NUMBER ONE ALBUMS, 1976-85 WEEK* (MAY 5-11, 2014)
On the cover photo, Michael McDonald doesn't look to happy to be here, but we're glad he showed up. Rolling Stone magazine titled its review of this album "The Doobie Brothers dabble on and on, but Michael McDonald's great" (p.90, RS 285). Even without checking the credits, you can easily separate songs McDonald wrote from those written by guitarist Patrick Simmons. And quite frankly, the blue-eyed soul McDonald songs are far better than the hippie boogie groove of the others. Earlier Doobie albums seemed to rely on the solid playing of the musicians, this one seems to rely more on the songwriting. Rumor has it that the band was understandably frustrated after this album was completed and were ready to call it quits. Then sales took off and, not surprisingly, they decide to stick it out a little longer. Can't blame them.
The group's most commercially successful album, Minute By Minute was nominated for Album of the Year (losing to 52nd Street) and singles from the album won four Grammy awards:
- Record of the Year (What A Fool Believes)
- Song of the Year (What A Fool Believes)
- Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocals (What A Fool Believes)
- Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus (Minute By Minute)
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #2
Tracks: What A Fool Believes and Minute By Minute are both soft rock favorites of mine. The electric piano intro of Minute By Minute is particularly memorable. Hard core DB fans will tell you that What A Fool Believes, written by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, doesn't sound like a DB song, but it is so good that doesn't matter much to me. The Steely Dan-ish Dependin' On You was a minor hit (#25) and is also good. Of the others, stick with the McDonald tunes (just ignore the "God sez" lyrics of Carole Bayer Sager on How Do The Fools Survive? and enjoy the sweet guitar solo).
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None
Previously revisited for the blog:
The Very Best Of (2007)
Takin' It To The Streets (1976)
*Two weeks ago on another blog (My Favorite Decade, 1976-1985), I asked myself if I owned all of the #1 albums from that particular decade. It turned out that I wasn't anywhere close to owning them all and, embarrassed, went on a CD shopping spree to rectify the situation. With most of these #1 albums, I am hearing them complete for the first time this week.