PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

www.wbshop.com

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers

VIDEO REVIEWS

LET THE MUSIC PLAY - THE STORY OF THE DOOBIE BROTHERS (2012)

Featuring Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons, Tiran Porter, Michael McDonald, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, John McFee, Bruce Cohn, Ted Templeman and Joel Selvin.

Written by Barry Ehrmann and Rachel Benson.

Directed by Barry Ehrmann.

Distributed by Eagle Rock Video.   103 minutes.  Not Rated.

 

Everyday Beautiful

 

Let the Music Play: The Story of the Doobie Brothers

Not many bands changed their musical styles midstream so completely as the Doobie Brothers.  Oh sure, it happened, mostly with contemporaries of the Doobies like Chicago, The Bee Gees, Steely Dan, The Jefferson Airplane/Starship and Genesis.  But still, it is hard to find the thread between the driving biker rock of early singles like "Listen to the Music," "Long Train Runnin'" and "China Grove" and their later slick blue-eyed soul period best known for the hits "What a Fool Believes," "Minute By Minute," "One Step Closer" and "Real Love."  (Oddly, unless I'm forgetting something, this last song seems to be the band's one huge hit that is not acknowledged in this documentary.)

Part of this change had to do with changing musical styles.  Part of it had to do with shifting band line-ups.  Whatever the cause, The Doobies had a long, rollicking decade-plus of wall-to-wall hit making and Let the Music Play tells the whole complex story pretty much as well as you could ever expect.

The Doobies' story is told through talking head interviews with just about every living member of the regularly shifting collective mixed with mostly live performance footage of the band throughout its history.  (The band's glory days came to an end right at the dawn of the MTV music video era, so the only music videos I recall came from the band's later comeback attempts.)  There is also a fascinating assortment of rare, archival photos (though there are a couple too many shots of band members mooning the camera.).

However, other than a very brief and modest comeback album and single ("The Doctor") in 1989, very few people have bought any new Doobies material since their 1982 Farewell Tour.  It's been even longer since their final new smash hit studio album before the breakup, the 1979 smash One Step Closer.

Of course, Let the Music Play takes a look at the band only in the broad context of being in the band.  The film completely skirts past McDonald's enormously successful solo career after leaving the Doobies (and even slightly while still a member), mentioning his side work once and only in passing.  It also doesn't even acknowledge Johnston and Simmons' less successful attempts at going it alone, despite the fact that both did barely scratch the top forty singles charts with the Johnston's 1980 song "Savannah Nights" and Simmons' 1983 tune "So Wrong." 

Basically the years between their 1982 Farewell Tour and the 1987 reunion for some charity shows become a black hole, with Johnston just mentioning in passing that none of them were doing anything so pressing or successful to stop the original band members from reuniting for their marginally successful 1989 comeback album Cycles.    

A little annoying is the film's insistence on pretending that the obscure independent albums that the group has released in the new millennium – such as Sibling Rivalry, Live at Wolf Trap and World Gone Crazy – are as important to the Doobies' story as their earlier classics.  When Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons try to convince us they are doing their best work ever, it comes off as a little sad.

Still, even though the film ends with a bit of a thud, there is more than enough meat on the bones of the Doobie Brothers story to make this a fascinating look at an important, if slightly underappreciated, band.  The stuff leading up to 1982 is truly captivating.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2013 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 19, 2013.

Shop Aeropostale

 Enter Gotham City with Batman Costumes from Spirit Halloween! Protect or destroy the city as Batgirl, Robin, or the Joker. Shop now!

Yahoo Stores - 468x60

RETURN TO MOVIE REVIEWS MENU

Technology Used by Successwful Businesses

125X125

Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies

Shop Aeropostale

VenueKings.com provides Sporting, Concert & Theater Tickets throughout North America. Find Tickets Now!

Copyright ©2013 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: January 19, 2013.

Webroot Inc.

Introducing BEYOND by Ashley Graham - designer dresses in Misses and Plus Size at dressbarn.com!