Significant Songs (197)

What A Fool Believes

In 1979, I bought an album by the American band, The Doobie Brothers. It was called ‘Minute by Minute’. I had become more interested in the group once Michael McDonald joined them in 1976, as I really liked his distinctive vocal, and he had already toured as part of Steely Dan. The new release had some standout tracks, including this one, and ‘Minute by Minute’. ‘What A fool Believes’ won a Grammy, and was a number one hit in many countries.

The song stuck in my head, and fast became my favourite track, as well as enduring down the years. Michael still sings the song in his solo concerts, and it has been covered over twenty times by other singers, including a version from Aretha Franklin. Great piano, McDonald’s vocals, and the overall sound make this one of my classic 70s records. Wonderful stuff, and great memories.

The group broke up in 1982, and Michael went on to a successful solo career, still performing and writing songs today, at the age of 66. (Same age as me!)

20 thoughts on “Significant Songs (197)

  1. I love the Michael McDonald era of the Doobie Brothers. They had a successful run for many years without him and some Doobie Brother fan’s–like my husband–felt that McDonald ruined the band. I’m not in that category, I actually prefer the McDonald era, but his influence did take the band in a new, more Pop direction. Steely Dan and The Doobie’s are tethered to another great musician–Jeff “Skunk” Baxter. Skunk is a wonderful guitarist and prolific studio musician who toured and recorded with Steely Dan. He is also a founding member of The Doobie Brothers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, and unlike your husband, Michael joining the band made it much better for me. Few modern American vocalists have such a range, or such an affecting voice in all genres. That said, I also enjoyed their records before his time, just not as much. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete, I have been a fan of The Doobie Brothers from the early, rock-infused days of “China Grove”, “Listen To The Music” and “Black Water” – but when lead singer Tom Johnston took a break, they brought on McDonald, who gave them a soulful, pop-infused groove that was also terrific. I posted a story about the “tale of two Doobies” in case anyone is interested –

    https://johnrieber.com/2015/05/24/black-water-what-a-fool-believes-a-tale-of-two-doobie-brothers/

    Liked by 1 person

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