Long Train Runnin' 1970-2000
Just in time for back-to-school fraternity parties in the quad, Rhino Records has released a four-CD box set containing at least four kegs' worth of Doobie Brothers singalongs. This is the definitive collection of mustache rock, featuring those signature twanging guitars and pastel harmonies, plus plenty of California contentment and the occasional Southern Comfort kick. Like the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers were ubiquitous in the '70s. They survived 12 changes in band membership -- including a shift in lead singers from Tom Johnston to the balmier Michael McDonald, which marked their transition from country-blues to a mellower R&B-influenced groove -- and still continued to churn out hits that are as at home in a K-Mart as they are at Malibu Beach on a Sunday afternoon. The first three CDs contain singles and choice selections from the band's 11 studio albums -- from "China Grove" to "Black Water" to "What a Fool Believes." The fourth is dedicated to demos and rarities and offers a generous 18 tracks, including McDonald's impressive demo of "Takin' It to the Streets" and a live version of "Jesus Is Just Alright with Me."