Sunday, July 06, 2008

Top 100

This resides somewhere close to the top 10. Junior year in high school and this release was the soundtrack, without question. To me, this is the high point of their career. Starting with "Natural Thing" and heading into "Long Train Runnin" and "China Grove", it doesn't get much better than that. "China Grove" was the first single from the album and it only got to number 15. "Long Train Runnin'" hit number 8. I think the songs are more popular now than ever. Those two songs were on the radio, but they weren't the hits that we think after all these years. "Dark Eyed Cajun Woman" reminds me of winter for some reason, great textured workout with some fine guitar playing and great dynamics. "Clear as the Driven Snow" is maybe the weakest track on the record, but a nice jam nonetheless. The first song on side two was "Without You", a great hard, up tempo number that was usually in the encore when done live. Song number two on side number two will forever and ever be one of my favorite songs. Without a question "South City Midnight Lady" is my all time favorite Doobie Brothers song and a song that resides in MY all time top twenty. "Evil Woman" is a bit of a throwaway, but still quite listenable. There's the obligatory instrumental break and then the album finishes with "Ukiah/The Captain and Me", a fine way to wrap the whole thing up. For a 17 year old kid, growing up in a rough river town, without much support, I took refuge in the music. It all meant so much, but this one along with "Toulouse Street" and especially "What Were Once Vices.." were the soundtrack to my adolescence. One of the very few bands that used two drummers and employed "Skunk" Baxter, one of the best technical guitar players.

This one's an A in my book

1 comment:

Brian Holland said...

I always thought "Ukiah" was one of the Doobies' most-underrated songs, along with "I Cheat The Hangman" from 'Stampede'.

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