The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

Tag: Michael McDonald

Doobie Brothers still rockin’ down the highway

First things first: Let’s just put the Doobie Brothers into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame right now. It’s long overdue. Waive whatever rules there all and just pencil the band in to accept the designation and perform at the next induction ceremony.

This is not a new thought, but it certainly was reinforced Saturday, July 21, when the Doobies shared the bill with Chicago (2016 R&RHOF inductees).

Simply put, the Doobie Brothers rocked the roof off the BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. They’re just that good. The 15-song set was heavy on the early Doobies, with 13 of the songs coming from albums recorded between 1972 and 1975 – Toulouse Street, The Captain and Me, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits and Stampede.

That was fine with me. Those were the years that I listened to a lot of Doobie Brothers. I was a sophomore … Read more

‘Takin’ It to the Streets’ with Michael McDonald on the Atlantic City Boardwalk

Michael McDonald closed his show Saturday night at the Tropicana in Atlantic City with “Takin’ It to the Streets,” which made sense.

The song, from a 1976 Doobie Brothers album by the same name, was the first single written by McDonald released from the first album on which he appeared as a member of the Doobie Brothers. The song made it to No. 13 on the U.S. Billboard Pop Singles chart. It’s a great tune and likely holds a special spot for McDonald among his vast library of songs.

McDonald had replaced Tom Johnston, who was sidelined in 1975 with health issues, in the Doobie Brothers, and “Takin’ It to the Streets” – both the song and album itself – was a signal that the band was going in a completely different direction.

The intro to “Takin’ It to the Streets” came to McDonald in his car while driving through … Read more

Reelin’ in the Steely Dan experience, with an assist from Steve Winwood

Here the thing: If you’re a Steely Dan fan and you’ve paid to see the band in concert, then you cannot get up and go to the restroom just as the artists are breaking into “Reelin’ in the Years.”

I understand that those of us who grew up with Steely Dan over the past 40-plus years may be at an age where the frequency of using the facilities may be more challenging to us at this age than it was in our younger days.

But c’mon, it’s “Reelin’ in the Years,” one of Steely Dan’s most enduring hits. The song, written by Dan founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, reached No. 11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 7 on the U.S. Cashbox Top 100 chart in 1973. It appeared on the band’s debut album “Can’t Buy A Thrill,” released in November 1972.

Surely one can reel … Read more

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