Takin' It to the Streets (The Doobie Brothers album)

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Takin' It to the Streets
The Doobie Brothers - Takin' It to the Streets.jpg
Studio album by The Doobie Brothers
Released March 19, 1976
Recorded 1975 at Warner Bros. Studios, North Hollywood, California and Sunset Sound, Los Angeles (mixing)
Genre Rock
Length 38:23
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Ted Templeman
The Doobie Brothers chronology
Takin' It to the Streets
Best of the Doobies
Singles from Takin' It to the Streets
  1. "Takin' It to the Streets"
    Released: 1976
  2. "Wheels of Fortune"
    Released: 1976
  3. "It Keeps You Runnin'"
    Released: 1976
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau C+[2]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[3]

Takin' It to the Streets is the sixth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers, released in 1976. It was the first to feature Michael McDonald on lead vocals.


By late 1974, touring was beginning to take its toll on the band, especially leader Tom Johnston. Things became worse during touring in support of Stampede when he was diagnosed with stomach ulcers. His condition worsened and several shows had to be canceled. With Johnston forced to reduce his involvement with the band, the other members considered just calling it quits but while in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, member Jeff Baxter suggested calling up friend and fellow Steely Dan graduate Michael McDonald who at the time was between gigs and living in a garage apartment. McDonald was reluctant at first, feeling he was not what they wanted, according to him, "...they were looking for someone who could play Hammond B-3 organ and a lot of keyboards, and I was just a songwriter/piano hacker. But more than anything, I think they were looking for a singer to fill Tommy's shoes." He agreed to join them and met them at the Le Pavillon Hotel in New Orleans where they moved on to a warehouse to rehearse for the next two days. Expecting to be finished once touring was completed, McDonald was surprised when the band invited him to the studio to work on their next album.[4]


With Johnston on the sidelines, the band was not sure how to proceed or if even making an album without him would work. "I knew the record company was panicked about any change in the band." McDonald admitted. "They were leery about getting a new guy. I was thrilled to have had the gig, but I wasn't expecting all that much." With encouragement from producer Ted Templeman, the band began poring over the songs they had available. They knew they needed more so McDonald brought in his own demos. Templeman told them, according to Patrick Simmons, "You've got a real diamond in the rough here that you can make into something if you want to go ahead." They decided to record his songs knowing it would take them in a completely different direction. While Johnston was absent for most of the sessions, he contributed one song - "Turn It Loose" - as well as back-up vocals and duet vocals with Simmons on "Wheels of Fortune". "I hadn't quit the band", he later stated. "I just wasn't physically able to do it. I needed to get off the road and get away from that whole scene for a while."[4]

Track listing[edit]

Side One
  1. "Wheels of Fortune" (Simmons, Baxter, John Hartman) – 4:54
  2. "Takin' It to the Streets" (McDonald) – 3:56
  3. "8th Avenue Shuffle" (Simmons) – 4:39
  4. "Losin' End" (McDonald) – 3:39
Side Two
  1. "Rio" (Simmons, Baxter) – 3:49
  2. "For Someone Special" (Porter) – 5:04
  3. "It Keeps You Runnin'" (McDonald) – 4:20
  4. "Turn It Loose" (Johnston) – 3:53
  5. "Carry Me Away" (Simmons, Baxter, McDonald) – 4:09


The Doobie Brothers

Johnston rejoined the band late in the sessions and thus does not appear on most of the album. He is also missing from the back cover group photo but does appear on the album's inside sleeve photos of individual band members.

Additional personnel


  • Producer – Ted Templeman
  • Production Coordination – Beth Naranjo
  • Engineer – Donn Landee
  • Art Direction – Ed Thacker
  • Photography – Dan Fong
  • Management – Bruce Cohn

Chart positions[edit]


Year Chart Position
1976 Pop Albums 8


Year Single Chart Position
1976 "Takin' It to the Streets" Pop Singles 13
1976 "Wheels of Fortune" Pop Singles 87
1977 "It Keeps You Running" Pop Singles 37


  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Takin' It to the Streets Review". Allmusic. Retrieved June 29, 2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 14, 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved May 27, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Album Reivews: The Doobie Brothers – Takin' It to the Streets". Rolling Stone. 2003. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "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.