Wednesday, 19 December 2018

The Doobie Brothers - What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974)


Released February 1974

The Doobie Brothers added a brass section to their upbeat brand of Americana/electric country rock for this, their fourth album. It is still more of the same though - confident, soaring Americana/country rock.


1. Song To See You Through
2. Spirit
3. Pursuit On 53rd Street
4. Black Water
5. Eyes of Silver
6. Road Angel
7. You Just Can't Stop It
8. Tell Me What You Want
9. Down In The Track
10. Another Park, Another Sunday
11. Daughters Of The Sea
12. Flying Cloud                                          

The opener, "Song To See You Through" is an impressive, punchy, brass-driven funky number. "Spirit" has one of those classic Doobie Brothers backing riffs, augmented here by some country fiddle. This is one of their most folky, country-ish numbers. "Pursuit On 53rd Street" is a riffy slice of Doobies majesty, like "China Grove" in its muscular power. "Black Water" is a wistful, airy CSNY/Neil Young-influenced track. "Eyes Of Silver" recycles the "Long Train Runnin'" riff and general sound. "Road Angel" is another chunky, riffy song. Upbeat, bassy and solid. It features some intoxicating percussion/guitar interplay at the end.

The old "side two" opened with the appealing, funky, horn-driven "You Just Can't Stop It", which reminds me somewhat of Tower Of Power. "Tell Me What You Want" is a melodic piece of country rock that they lay down effortlessly. Riffage is back for the rocking "Down In The Track" that almost sounds Status Quo-ish in places. "Another Park, Another Sunday" is a lovely, laid-back and melodic country rock number. It features some sumptuous bass on it near the climax of the song. "Daughters Of The Sea" is an unusual, almost sixties psychedelic-influenced number with hints of Cream, for me, in parts. It is actually an excellent track. The album ends with a brief instrumental, "Flying Cloud".

Overall, this was quite a varied album and again, was impressive and stands up today both as one of the best of its era and also as one which can be enjoyed today.


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