Rhino Records is continuing to release complete album box sets of artists in their catalog. We’ve recently told you about sets for Chicago, Alice Cooper, and America and the label has just announced another similar box for The Doobie Brothers. The Warner Bros. Years 1971 -1983 features the band’s 10 albums recorded during that period, and it’s set to be released in under two weeks on July 24.
The core of The Doobie Brothers was formed when drummer John Hartman and guitarist/singer/songwriter Tom Johnston decided to start a band in California in 1969. The two would soon be joined by other musicians and began playing live dates all over the northern parts of the state in 1970. They were particularly popular with the Hell’s Angel’s and would play some of their favorite venues. Producing a demo record earned them a slot on Warner Bros. roster in 1971.
Their self-titled debut album was not a huge success and had a different and more country sound than the style in which they played live. The Doobie Brothers polished their sound and began to have hits with the release of their second album including “Jesus is Just Alright” and “Listen to the Music.” As the decade progressed, the band would undergo lineup changes but the hits continued to appear and they had their first No. 1 in 1975 with “Black Water.” But, Johnston’s health soon declined and he had to take on a diminished role and would eventually leave the band. Michael McDonald, then working with Steely Dan, was brought in as a replacement and the Brothers’ sound soon changed radically into a more soft-rock/blue-eyed soul vein. However, that did not dissuade the fans as “Takin’ It To the Streets” soon became a hit. The new direction also earned them another #1 song with “What a Fool Believes” in 1978. However, tensions began to mount within the group and they decided to call it a day and disband with their final tour coming in 1982. Warner Bros. released a live album the following year. Alumni from the band would reunite under The Doobie Brothers name in the late 1980s and they have continued to record and tour ever since. McDonald appeared on The Doobies’ most recent album, 2014’s Southbound.
As with Rhino’s similar boxsets, the albums here will be in paper sleeves. The individual albums of The Doobie Brothers were last reissued and expanded in the U.K. by the Edsel label. No bonus tracks have been added (including any from the 1999 box set Long Train Runnin’). Also, no remastering information has been included. Some of the albums have been remastered several times over the years, so it is unclear which remaster will be utilized. (Typically, the most recent remaster is used.)
We’ve reprinted Rhino’s press release below for you to take a look at. If you’ve been wanting to explore the music of The Doobie Brothers, this is a way for you to get a large portion of their discography in one set for a relatively low price. If you’re interested, we’ve got the list of albums included and Amazon links after the press release.
LOS ANGELES – The Doobie Brothers recorded some of the band’s most iconic music during their dozen years with Warner Bros. Records, scoring major hits with timeless tunes like “Long Train Runnin’,” “Black Water,” and “Takin’ It To The Streets.” With 46 million albums sold during their outstanding career, The Doobie Brothers have nothing left to prove, but this summer the group is still “Rockin’ Down the Highway” as they tour North America.
Rhino salutes the group with a new 10-CD boxed set that features some of the band’s greatest albums. THE WARNER BROS. YEARS 1971-1983 will be available on July 24 for a list price of $79.98.
The set includes more than 110 songs from 10 albums: The Doobie Brothers (1971), Toulouse Street (1972), The Captain And Me (1973), What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974), Stampede (1975), Takin’ It To The Streets (1976), Livin’ On The Fault Line (1977), Minute By Minute (1978), One Step Closer (1980), and Farwell Tour (1983).
The Doobie Brothers started out in 1969 as a northern California bar band. In 1970 the band signed with Warner Bros. and in 1971 released its self-titled debut album. It was the beginning of a 12-year streak in which The Doobies released ten new albums.
The group’s commercial breakthrough came with its sophomore effort, Toulouse Street , which boasted popular tracks like “Listen To The Music” and “Jesus Is Just Alright.” The string of hits continued on The Captain And Me with “Long Train Runnin'” and the classic “China Grove.” The Doobie Brothers notched their first #1 in the funky “Black Water” from their 1974 album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.
In 1975, the band began to expand Pat Simmons’ and Tom Johnston’s rock and country influences with R&B and even scored a hit with its cover the Motown track, “Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While).” In 1976, with the addition of Michael McDonald to the band, they introduced more R&B and keyboards to their rocking sound and the hits kept rolling with the title track from Takin‘ It To The Streets . In 1979, The Doobie Brothers won four Grammy® Awards on the strength of its triple-platinum album, Minute By Minute. The final disc in this new collection is the 1983 live album Farewell Tour, which includes performances of songs that spanned the band’s entire history to that point. This 10 CD Set represents an outstanding body of work from one of America’s most popular bands.
- The Doobie Brothers (1971)
- Toulouse Street (1972)
- The Captain and Me (1973)
- What Were Once Vices are Now Habits (1974)
- Stampede (1975)
- Takin’ It To the Streets (1976)
- Livin’ on the Fault Line (1977)
- Minute by Minute (1978)
- One Step Closer (1980)
- Farewell Tour (1983)