"What a Fool Believes" was one of the few non-disco No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 during 1979. The song lyrics tell a story of a man who is reunited with an old love interest and attempts to rekindle a romantic relationship with her before discovering that one never really existed.
Michael Jackson once claimed he contributed at least one backing track to the original Doobie Brothers recording, but was not credited for having done so. This was later denied by the band.
Kenny Loggins released a version of the song (five months prior to The Doobie Brothers) on his 1978 album Nightwatch, and a live version on his 1980 album Kenny Loggins Alive. Loggins' original version switches several of the gender pronouns, so that it is sung largely from the perspective of the woman in the encounter.
Warner Brothers also released a 12" single disco version by The Doobie Brothers (backed with "Don't Stop to Watch the Wheels"). Mixed by disco producer Jim Burgess, at 5:31 the song is considerably longer than the 3:41 versions on the 7" single and the Minute by Minute LP. The 12" version also has a more pronounced bass-driven drumbeat.
Live versions of the song often feature a guitar bridge after the second verse.
^There is a video of this performance on YouTube titled: "Kenny Loggins What A Fool Believes Live 1992".
^What A Fool Believes (12"), discomusic.com. They comment: Disco from an unlikely artist ... "What A Fool Believes" was remixed by the late Jim Burgess to enhance its dance floor appeal. Another good Doobie Brothers 12 inch release was "Real Love".
^This 12" single was recorded at 33⅓ rpm, which enables better bass response; see 12-inch single for more information.
^ abAretha Franklin has two versions of this song, with the 1999 version being an edited version of the 1980 one.
^George Michael at musiclovers.de. What a Fool Believes appears as track 14 on this bootleg recording, and is designated as one of George Michael's "rare recording"s. Most recently retrieved: 2007-09-14.
^The Wades at Soul and funk music.com. Most recently retrieved: 2007-09-14.