Friday, August 24, 2012

Doobie Brothers- Stampede

Stampede is a semi-concept album from The Doobie Brothers. There isn't a running theme to the album, but most of the songs conjure up the feeling of life on the open range. The album also marks the first appearance of the indominantable Jeff "Skunk" Baxter as a full-time member and the band's founder, Tom Johnston's last full effort. Although he would appear on the follow-up, Takin' It To The Streets, Stampede was Mr. Johnston's finest effort with the band. The songs on the album are all first rate including a rollicking version of the Motown standard, "Take Me In Your Arms". "Slat Key Soquel Rag" and "Precis" are strong instrumentals while "I Cheat The Hangman" has a tense, jittering sound. "Sweet Maxine", "Texas Lullaby", "Music Man" and "Neal's Fandango" are all excellent cuts. Despite no big hits from the album, it became the band's highest charting album to date, peaking at number 4 in 1975. Stampede" runs seamlessly through the "pre-McDonald" Doobie Brother tapestry--as surely as do "The Doobie Brothers," "The Captain and Me," and "Toulouse Street." The album paces from tortoise-to-hare; from light-to-sentimental. (Caveat: Don't listen to Neal's Fandango while driving, lest a speeding ticket be in your future.)

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