Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The Doobie Brothers - Toulouse Street (1972)

Rockin' down the highway....

  

Released July 1972

TRACK LISTING

1. Listen To The Music
2. Rockin' Down The Highway
3. Mamaloi
4. Toulouse Street
5. Cotton Mouth
6. Don't Start Me To Talkin'
7. Jesus Is Just Alright
8. White Sun
9. Disciple
10. Snake Man                            

After a debut album that went largely unnoticed, this was the album that found people starting to take The Doobie Brothers seriously. There was quite a lot of upbeat country rock around in 1972 - The Eagles, in particular, ploughed a similar furrow. The Doobies, though, had a jazzy melodic rock side to them. Less blues and heavy rock, more soulful hooks. Nowhere is this better exemplified than on the opener and massive hit single, Listen To The Music, which is just such a classic seventies Americana driving on the freeway song. The goodtime, barroom, roadhouse rock is continued in the irresistible Rockin' Down The Highway.  It is packed full of rocking piano, throbbing bass and killer guitar riffs. Great stuff. The Doobies were now employing two drummers, although to be honest it isn't that apparent.


Mamaloi is a slightly Caribbean-influenced groove with echoes of Little Feat about it. Toulouse Street is very redolent of CSNY, America and The Byrds in its airy, country/folk rock laid-back feel and its gentle hippy-ish vocal harmonies. Cotton Mouth has a huge, horn-driven, swampy funky beat. Sort of like Little Feat meets The Meters. Don't Start Me To Talkin' is a cover of a Sonny Boy Williamson upbeat Delta blues number. It bluesily rocks in a big way. The other successful single from the album was the gospel-influenced Jesus Is Just Alright which is slightly too evangelical for my taste. Great harmonies, riffs and rhythm on it though. It is incredibly US radio-friendly too.

White Sun is another CSNY-type song, with hints of Neil Young in there too. It has a beautiful melody to it. The rock returns with the Allman Brothers-esque extended semi-jam of Disciple. The last few tracks, (indeed all the album), have shown that The Doobies had considerable variety to them. Snake Man is a short, acoustic blues to finish what was an appealing, impressive album that still sounds just as good today.

B

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