The Doobie Brothers are really two different bands -- three, if you count the group that's soldiered on without Michael McDonald since the late '80s. The second took over in , after McDonald, a Steely Dan vet, joined. It's not fair to say that McDonald brought them mainstream success -- they racked up a number of Top 40 singles, including a No. But his tenure ushered in a brand new era for the band. Our list of the Top 10 Doobie Brothers Songs covers both. After 's Top 5 'Stampede' album, the Doobies were near their breaking point. Rigorous touring and recording schedules had worn down the band, particularly frontman Tom Johnston. So Michael McDonald, who had done time with Steely Dan, was called in as a keyboardist, singer and songwriter. And his contributions to the group's sixth album revitalized them.
'It Keeps You Runnin''
One can also not neglect the impact Jeff Skunk Baxter had on the band from joining them in Steely Dan was the most meticulous band to ever record in the studio. The One Step Closer album would be the last Doobie Brothers record for almost ten years until the release of Cycles in By that time, Michael McDonald was enjoying a successful solo career and did not take part in the revival of the Doobie Brothers. Over the years, the band has recorded and toured with former members returning at different time periods. After the release of Cycles in The band has released four more albums including Brotherhood in , Sibling Rivalry in
Their heyday was basically the entire decade of the Seventies, though a major shift occurred when frontman Tom Johnston, who wrote the majority of their hits, stepped aside in to deal with a bleeding ulcer and other medical issues. They recruited a largely-unknown Michael McDonald, who was fresh out of Steely Dan, and kept jamming out the hits, albeit with a bit of a funkier edge to them. Their self-titled debut LP peaked at a pathetic on the charts, and they feared their follow-up, Toulouse Street , would do the same and result in Warner Bros.