Recording information: Sunset Sound Recorders (Hollywood); The Burbank Studios, Burbank; Warner Bros Studios, North Hollywood; Western Recorders (Hollywood).
This expansive box set from Rhino features all nine of the Doobie Brothers' studio albums from their original 1970s Warner Bros. run plus their 1983 Farewell Tour live album. Beginning with their 1971 self-titled debut, when the band was fronted by founding singer/guitarist Tom Johnston, through 1980's Michael McDonald-led One Step Closer, it covers their two major eras as they slowly shifted from boogie rock bar band into the soulful soft rock giants of their later years. Hits like "China Grove," "Black Water," "Takin' It to the Streets," and "What a Fool Believes" are all here as well as their first live album, which mostly features their late-period lineup with the addition of a couple of special Johnston appearances that serve as an end cap to their career. Although the Doobies would reunite again in the late '80s, their original Warner Bros. years remain their best-known period. ~ Timothy Monger