Tag Archives: Best Of The Doobies

Rocks In The Attic #502: The Doobie Brothers – ‘The Captain And Me’ (1973)

RITA#502This isn’t my favourite Doobs album – that would be Toulouse Street – but this is probably the most successful one, if you consider the strength of the individual songs on it. Both Long Train Runnin’ and China Grove were lifted off this record, and they’re amongst the best singles the band ever released.

In 1976, when the band’s first compilation, Best Of The Doobies, was being put together, as well as taking the two hit singles on The Captain And Me, they also took a couple of album tracks – Without You and South City Midnight Lady. As a result, these two songs now sound like hit singles. The end result for The Captain And Me is a record that feels like it’s full of hits.

Of course the thing that makes this a great Doobie Brothers album is the absence of Michael McDonald. He wasn’t tainting the band with his smooth AOR vocals just yet. I’ve criticised him enough in the past though, so I won’t elaborate further on this lest anyone think I have a personal vendetta against the man. <Aside> I do!

The record does mark the first occasion when fellow Steely Dan alumnus Jeff “Skunk” Baxter would appear on a Doobie Brothers album. He would also appear on the following year’s What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, before becoming a fully fledged ‘brother’ on 1975’s Stampede.

Hit: Long Train Runnin’

Hidden Gem: Busted Down Around O’Connelly Corners

Rocks In The Attic #160: The Doobie Brothers – ‘Best Of The Doobies’ (1976)

In 1988, when I was 10, my parents and I went to the U.S. and Canada. We spent a week in Toronto, and then went on a road trip over the next fortnight. We drove down to Washington D.C., and then up to New York City, Plymouth, Boston, over the border into Montreal, and then back to Toronto.

During those two long, hot, stuffy weeks in a rental car, I was given a crash-course into good music. Not long after we set off, my Dad bought a double cassette of The Best Of The Doobies / The Best Of The Doobies Vol. 2 to play in the car, and this became the soundtrack for the holiday.

Up to that point, music hadn’t really found me. Michael Jackson had released Bad a year earlier in 1987, and although I liked that record – and all the hype surrounding it – I still felt like an outsider to music in general. The Doobie Brothers, strangely enough (for a 10-year old boy in 1988), were my way in.

I couldn’t really think of a better band to soundtrack an American road trip. Every night we stayed in a different motel, and I’d go and find the Pepsi machine and ice bin. Every meal was at a roadside diner, and we even ate at the sort of places that had tabletop jukebox machines, just like on the cover of this album.

I don’t know why, but although I continued to listen to The Doobs when I got home, I didn’t really bother looking for anything else to listen to. I think listening to this album rekindled my interest in Huey Lewis & The News, much to the amusement of Shaunee Lever, but essentially I was still too young to get into music big-time. That would happen a few years down the road.

To this day, I still haven’t been back to the USA, but you can bet that when I do I’ll be playing this album in our rental car.

Hit: Long Train Runnin’

Hidden Gem: Black Water