Let the Music Play – The Story of the Doobie Brothers

Music Review

5 Dec 2012
The Doobie Brothers
Let the Music Play – The Story of the Doobie Brothers
Eagle Vision

The Doobie Brothers are usually written off as just another MOR band, perhaps even the definitive example of the genre but as this documentary reveals they were a hard working, talented and extremely adaptable band that happened to be very successful. The Doobie's story starts with them getting the name on account of their enthusiasm for marijuana and works its way from a false start where they were encouraged to trade their ‘meat ‘n’ potatoes’ rock sound for something more acoustic on their eponymous debut. Things got back on track for Toulouse Street, an early Ted Templeman production and the first of many with the band and it's to his credit that they found such a successful sound, the first single from the album was Listen to the Music which proved an auspicious debut. By this point they had expanded to include not only a second drummer but a congo player as well, the band was also joined by ex Steely Dan guitar player Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter who would prove pivotal when it came to a change of frontman in 1975. Up until that point Tom Johnston had written and sung most of the songs (albeit often in harmony with two other singers) but when he was taken ill and replaced with another Dan alumni, Mike McDonald, the Doobies found both an incredible singer and a fine song writer. The McDonald era proved the most commercially and arguably artistically successful thanks to tunes like Takin’ it to The Street and It Keeps You Runnin’ (it would seem that Gs were in short supply back then!).

This second incarnation of the Doobies split in 1982 but the original band got back together five years later and have been going in one form or another ever since. This Blu-ray includes nine live tracks from the various versions of the band and includes some of their finest work. What it also does is inspire you to hear the original cuts again, if this is MOR you’ll find me by the cat’s eyes.

Blu-ray formats available: DTS-HD Master, PCM stereo

Jason Kennedy