‘Takin’ It To the Streets’ is the title song from The Doobie Brothers’ 1976 album, their seventh studio release. This was the first album to feature Michael McDonald on lead vocals, and he also penned this track and a few others.
McDonald’s arrival marked a significant shift in the band’s sound, from straight-forward rock to a fusion of pop and soul. It’s the post-1976 material that pops up on my favorite Yacht Rock radio station.
Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…
‘Vienna’ – Billy Joel (1977)
Billy Joel’s The Stranger came out the same year as Rumours, a fact that doesn’t quite compute in my head. I think of Joel’s album as coming much later for some reason. That’s two all-time great albums in a single year. I look forward to seeing what else 1977 had to offer when I get there in my Decade series.
Four years contributed two songs to my list of 25 favorites, one each in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.
It should come as no surprise that The Doobie Brothers are first-ballot Hall of Famers, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame the first year they were nominated.
The surprise is that the nomination came 23 years after they were first eligible. Since 1997, the board of the Rock Hall has failed to include the California rockers on the ballot. Outrageous!
It’s a couple of decades late, but one of the Hall’s most notorious omissions has been remedied.
This track, the only hit from The Doobie Brothers’ 1991 album Brotherhood, is an ode to original band member Patrick Simmons’ favorite means of transportation — a Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Ten years later, sometime Doobie Brother Michael Hossack was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, thereby proving the accuracy of this song’s title.
I’ve always been very much against greatest hits collections, put off by the way they cast aside deep tracks just as worthy of attention. I’d rather own the two or three best albums by a given artist than a single collection of their “best” singles.
But I’ve softened on that stance over the years as the digital era made it increasingly easy to buy exactly the songs I want, from artists whose full-length albums might not be the best way to appreciate their work.