Best of the Doobies, Vol. 2

by: The Doobie Brothers

The second volume of Doobie Brothers greatest hits arrived in 1981 -- five years after the first installment, which was enough time for the group to release three albums: 1977's Livin' on the Fault Line, 1978's Minute by Minute, and 1980's One Step Closer. This is the era when Tom Johnston slowly backed out of the group, leaving after Livin', and Michael McDonald became the Doobies' frontman, so this is when the band sounded softer and soulful, less concentrated on the boogie. Ironically, Best of the Doobies, Vol. 2 isn't quite packed with hits the way Best of the Doobies is; the ten tracks here are highlighted by "Real Love," "What a Fool Believes," and "Minute by Minute," the first two being Top Ten hits, but the rest of the record is filled up with lesser-known singles and worthy album tracks like "You Belong to Me" and "One on One." Given this low concentration of blockbusters, some fans may choose to bypass this 1981 LP and go for a more comprehensive CD like 2001's Greatest Hits or 2007's The Very Best of the Doobie Brothers, which balances this era with the first plus the group's turn-of-the-'90s comeback, but anybody looking for a good portrait of the band at its smooth-sailing yacht rock peak should turn here. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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