Thursday, February 11, 2016

"You Belong to Me" by The Doobie Brothers

Song#:  1548
Date:  07/30/1983
Debut:  82
Peak:  79
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Soft Rock

Pop Bits:  The Doobies broke up not long after their 1980 album Real Love with members Michael McDonald and Patrick Simmons headed out for solo careers. But before they all finally called it quits, they agreed to go out on one more tour together. Billed as the "Farewell Tour," the band hit the road to give fans one last hurrah. Of course they and their label (probably more their label) recorded the tour and after it was done, a live concert album was edited together and released. Titled after the tour name, it was the Doobie's first ever live LP. To promote the disc, this first single was lifted for release. The single spent a month on the chart peaking at #79. The LP reached that exact same position as well. Of course, it would not be the last we would hear from the Doobies as before the decade would end, a reformed version of the band would be riding the charts again.

ReduxReview:  Even though Michael McDonald co-wrote this song, it took Carly Simon to give it groove and soul (see below). She and producer Arif Mardin knew exactly how to take the song to a higher level. Although the original Doobie recording was not too bad, this live version is so straight and soulless (and waaay too perfect for a "live" recording) that it actually makes them sound like a band who was just totally done with the whole thing and overdue for retirement. It's listless and lifeless. Apparently, it was time to move on. Fantastic song, boring performance. It's the musical equivalent of watching paint dry. I'm rating this real low because, frankly, these guys are far, far better than this (and they know better...). For me, the whole live album/tour thing was not a "hey, guys - let's get the band together one last time" thing, it was an exercise in milking that Doobie cash cow before she's given the final axe. Just forget this even happened and keep on rockin' to their classics.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  You may hear this and think - oh, this is a cover of the 1978 hit done by Carly Simon (#6 Pop/#4 AC). Technically, that is not correct. It was Simon's single that was actually the cover tune. Simon co-wrote the tune with Michael McDonald and it was first recorded by The Doobie Brothers for their 1977 album Livin' on the Fault Line. The band did not release the song as a single. Simon then recorded her own version for her album Boys in the Trees (#10). The song served as the album's lead single and it became a major hit. It also got Simon a Grammy nod for Best Pop Vocals, Female (the album won a Grammy for Best Album Package).


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