World Gone Crazy – The Doobie Brothers | CD review

(Eagle/Shock) 3 stars

The Doobie Brothers epitomise the laidback sound of ’70s California, with soulful, gospel-inspired harmonies and guitar-driven melodies underpinned by muscular rhythms.

They’ve continued to perform live over the years, in various incarnations and got together again recently for ‘World Gone Crazy’.

Aided by veteran producer Ted Templeman who helmed hits like ‘Listen To The Music’, it involves much the same line-up as the group’s live shows – their excellent 2004 concert DVD ‘Live at Wolf Trap’ is a fine example.

To listen to previews of tracks from this album, press the play button

The core band of guitarists/vocalists Pat Simmons, Tom Johnston and John McFee, drummer Mike Hossack plus Guy Alison on keyboards, is augmented by a horn section, vocalists and sessionplayers including Norton Buffalo (harmonica) and Little Feat’s Bill Payne (keyboards).

Former member Mike McDonald guests on the jazzy Latin ballad ‘Don’t Say Goodbye’, while Willie Nelson and Simmons duet on one of the best tracks, ‘I Know We Won’, a gentle ballad they co-wrote.

The highlight, ‘Nobody’, first featured on the Doobies’ 1971 debut album. The 2010 version builds on those tight harmonies and Johnston’s lead vocal with an appealing, folk-guitar intro from McFee and Simmons.

It’s a classic sound that retains its sparkle 40 years on.

- Mike Daly

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