Stampede (The Doobie Brothers album)

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The Doobie Brothers - Stampede.jpg
Studio album by The Doobie Brothers
Released April 25, 1975
Recorded Sept. 9 - Oct. 6, 1974 at Warner Brothers Studios, North Hollywood, CA, Burbank Studios, Burbank, CA, Curlom Studios, Chicago, IL and The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA. "I Been Workin' on You" recorded at Creative Workshop, Nashville, TN
Genre Rock
Length 40:50
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Ted Templeman
The Doobie Brothers chronology
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Takin' It to the Streets
Singles from Stampede
  1. "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)"
    Released: April 23, 1975
  2. "Sweet Maxine"
    Released: 1975
  3. "I Cheat the Hangman"
    Released: 1975
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]

Stampede is the fifth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers, released in 1975. (see 1975 in music). It was the final album by the band before Michael McDonald replaced Tom Johnston as lead vocalist and primary songwriter. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA.

Recording and content[edit]

Stampede showed the band diversifying elements of their sound more than ever before. Combining elements of their old sound as well as country-rock, funk and folk music. Many guest musicians contributed on the album including Maria Muldaur, Ry Cooder and Curtis Mayfield.

The first and most successful single released from this album was "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" on April 23, 1975, a classic Motown tune written by the legendary songwriting trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Tom Johnston had wanted to record the song for several years. "I thought that would be a killer track to cover," he said. "It's probably one of my favorite songs of all time. I thought our version came out great."

The next single, released on July 8, 1975, was "Sweet Maxine" which was more akin to the Doobie Brothers' earlier hits style-wise. "Pat wrote the music to this and I wrote the words, " Johnston recalled. "And Billy Payne had a lot to do with the sound of the song, because of his incredible keyboard playing." The track stalled at #40 on the Billboard charts.

The third and final single was Patrick Simmons' "I Cheat the Hangman", released November 12, 1975. It is a somber outlaw ballad that was inspired by the story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. "It's about a ghost returning to his home after the Civil War and not realizing he's dead," said Simmons about the song. The album version of the song is a progressive rock-style composition ending in a twisted collage of strings, horns and synthesizers made to sound like ghostly wails. "We'd cut the track, and we kicked around how to develop the ending-I thought about synthesizers and guitar solos. Ted [Templeman] got to thinking about it, and he ran it past [arranger] Nick DeCaro for some orchestration ideas. 'Night on Bald Mountain' by Mussorgsky really inspired the wildness of the strings, and Nick came up with the chorale thing at the end." The ambitious "I Cheat the Hangman" only managed to reach #60 on the music charts.[2]

"Neal's Fandango", inspired by the Santa Cruz mountains was occasionally played on San Francisco Bay Area classic rock station KFOX "K-FOX" (that means KUFX) because of the Doobie Brothers' South Bay roots.

Track listing[edit]

Side One[edit]

  1. "Sweet Maxine" (Johnston, Simmons) – 4:26 (vocal: Johnston)
  2. "Neal's Fandango" (Simmons) – 3:16 (vocal: Simmons)
    • All CD copies feature a slightly edited version of this song.
  3. "Texas Lullaby" (Johnston) – 5:00 (vocal: Johnston)
  4. "Music Man" (Johnston) – 3:34 (vocal: Johnston)
  5. "Slack Key Soquel Rag" (Simmons) – 1:54 (instrumental)
    • Originally listed incorrectly as "Slat Key Soquel Rag".

Side Two[edit]

  1. "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" (Holland-Dozier-Holland) – 3:39 (vocal: Johnston)
  2. "I Cheat the Hangman" (Simmons) – 6:38 (vocal: Simmons)
  3. "Précis" (Baxter) – 0:56 (instrumental)
  4. "Rainy Day Crossroad Blues" (Johnston) – 3:45 (vocal: Johnston)
  5. "I Been Workin' on You" (Johnston) – 4:22 (vocal: Johnston)
  6. "Double Dealin' Four Flusher" (Simmons) – 3:30 (vocals: Simmons, Knudsen, Johnston)


The Doobie Brothers:

Baxter does not appear in the front cover photo, having apparently not joined the group until after it was taken.

Additional Musicians:


  • Producer: Ted Templeman
  • Engineer: Donn Landee, Travis Turk
  • Concert Master: Harry Bluestone on "Rainy Day Crossroad Blues"
  • String Arrangements:
    • Nick DeCaro on "Texas Lullaby", "I Cheat the Hangman" and "Rainy Day Crossroad Blues"
    • Curtis Mayfield on "Music Man"
    • Paul Riser on "Take Me in Your Arm (Rock Me a Little While)"
  • Horn Arrangements:
    • Curtis Mayfield on "Music Man"
    • Paul Riser on "Take Me in Your Arm (Rock Me a Little While)", "Sweet Maxine" and "Double Dealin' Four Flusher"
  • Orchestration: Richard Tufo on "Music Man"
  • Design: Barbara Casado, John Casado
  • Photography: Jill Maggid, Michael Maggid
  • Art Direction: Ed Thrasher



Year Chart Position
1975 Pop Albums 4


Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Sweet Maxine" Pop Singles 40
1975 "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" Pop Singles 11
1976 "I Cheat the Hangman" Pop Singles 60


  1. ^ Stampede (The Doobie Brothers album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Old Black Water Keep on Rollin': 30 Years of the Doobie Brothers". Long Train Runnin': The Doobie Brothers 1970 - 2000 (CD Booklet). The Doobie Brothers. Warner Bros. Records. 1999. p. 33. 75876.