The Doobie Brothers – Minute By Minute (1978)

LPFrontCover1The Doobie Brothers are an American rock band from San Jose, California, known for their flexibility in performing across numerous genres and their vocal harmonies. Active for five decades, with their greatest success in the 1970s, the group’s current lineup consists of founding members Tom Johnston (guitars, vocals) and Patrick Simmons (guitars, vocals), alongside Michael McDonald (keyboards, vocals) and John McFee (guitars, pedal steel, violin, backing vocals), and touring musicians including John Cowan (bass, vocals), Bill Payne (keyboards), Marc Russo (saxophones), Ed Toth (drums), and Marc Quiñones (percussion). Other long-serving members of the band include guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (1972–1979), bassist Tiran Porter (1972–1980, 1987–1992) and drummers John Hartman (1970–1979, 1987–1992), Michael Hossack (1971–1973, 1987–2012), and Keith Knudsen (1973–1982, 1993–2005).

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Johnston provided the lead vocals for the band from 1970 to 1975, when they featured a mainstream rock sound with elements of folk, country and R&B. Michael McDonald joined the band in 1975 as a keyboard player and second lead vocalist, to give some relief to Johnston, who was suffering health problems at the time. McDonald’s interest in soul music introduced a new sound to the band. Johnston and McDonald performed together as co-lead vocalists for one album, Takin’ It to the Streets, before Johnston retired fully in 1977. Frequent lineup changes followed through the rest of the 1970s, and the band broke up in 1982 with Simmons being the only constant member having appeared on all of their albums. In 1987, the Doobie Brothers reformed with Johnston back in the fold; McDonald, who had previously made several guest appearances since their reformation, returned to the band full-time in 2019 for their 50th anniversary tour.

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The group’s fourteen studio albums include six top-ten appearances on the Billboard 200 album chart, including 1978’s Minute by Minute, which reached number one for five weeks, and won the band a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, while the single “What A Fool Believes” from the album won three Grammys itself. The band has released six live albums, and numerous greatest hits compilations, including 1976’s Best of The Doobies, which was certified diamond by the RIAA for reaching album sales of ten million copies, the band’s best selling album. The band’s sixteen Billboard Hot 100 top-40 hits include “Listen to the Music”, “Jesus is Just Alright”, “Long Train Runnin'”, “China Grove”, “Black Water” (#1 in 1974), “Takin’ It to the Streets”, “What A Fool Believes” (#1 in 1979), and “The Doctor”, all of which remain in heavy rotation on classic rock radio.

The Doobie Brothers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on November 7, 2020. The group has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

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Minute by Minute is the eighth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers, released on December 1, 1978, by Warner Bros. Records. It was their last album to include members John Hartman (until Cycles) and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.

The album spent 87 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart and spent two weeks at number one. In the spring of 1979 Minute by Minute was the best-selling album in the U.S. for five non-consecutive weeks. It was certified 3× Platinum by the RIAA.

The song “What a Fool Believes” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April 1979 and became the band’s biggest hit. The title track and “Depending on You” were also released as singles and reached the top 30.

Minute by Minute made The Doobie Brothers one of the big winners at the 22nd Grammy Awards. The album got the trophy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and received a nomination for Album of the Year; the single “What a Fool Believes” earned them three Grammys, including Song and Record of the Year. (wikipedia)

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With Tom Johnston gone from the lineup because of health problems, this is where the “new” Doobie Brothers really make their debut, with a richly soulful sound throughout and emphasis on horns and Michael McDonald’s piano more than on Patrick Simmons’ or Jeff Baxter’s guitars. Not that they were absent entirely, or weren’t sometimes right up front in the mix, as the rocking, slashing “Don’t Stop to Watch the Wheels” and the bluegrass-influenced “Steamer Lane Breakdown” demonstrate. But given the keyboards, the funky rhythms, and McDonald’s soaring tenor (showcased best on “What a Fool Believes”), it’s almost difficult to believe that this is the hippie bar band that came out of California in 1970. There’s less virtuosity here than on the group’s first half-dozen albums, but overall a more commercial sound steeped in white funk. It’s still all pretty compelling even if its appeal couldn’t be more different from the group’s earlier work (i.e., The Captain and Me, etc.). The public loved it, buying something like three million copies, and the recording establishment gave Minute by Minute four Grammy Awards, propelling the group to its biggest success ever. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:
Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (guitar)
John Hartman (drums, percussion)
Keith Knudsen (drums, percussion, background vocals)
Michael McDonald (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
Tiran Porter (bass, background vocals)
Patrick Simmons (guitars, vocals)
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Lester Abrams (piano on 10.)
Byron Berline (fiddle on 08.)
Norton Buffalo (harmonica on 05. + 08.)
Rosemary Butler (background  vocals on 01. + 04.)
Ben Cauley (trumpet on 01., 04. + 10.)
Tom Johnston (background vocals on 05.)
Bobby LaKind (percussion, background vocals)
Nicolette Larson (vocals on 07,  background vocals on 04.)
Andrew Love (saxophone on 01., 04. + 10.)
Sumner Mering (guitar on 06.)
Novi Novog (synthesizer on 06.)
Bill Payne (synthesizer on 02. + 03.)
Herb Pedersen (banjo on 08.)
Ted Templeman (drums on 02.)

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Tracklist:
01. Here To Love You (McDonald) 4.03
02. What A Fool Believes (McDonald/Loggins) 3.46
03. Minute By Minute (McDonald/Abrams) 3.29
04. Dependin’ On You (McDonald/Simmons) 3.47
05. Don’t Stop To Watch The Wheels (Simmons/Baxter/Ebert) 3.29
06. Open Your Eyes (McDonald/Abrams/Henderson) 3.20
07. Sweet Feelin’ (Simmons/Templeman) 2.44
08. Steamer Lane Breakdown (Simmons) 3:24
09. You Never Change (Simmons/McDonald) 3.30
10. How Do The Fools Survive? (McDonald/Sager) 5.17

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More from The Doobie Brothers:
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Doobie Brothers – Livin´ On The Fault Line (1977)

FrontCover1.jpgLivin’ on the Fault Line is the seventh studio album by the American rock band The Doobie Brothers, released in 1977. It is one of the few Doobie Brothers albums of the 1970s which did not produce a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (although “You Belong to Me” was a hit as recorded by co-author Carly Simon). Still, the album received modest critical acclaim. Tom Johnston (guitar, vocals) left the band early in the sessions. He is listed as part of the band (appearing in the inside group photo) but appears on little or none of the actual album; despite writing and singing five songs during the sessions for the album, they were not included on the final release. Much of this consistently mellow album has a jazz tinge, and the influences of R&B are palpable throughout. The track “Little Darling (I Need You)” is a remake of the Marvin Gaye 1966 hit. (by wikipedia)

Livin’ on the Fault Line fell between two of the Doobie Brothers’ biggest-selling records. The album had no hit singles, and one-time leader Tom Johnston kept a markedly low profile (this would be his last record with the group, not including a later reunion). Despite this, Livin’ on the Fault Line contains some of the most challenging and well-developed music of the band’s career, with Patrick Simmons and Michael McDonald really stepping to the fore.

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There’s a vague mood of melancholia running through the songs, as well as a definite jazz influence. This is most obvious on the title track, which has several instrumental passages that showcase the guitar abilities of Simmons and Jeff Baxter. Similarly, “Chinatown” is a spooky mood piece not unlike the smooth fusion of late-period Steely Dan or Little Feat. But “Echoes of Love” and “Nothin’ But a Heartache” are both intelligent, glistening pop songs that confirm Simmons and McDonald as first-rate tunesmiths. The record slips a little at the end, with a plodding R&B song and a Piedmont guitar instrumental thrown in as filler. Overall, though, this is a chapter in the Doobie Brothers’ history that deserves a second look. (by Peter Kurtz)

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Personnel:
Jeff Baxter (guitar, steel guitar)
John Hartman (drums)
Keith Knudsen (drums, vocals)
Michael McDonald (keyboards, synthesizer, vocals)
Tiran Porter (bass, vocals)
Patrick Simmons (guitar, vocals)
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Dan Armstrong (electric sitar solo on 09.)
Norton Buffalo (harmonica on 08.)
Rosemary Butler (background vocals on 03., 04. + 08.)
Victor Feldman (vibraphone on 05.)
Bobby LaKind (congas, vocals)
Maureen McDonald (background vocals on 01.)
Ted Templeman (percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. You’re Made That Way (McDonald/Baxter/Knudsen) 3.30
02. Echoes Of Love (Simmons/Mitchell/Randle) 2.57
03. Little Darling (I Need You) (Holland/Dozier/Holland) 3.24
04. You Belong To Me (Simon/McDonald) 3.04
05. Livin’ On The Fault Line (Simmons) 4.42
06. Nothin’ But A Heartache (McDonald) 3.05
07. Chinatown (Simmons) 4.55
08. There’s A Light (McDonald) 4.12
09. Need A Lady (Porter) 3.21
10. Larry The Logger Two-Step (Simmons) 1.16

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Various Artists – FM (OST) (1978)

FrontCover1FM is the original AOR soundtrack to the 1978 film FM. In the United States, the album reached the Top Five of Billboard’s album chart and quickly earned a Platinum-certified disc. It reached 37 in the UK charts. The soundtrack also won the 1979 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

QSKY radio station manager/program director Jeff Dugan (Michael Brandon) builds a large fan base by assembling a group of charismatic DJ personalities playing popular rock and roll. He soon finds that corporate management expects Jeff to use the station’s position atop the ratings to sell more advertising time. (Jeff Dugan is based loosely on Mike Herrington, the program director of Los Angeles radio station KMET while writer Sacks was working there.)

The conflict grows until sales manager Regis Lamar (Tom Tarpey) presents him with the chance to advertise for the U.S. Army using a series of cheesy radio ads. When Jeff refuses to endorse the contract, Regis takes the issue to upper management. Jeff is then ordered to run the ads as provided by the Army and on the schedule specified in the advertising contract. Rather than comply, Jeff quits his job.

All of the remaining DJs decide to take control of the station in a sort of lock-in/sit-in/protest. They get listeners to gather in the street outside the station as a sort of protest while the DJs play music without any commercials.

MoviePosterJeff Dugan wakes up to hear the DJs take control of the station. The crowd is already present when he arrives at the station. The DJs lift him up to the second story with a fire hose as they have already barricaded the front doors.

The lock-in lasts only until the police get an injunction to remove the staff. A tow truck rips off the front doors and the police enter the building. The DJs battle back using a fire hose and throwing tapes and other office objects at the police.

The battle is resolved when Jeff Dugan finds himself fighting a policeman outside on an overhang. Jeff saves the policeman from falling off and decides that fighting is the wrong thing to do. He calms the crowd and announces that the DJs are coming out.

Unknown to him, the company owner, Carl Billings (Norman Lloyd), has watched from the crowd as the events unfolded. He insists that the DJs stay in the station, fires his management staff responsible for the advertising conflict, and then joins the DJs inside the station.

The story unfolds across a background of concerts, broadcast music, appearances by various rock stars, and public appearances by the station DJs. A minor subtheme to the film is the competition between QSKY and another area radio station. The major event of that subtheme occurs when Jeff arranges to broadcast a live concert by Linda Ronstadt that is being sponsored by the competitor’s radio station.

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Another minor subtheme is the ongoing task of massaging egos of the various DJs to keep them happy and on the air.

Martin Mull appears in his feature film debut as a zoned-out record spinner. He plays Eric Swan, a libidinous disc jockey with eyes for everyone female. The character is self-centered, smarmy, quick tempered, and overbearingly insincere. During the course of the film, Swan beds a supposed girlfriend, encounters a female fan with a peculiar physical “gift”, and barricades himself in owing to a severe emotional breakdown due to his agent’s dropping him and his girlfriend’s leaving him, all within the confines of QSKY’s studio.

Also rounding out the cast are Cleavon Little, who plays the Prince of Darkness, QSKY’s overnight host (Little had previously played a disc jockey in the 1971 film, Vanishing Point); Eileen Brennan as ” Mother”, the 40-something nighttime DJ; Alex Karras as “Doc Holiday”, the midday DJ with the lowest ratings on the station who is eventually let go from the station; and Tom Tarpey as new sales manager Regis Lamar, the bane of the disk jockeys’ existence.

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In addition, the film includes live appearances by Tom Petty & REO Speedwagon and live performances by Linda Ronstadt & Jimmy Buffett. Steely Dan performed the title theme, which became a sizable hit. The Eagles, James Taylor, Bob Seger, Dan Fogelberg, Billy Joel, and Queen were featured on the Platinum-plus soundtrack album.

Rolling Stone magazine considered the music heavily biased towards musicians who had been managed by Irving Azoff, who was head of MCA Records at the time. Some reference books claim that the TV sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati was based on FM. The physical resemblance between Michael Brandon and WKRP lead actor Gary Sandy and the fact that their respective characters were both based upon KMET programming director Mikel Hunter may have contributed to this speculation. However, WKRP series creator Hugh Wilson asserts that the sitcom was already in development when the film came out. He also states that he was “scared to death” when the film came out, afraid that it would eclipse the CBS show, which made its debut in September 1978. Wilson was relieved when FM came and went from theaters quickly. (by wikipedia)

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Appropriately, the soundtrack for the 1978 movie FM feels like a radio play list of the era, collecting songs from Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner, Boz Scaggs, and other ’70s radio staples. Steely Dan’s title track, Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band’s “Night Moves,” Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are,” and Boston’s “More Than a Feeling” are some of the highlights from this double-disc set, which also includes tracks from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Foreigner, and Linda Ronstadt, all of whom also appeared in the film. Though FM itself wasn’t exactly a box-office smash, its soundtrack is a surprisingly durable and entertaining collection of classic rock that is arguably better than many of the ’70s rock compilations available today. (by Heather Phares)

In other words: If you like to celebrate a Seventies party … use this soundtrack and you can´t do wrong !

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Tracklist:
01. Steely Dan: FM (Becker/Fagen)  4:52
02.  Bob Seger: Night Moves (Seger) 3:27
03. Steve Miller Band: Fly Like an Eagle (Miller) 3:04
04. Foreigner:  Cold As Ice (Gramm/Jones) 3:20
05. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Breakdown (Petty)  2:44
06. Randy Meisner: Bad Man (Frey /Souther)  2:38
07. Eagles: Life in the Fast Lane (Frey/Henley/Walsh) 4:46
08. Steely Dan: Do It Again (Becker/Fagen) 5:54
09. Boz Scaggs: Lido Shuffle (Paich/Scaggs) 3:42
10. Boston: More Than a Feeling (Scholz) 4:45
11. Linda Ronstadt: Tumbling Dice (Jagger/Richards  4:51
12. Linda Ronstadt: Poor, Poor Pitiful Me (Zevon/Ronstadt) 4:15
13. Jimmy Buffett: Livingston Saturday Night (Buffett)  3:10
14. Dan Fogelberg: There’s A Place In The World For A Gambler (Fogelberg) 5:41
15. Billy Joel: Just the Way You Are (Joel) 4:49
16. The Doobie Brothers: It Keeps You Runnin’ (McDonald)  4:13
17- James Taylor:  Your Smiling Face (Taylor) 2:43
18. Joe Walsh: Life’s Been Good (Walsh) 8:05
19. Queen: We Will Rock You (May) 2:04
20. Steely Dan: FM (Reprise) (Becker/Fagen) 2:54

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This is another item from the great greygoose collection !
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