The Second Disc

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Listen To The Music: Doobie Brothers Catalogue Expanded In The U.K.

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Are you ready to listen to the music?

If you are, you’re in for quite a treat.  The U.K.’s Edsel label has just launched a series of expanded Doobie Brothers remasters, encompassing the band’s first eight studio albums (1971-1978) as four 2-CD packages.  Doobie Brothers/Toulouse Street and The Captain and Me/What Once Were Vices were just released this past Monday, while Stampede/Takin’ It to the Streets and Livin’ On The Fault Line/Minute by Minute follow on September 26.  These eight albums nearly represent the entirety of the band’s pre-retirement career; only 1980’s One Step Closer and the live Farewell Tour (1983) would follow before The Doobies took a hiatus of almost seven years.  Each Edsel edition has added bonus material such as demos, single versions and extended remixes for what should be a definitive Doobie reissue program.  Many of these tracks previously appeared on the Doobies’ 1999 Rhino box set Long Train Runnin’, and are now being appended to their proper albums.

Though the Doobie Brothers lineup changed with some frequency, the spirit of musical camaraderie remained, seeing the group through sixteen Top 40 singles (including two at No. 1), seven platinum albums and two Grammy Awards.  The band was originally formed by Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons, John Hartman and Dave Shogren; Hartman and Johnston had previously played an outfit named Pud, while Simmons was a member of the band Scratch.  Warner Bros. Records’ Lenny Waronker (The Beau Brummels, Randy Newman, Harper’s Bizarre) produced with Ted Templeman, and Waronker may have influenced the group to take a primarily acoustic direction for their self-titled 1971 debut.  Although “Nobody” had potential as a hit, the Doobies’ debut went largely unnoticed, and Shogren was replaced by Tiran Porter; Mike Hossack joined, supplementing Hartman as second drummer.  Templeman encouraged the Doobies to pursue a harder Southern rock muse despite their California origins.  The formula worked.  Toulouse Street (1972) included both the AM hit “Listen to the Music” and “Jesus Is Just Alright,” eventually going platinum.  Its follow-up, The Captain and Me (1973), boasted “Long Train Runnin’,” another Tom Johnston song that even bested the chart placement of Johnston’s “Listen to the Music.”  The songwriter/singer/guitarist was on a roll, with “China Grove” another hit from the album.

It was natural that another Tom Johnston song would be selected as lead single for 1974’s What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits, but “Another Park, Another Sunday” failed to repeat the success of its predecessors.  But the band had an ace up its sleeve with Patrick Simmons’ “Black Water.”  The song became the band’s first number one.  Hossack departed the group during the recording of the album, though, and was replaced with the Bay Area drummer Keith Knudsen.  Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of Steely Dan was brought in before recording commenced on 1975’s Stampede, featuring the Holland/Dozier/Holland “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me)” as its first single.  The Steely Dan connection would soon figure prominently in Doobies lore.

We’ve got much, much more after the jump, including full track listings and discography!

When Tom Johnston fell ill from a stomach disorder in April 1975, the band was at a crossroads.  Keith Knudsen recalled the group considering “just calling it quits and going home,” as he told Barry Alfonso in 1991.  Then Knudsen recalled a former Steely Dan sideman named Michael McDonald.  The singer, songwriter and pianist stepped in for the group’s concert tour and was invited to participate in the recording of the band’s next LP.  He had such an impact that his song “Takin’ It to the Streets” became the album’s title and single.  The more sophisticated R&B sound with a relevant message brought a whole new audience to the Doobie Brothers.  McDonald cited Marvin Gaye as one influence for the even more adventurous “It Keeps You Runnin’,” which became another of the band’s staples.  McDonald’s slick jazz-rock, in part learned from Steely Dan, informed 1977’s Livin’ on the Fault Line, highlighted by his “You Belong To Me,” co-written with Carly Simon (and also recorded by Simon herself).  It was a surprise that Fault Line “merely” went gold, but it was no matter when 1978’s Minute by Minute topped the Billboard album chart for five weeks and went on to sales of over 3 million copies.  Minute by Minute’s sales were driven by the success of McDonald’s latest collaboration.  “What a Fool Believes” was written with Kenny Loggins, and the No. 1 pop song won its writers the coveted Song of the Year trophy at the Grammy Awards.  The Doobie Brothers picked up Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal By A Duo, Group or Chorus, and the song also took home Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists!  Whew!

Edsel’s current program ends there, with the Doobies at their biggest moment of triumph.  Shortly thereafter, internal strife would enter the band picture, and the group fractured.  One more studio album (1980’s One Step Closer) went platinum before The Doobie Brothers called it quits, announcing their farewell tour in March 1982.  McDonald had already begun a hugely successful solo career, and Tom Johnston was already recording on his own as well.  In 1988, the Toulouse Street-era band would reunite, and The Doobie Brothers continues to record and perform live, even today.

All of the reissues feature new annotation by Alan Robinson plus lyrics, photographs and credits in 20-24 page booklets.  Edsel’s two packages consisting of the first four studio albums are already in stores in the U.K. while the final two sets will arrive on September 26.  All four collections are available for order/pre-order at the links below!

The Doobie Brothers, The Doobie Brothers/Toulouse Street (Edsel EDSD 2104, 2011)

CD 1: The Doobie Brothers (Warner Bros. LP WS-1919, 1971) + Bonus Material
  1. Nobody
  2. Slippery St. Paul
  3. Greenwood Creek
  4. It Won’t Be Right
  5. Travelin’ Man
  6. Feelin’ Down Farther
  7. The Master
  8. Growin’ A Little Each Day
  9. The Beehive State
  10. Closer Every Day
  11. Chicago
  12. Nobody [single remix] (Warner Bros. single WBS-8041, 1974)
  13. Daughters Of The Sea [demo] (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  14. Armadillo Death Chant (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  15. Osborne (Long Train Running) (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  16. Four Days Gone (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  17. Spiel (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  18. Lovin’ My Way Back Home (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  19. Pat’s Song (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  20. Bluejay (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  21. Peace In The Valley (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
CD 2: Toulouse Street (Warner Bros. LP BS-2634, 1972) + Bonus Material
  1. Listen To The Music
  2. Rockin’ Down The Highway
  3. Mamaloi
  4. Toulouse Street
  5. Cotton Mouth
  6. Don’t Start Me Talkin’
  7. Jesus Is Just Alright
  8. White Sun
  9. Disciple
  10. Snake Man
  11. Listen To The Music [single remix] (Information TBD; original single Warner Bros. WB-7619, 1972)
  12. Rockin’ Down The Highway [single remix] (Information TBD; original single Warner Bros. WB-7661, 1972)
  13. Listen To The Music [Steve Rodway extended remix] (Warner Bros. W-0228-T, 1994)

The Doobie Brothers, The Captain and Me/What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits (Edsel, 2011)

CD 1 : The Captain and Me (Warner Bros. LP BS-2694, 1973) + Bonus Material
  1. Natural Thing
  2. Long Train Runnin’
  3. China Grove
  4. Dark Eyed Cajun Woman
  5. Clear As The Driven Snow
  6. Without You
  7. South City Midnight Lady
  8. Evil Woman
  9. Busted Down Around O ‘ Connelly Corners
  10. Ukiah
  11. The Captain And Me
  12. Long Train Runnin’ (Sure Is Pure mix) (Warner Bros. W-0217, 1993)
  13. Long Train Runnin’ (Full Guitar mix) (Warner Bros. W-0217, 1993)
  14. Long Train Runnin’ (Done On A Shoestring mix) (Warner Bros. W-0217, 1993)
CD 2: What Once Were Vices Are Now Habits (Warner Bros. LP W-2750, 1974)
  1. Song To See You Through
  2. Spirit
  3. Pursuit On 53rd Street
  4. Black Water
  5. Eyes Of Silver
  6. Road Angel
  7. You Just Can’t Stop It
  8. Tell Me What You Want (And I’ll Give You What You Need)
  9. Down In The Track
  10. Another Park, Another Sunday
  11. Daughters Of The Sea
  12. Flying Cloud

The Doobie Brothers, Stampede/Takin’ It to the Streets (Edsel, 2011)

CD 1: Stampede (Warner Bros. LP BS-2835, 1975) + Bonus Material

  1. Sweet Maxine
  2. Neal’s Fandango
  3. Texas Lullaby
  4. Music Man
  5. Slat Key Soquel Rag
  6. Take Me In Your Arms
  7. I Cheat The Hangman
  8. Precis
  9. Rainy Day Crossroad Blues
  10. I Been Workin’ On You
  11. Double Dealin’ Four Flusher
  12. Sweet Maxine [single remix] (Information TBD, original single Warner Bros.WBS-8126, 1975)
  13. Mambo Waltz (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  14. Outside Of Barstow (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  15. Argentine Grape (Sweet Maxine) (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  16. Shuffle (Double Dealin’ Four Flusher) (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)

CD 2: Takin’ It to the Streets (Warner Bros.  BS-2899, 1976) + Bonus Material

  1. Wheels Of Fortune
  2. Takin’ It To The Streets
  3. 8th Avenue Shuffle
  4. Losin’ End
  5. Rio
  6. For Someone Special
  7. It Keeps You Runnin’
  8. Turn It Loose
  9. Carry Me Away
  10. Takin’ It To The Streets [demo] (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)
  11. We Would Sail Away (Saint Paul) (Long Train’ Runnin’, Rhino 75876, 1999)

The Doobie Brothers, Livin’ on the Fault Line/Minute by Minute (Edsel, 2011)

CD 1 : Livin’ on the Fault Line (Warner Bros. LP BSK-3045, 1977)

  1. You’re Made That Way
  2. Echoes Of Love
  3. Little Darlin’ (I Need You)
  4. You Belong To Me
  5. Livin’ On The Fault Line
  6. Nothin’ But A Heartache
  7. Chinatown
  8. There’s A Light
  9. Need a Lady
  10. Larry the Logger Two-Step

CD 2 : Minute by Minute (Warner Bros. LP BSK-3193, 1978) + Bonus Material

  1. Here To Love You
  2. What a Fool Believes
  3. Minute By Minute
  4. Dependin’ On You
  5. Don’t Stop To Watch The Wheels
  6. Open Your Eyes
  7. Sweet Feelin’
  8. Steamer Lane Breakdown
  9. You Never Change
  10. How Do The Fools Survive?
  11. Here To Love You [single remix] (Warner Bros. WBS-50001, 1978)
  12. What A Fool Believes [12” remix] (Warner Bros. WBSD-8778, 1978)

Written by Joe Marchese

September 2, 2011 at 11:02

3 Responses

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  1. I will grab “Fault Line/Minute” to finally get the 12″ Jim Burgess remix of “What a Fool Believes” on CD. Not expecting to be blown away by the mastering, though.


    September 7, 2011 at 10:00

  2. Has anyone bought any of these yet??

    Since I own the original U.S. CD’s, would upgrading really be worth it??

    Especially since some (most??) of the extras already appeared on
    LTR, I’d probably be better off finding a cheap used copy of the box set

    Bill Janowski

    October 2, 2011 at 14:55

  3. This is a superb release by edsel! Both the artwork (with new liner notes) and the remastered sound are excellent. It should be called “The Definitive Edition”! The “Long Train Running”-Box sure was nice, but lacked certain key tracks. Now everything is there, even all of the bonus tracks from the Box. But why don’t they release the “One Step Closer” album? It’s an integral part of the Doobies catalogue! It features yet another incarnation of the group which is definitely not just a backup band for Michael McDonald! The formula is the same as before, Pat Simmons has some great tracks on it as well! Edsel should couple “One Step Closer” with the “Farewell Tour” album along with the remaining bonus tracks from the Box into another great 2Disc-Set. It would be much appreciated!

    Nils Peretzke

    November 29, 2011 at 11:01

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