1970, they adopted the name the Doobie Brothers, in deference to a slang term for a marijuana cigarette. They signed to Warner Brothers Records and released their debut, self-titled album in 1971. It was after the release of this good but commercially unsuccessful album that they added a second drummer, Mike Hossack, as well as a new bassist in Tiran Porter, to their line-up. This revised line-up released "Toulouse Street" in 1972 ( this album featured the successful single "Listen to the Music"). Our featured album was one of their best known and most popular, with both "China Grove" and "Long Train Running" charting all over the world. Hossack was later replaced by Keith Knudsen (although Hossack would later return), Steely Dan guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter joined, as did vocalist/keyboard player Michael Macdonald joined in 1976, in time for their "Takin' it to the Streets" album. The arrival of Macdonald saw the band move in a more commercial direction, to the point that he essentially assumed control of the band's sound. "Minute by Minute", released in 1980, was probably their most successful album to date, and it spawned their number one hit, "What a Fool Believes". Baxter and Hartman then left the band, with newcomers John McFee (guitar), Chet McCracken (drums) and Cornelius Bumpus (sax/keyboards), slotting in. The Doobies split in 1981, after their "One Step Closer" album, with both Macdonald and Simmons embarking on solo careers. They reformed in 1989 and released the fairly good "Cycles" album and, in 1991, "Brotherhood", but this reformation didn't last too long and they split again, only to reform again in 1996 and record the stunning double live "Rockin' Down the Highway" album that year. They're still around today, releasing a new album, "Sibling Rivalry", towards the end of last year. (See the new releases section for a review of that album). 

  

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Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
As one of the most popular Californian pop/rock bands of the '70s, the Doobie Brothers evolved from a mellow, post-hippie boogie band to a slick, soul-inflected pop band by the end of the decade. Along the way, the group racked up a string of gold and platinum albums in the U.S., along with a number of radio hits like "Listen to the Music," "Black Water," and "China Grove."

The roots of the Doobie Brothers lie in Pud, a short-lived Californian country-rock band in the vein of Moby Grape featuring guitarist/vocalist Tom Johnston and drummer John Hartman. After Pud collapsed in 1969, the pair began jamming with bassist Dave Shogren and guitarist Patrick Simmons. Eventually, the quartet decided to form a group, naming themselves the Doobie Brothers after a slang term for marijuana. Soon, the Doobies earned a strong following throughout Southern California, especially among Hell's Angels, and they were signed to Warner Bros. in 1970. The band's eponymous debut was ignored upon its 1971 release. Following its release, Shogren was replaced by Tiran Porter and the group added a second drummer, Michael Hossack, for 1972's Toulouse Street. Driven by the singles "Listen to the Music" and "Jesus Is Just Alright," Toulouse Street became the group's breakthrough. The Captain and Me (1973) was even more successful, spawning the Top Ten hit "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove."

Keith Knudsen replaced Hossack as the group's second drummer for 1974's What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, which launched their first number one single, "Black Water," and featured heavy contributions from former Steely Dan member Jeff "Skunk" Baxter. Baxter officially joined the Doobie Brothers for 1975's Stampede. Prior to the album's spring release, Johnston was hospitalized with a stomach ailment and was replaced for the supporting tour by keyboardist/vocalist Michael McDonald, who had also worked with Steely Dan. Although it peaked at number four, Stampede wasn't as commercially successful as its three predecessors, and the group decided to let McDonald and Baxter, who were now official Doobies, revamp the band's light country-rock and boogie.

The new sound was showcased on 1976's Takin' It to the Streets, a collection of light funk and jazzy pop that resulted in a platinum album. Later that year, the group released the hits compilation The Best of the Doobies. In 1977, the group released Livin' on the Fault Line, which was successful without producing any big hits. Johnston left the band after the album's release to pursue an unsuccessful solo career. Following his departure, the Doobies released their most successful album, Minute by Minute (1978), which spent five weeks at number one on the strength of the number one single "What a Fool Believes." Hartman and Baxter left the group after the album's supporting tour, leaving the Doobie Brothers as McDonald's backing band.

Following a year of audition, the Doobies hired ex-Clover guitarist John McFee, session drummer Chet McCracken, and former Moby Grape saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus and released One Step Closer (1980), a platinum album that produced the Top Ten hit "Real Love." During the tour for One Step Closer, McCracken was replaced by Andy Newmark. Early in 1982, the Doobie Brothers announced they were breaking up after a farewell tour, which was documented on the 1983 live album Farewell Tour. After the band's split, McDonald pursued a successful solo career, while Simmons released one unsuccessful solo record. In 1987, the Doobies reunited for a concert at the Hollywood Bowl, which quickly became a brief reunion tour; McDonald declined to participate in the tour.

By 1989, the early-'70s lineup of Johnston, Simmons, Hartman, Porter, and Hossack, augmented by percussionist and former Doobies roadie Bobby LaKind, had signed a contract with Capitol Records. Their reunion album, Cycles, went gold upon its summer release in 1989, spawning the Top Ten hit "The Doctor." Brotherhood followed two years later, but it failed to generate much interest. For the remainder of the '90s, the group toured the U.S., playing the oldies circuit and '70s revival concerts. By 1995, McDonald had joined the group again, and the following year saw the release of Rockin' Down the Highway. But the lineup had once again shifted by the turn of the new millennium. 2000 saw the band — Hossack, Johnston, Knudsen, McFee, and Simmons — issue Sibling Rivalry, which featured touring members Guy Allison on keyboards, Marc Russo on saxophone, and Skylark on bass. 

 

Michael McDonald
Chet McCracken
Cornelius Bumpus
Tom Johnston
Patrick Simmons
Jeff Baxter
Michael Hossack
Keith Knudsen
Bobby LaKind
John McFee
Tiran Porter
Dave Shogren
John Hartman

Boz Scaggs
Little Feat
Hall & Oates
Steely Dan
Climax Blues Band
Kenny Loggins
Eagles
REO Speedwagon
Toto
America
Robbie Dupree
Orleans
Pablo Cruise

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Doobie Brothers - 1971 - Doobie brothers - 2.5/5

Doobie Brothers - 1972 - Toulouse street - 4/5

Doobie Brothers - 1973 - The Captain & Me - 4.5/5

Doobie Brothers - 1974 - What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits - 3.5/5

Doobie Brothers - 1975 - Stampede - 4.5/5

Doobie Brothers - 1976 - Takin' It to the Streets - 4.5/5

Doobie Brothers - 1977 - Livin' on the Fault Line - 4/5

Doobie Brothers - 1978 - Minute by Minute - 4/5

Doobie Brothers - 1980 - Farewell Tour - 2/5

Doobie Brothers - 1980 - One Step Closer - 2/5

Doobie Brothers - 1989 - Cycles - 1/5

Doobie Brothers - 1991 - Brotherhood - 2.5/5

Doobie Brothers - 1996 - Rockin' Down the Highway, The Wildlife concert - 2/5

Doobie Brothers - 2000 - Sibling rivalry - 3/5

Doobie Brothers - 2003 - Divided Highway - 4/5

Doobie Brothers - 2004 - Live at Wolf Trap - 2.5/5

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