Saturday, August 20, 2022

"The Doctor" by The Doobie Brothers

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3907
Date:  05/20/1989
Debut:  62
Peak:  9
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  By 1982, the Doobies sort of imploded in a way. The band had been shedding personnel and it got to the point where there were no original members remaining. With Michael McDonald itching for a solo career, it became obvious that the band was done. They would go their separate ways after a final farewell tour. But like many bands, circumstances would draw former members back together and after a brief reunion tour in '87, an incarnation of the early 70s Doobies decided to reform. They would sign on with Capitol Records and record a new album titled Cycles. This first single was issued out and it received a warm welcome. The song would reach #1 at Rock while also making it to #31 AC. On the Pop chart, the single would crack the Top 10 becoming the band's fifth and final song to hit that mark. The album would make it to #17 and go gold.

ReduxReview:  I think the biggest draw to this song was that it was quite similar to the band's 1973 hit "China Grove" (#15 Pop). That song had long been a staple on rock radio and I think the nostalgia factor from the similarity along with the band's reunited lineup from that era helped drive the tune up the chart. I wasn't a big fan of the track. Frankly, there was already one "China Grove," which was a rock classic, so not sure I needed a second one. I mean, I know they are not exactly the same, but the feel of it, the piano, etc. made it sound like "China Grove, Pt. 2." It was a surprise hit, but it wasn't surprising that they couldn't follow it up. It was just one last nostalgic blast from the Doobies and it paid off pretty well.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  On board for the reunion was original guitarist and co-lead vocalist Tom Johnson. He co-wrote "The Doctor" and performed the lead vocal. Johnson had started writing a song prior to the Doobie's reunion and when the band assembled to began recording songs for a new album, he finished it off with songwriters Charlie Midnight and Eddie Schwartz. Earlier in '87, Johnson found himself contributing a song to one of the biggest film soundtracks of the decade. Johnson recorded "Where Are You Tonight?" for the hit flick Dirty Dancing. It would be included on the soundtrack album and server as the b-side to Eric Carmen's hit from the LP "Hungry Eyes" (#4 Pop). The soundtrack would spend 18 weeks at #1 and sell over 14 million copies. While it was great that Johnson was able to sing and perform a song for the hit film and LP, the unfortunate part is he didn't write it.  A songwriter by the name of Mark Scola provided the tune (a big chunk of royalties goes to composers and publishers). Hopefully, Johnson had a good enough deal that he was able to grab some dough from the album's massive success.


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