We will always be in the camp that has enjoyed everything the Doobie Brothers have recorded throughout the years. Personally I enjoy listening to the Stampede or Toulouse Street albums as much as I enjoy listening to Takin’ It To The Streets or Minute by Minute albums. All of these were great rock albums that defined the ultimate levels of musicianship, performance and composition.
The Doobie Brothers released fourteen studio albums throughout their career. The first album was released on April 30th 1971 entitled The Doobie Brothers. They followed that album up with Toulouse Street which was released a little over a year later in July of 1972. The band celebrated their first top 10 album in 1973 with the release of the great record The Captain and Me. Even more success was waiting for the Doobie Brothers in 1974 when they released the album What Were Once Vices are Now Habits. The album hit number four on the Billboard Hot 100 containing their number one single “Black Water.” Their next record entitled Stampede was released in 1975. That album also hit number four on the Billboard top 100.
The Michael McDonald era began in 1976 when Michael McDonald joined the band for the release of their classic record Takin’ It To The Streets. The album would once again score the Doobie Brothers a top 10 record on the Billboard Hot 100 albums charts. The Doobie Brothers followed up their Takin’ It To The Streets album with the record Living On The Fault Line released during the summer of 1977. The album was not as successful as the previous one but still reached the top 10 just barely creeping in at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 album charts.
In 1978, The Doobie Brothers released the most successful album of their career. The album entitled Minute by Minute reached number one on the United States Billboard Hot 100 album charts. It was the band’s most successful record worldwide. Even though it was a tough record to follow up, the Doobie Brothers did a pretty decent job with that in 1980 when they released the album One Step Closer which reached all the way to number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It would be the last Doobie Brothers album released with Michael McDonald in the band.
Almost a decade went by until the Doobie Brothers released a new record. In 1989, The Doobie Brothers released the record Cycles. They returned once again two years later with the album Brotherhood. Another long a stretch of time would pass by once again until the next Doobie Brothers record was released. At the turn of the 20th century The Doobie Brothers released the album Sibling Rivalry. The ten year period in between albums seemed to start being the norm for the Doobie Brothers as Sibling Rivalry was followed up ten years later in 2010 with the album World Gone Crazy. An album that many old school Doobie Brothers fans were very happy with. As of this writing in 2020, World Gone Crazy is the last album of new material released by the Doobie Brothers. In 2014, the band released the album Southbound. However, it was an album of duets with mostly country artists filled with remakes of Doobie Brothers classic.
# 10 – One Step Closer
We open up our top 10 Doobie Brothers albums list with the album One Step Closer. The album was released in the fall of 1980 and was recorded at Warner Brothers Studios in North Hollywood, California. It is the final album to feature Michael McDonald. The record did well commercially. One Step Closer reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 album charts. The album also yielded the hit single “Real Love,” which peaked Number five on the Billboard top 100. The song featured lead vocals by Michael McDonald.
# 9 -Cycles
The Doobie Brothers album Cycles was actually the follow-up album to One Step Closer . The band did release a live album in between the two records entitled Farewell Tour. That album was released in 1983. Nonetheless, the album Cycles was a welcome return for fans of the Doobie Brothers. The album’s opening track “The Doctor” presented fans with that that old school Doobie Brothers sound.
# 8 – World Gone Crazy
The Doobie Brothers album World Gone Crazy was released in the fall of 2010. It took a long time for the band to release that album. Doobie Brother fans were very happy with it. It is essentially the last Doobie Brothers studio album of new material ever released. Hopefully either current tour featuring Michael McDonald, Pat Simmons and Tom Johnson will inspire the band to record some new material. If not, well,World Gone Crazy was a great way to end it. An awesome sounding record of rocking tunes sounding like old vintage Doobie Brothers early 1970s.
# 7 – The Doobie Brothers
Continuing with our top 10 Doobie Brothers albums list we turn to the band’s debut album simply titled The Doobie Brothers. Released in 1971 the album kind of got lost in the shuffle among all the classic records released that year. Search playing albums has Led Zeppelin IV, Fragile by Yes, Who’s Next by The Who, The Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers, Jethro Tull’s Aqualung, Elton John’s Madman Across the Water so many more dominated The music charts in in 71. The Doobie Brothers debut album did not chart that high and yielded no hit singles. Nonetheless, it was still great record and defined a new sound that rock fans would soon fall in love with.
# 6 – Stampede
The Doobie Brothers released their great album entitled Stampede in 1975. The album was fueld by the great single “Take Me In You Arms (Rock Me A Little While).” One of our favorite Doobie Brothers albums and definitely our favorite Doobie Brothers album cover. Jeff Skunk Baxter lit it up on this record.
# 5 – Minute By Minute
While some old school Doobie Brothers fans may not have been happy with the sound of the band during this period, millions of other music fans fell in love with this album and the harmonies and lead vocals that Michael McDonald brought to the Doobie Brothers. There’s no denying the commercial success of this record. The album’s lead single “What A Fool Believes,” was a pure r&b rock gem. The song hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It also received two Grammy Awards for Song Of The Year and Record of the Year in 1980. Michael McDonald sang lead vocals on the track. Interestingly, one of the songs that it defeated in the Song of The Year category for the Grammy Award in 1980 was the album’s title track “Minute By Minute.”
# 4 – The Captain and Me
As we continue our top 10 Doobie Brothers albums article we are getting into some real classic Doobie Brothers records. The Captain and Me you was one of those legendary Doobie Brothers albums. Beyond the contain the big hits “Long Train Runnin,” and “China Grove.” These are two of the biggest Doobie Brothers songs ever released. When you think of old-school Doobie Brothers you think of these two songs. The album The Captain and Me was released in 1972
# 3 – What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
We always loved the title of this great Doobie Brothers album Were Once Vices are Now Habits. The Doobie Brothers’ classic album Were Once Vices are Now Habits was released in the winter of 1974. The album’st lead single “Another Park, Another Sunday,” was released in March of 74 That single was followed up with “Eyes of Silver,” in June of 74. However, it was the album’s third single entitled “Black Water,” which was not released until November of 1974 that became one of the biggest songs the band ever recorded. “Black Water,” would become the Doobie Brothers first number one single. The success of the songs helped skyrocket album sales of the great album Were Once Vices are Now Habits
# 2 – Takin’ It To The Streets (1976)
The first time I dropped a needle on this record back in 1976 I was blown away by the sound. of the album’s opening track “Wheels of Fortune,” stand as one of the best sounding tracks on vinyl I have ever heard. However it wasn’t just the sound production that blew me away it was the groove, the spirit, the soul of this record. Continue on throughout the entire album. To any of those Doobie Brother fans who say they did not like the Michael McDonald era, I encouraged them to take a listen to this record once again. This was a great one!
# 1 – Toulouse Street (1972)
We close out our top 10 Doobie Brothers albums article with the band second album released in 1972 entitled Toulouse Street. This legendary album opened up with one of the greatest Doobie Brothers songs of all time called “Listen To The Music.” the album also contain the great songs”Rockin’ Down the Highway,” and Jesus is Just Alright. These were all songs written by Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston. This is vintage Doobie Brothers defining what they did best.
The Doobie Brothers Albums Discography (Studio albums)
This list does not include any of the live albums The Doobie Brothers released. It also does not include any box sets or greatest hits packages This is just a listing of the complete studio albums The Doobie Brothers released in chronological order.