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Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers (A Music Video Review)

Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers

Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers

Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers

Not many bands changed their musical styles midstream so completely as the Doobie Brothers.  Oh sure, it happened, mostly with contemporaries of the Doobies like Chicago, The Bee Gees, Steely Dan, The Jefferson Airplane/Starship and Genesis.  But still, it is hard to find the thread between the driving biker rock of early singles like “Listen to the Music,” “Long Train Runnin'” and “China Grove” and their later slick blue-eyed soul period best known for the hits “What a Fool Believes,” “Minute By Minute,” “One Step Closer” and “Real Love.”  (Oddly, unless I’m forgetting something, this last song seems to be the band’s one huge hit that is not acknowledged in this documentary.)

Part of this change had to do with changing musical styles.  Part of it had to do with shifting band line-ups.  Whatever the cause, The Doobies had a long, rollicking decade-plus of wall-to-wall hit making and Let the Music Play tells the whole complex story pretty much as well as you could ever expect.

The Doobies’ story is told through talking head interviews with just about every living member of the regularly shifting collective mixed with mostly live performance footage of the band throughout its history.  (The band’s glory days came to an end right at the dawn of the MTV music video era, so the only music videos I recall came from the band’s later comeback attempts.)  There is also a fascinating assortment of rare, archival photos (though there are a couple too many shots of band members mooning the camera.).

However, other than a very brief and modest comeback album and single (“The Doctor”) in 1989, very few people have bought any new Doobies material since their 1982 Farewell Tour.  It’s been even longer since their final new smash hit studio album before the breakup, the 1979 smash One Step Closer.

To read the rest of this interview, click here.

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