The Doobie Brothers – What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits (1974) [MFSL 2011]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 45:05 minutes | Scans included | 1,81 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 903 MB
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 2060 | Genre: Rock
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, the follow-up to the Doobies’ massive commercial breakthrough, The Captain and Me, boasts one of the great album titles in rock history. The album also features a strong bunch of songs in the same stylistic vein as its immediate predecessors. The big hit here, of course, is “Black Water,” an infectious piece of jazzy folk rock with a killer a cappella gospel-chorus section. “Song to See You Through” is the Doobies’ version of a ’60s soul ballad, with the Memphis Horns adding a deep, Southern-fried feel.
The Doobies team up with the Memphis Horns for an even more Southern-flavored album than usual, although also a more uneven one. By this time, Tom Johnston, Patrick Simmons, and company had pretty well inherited the mantle and the core (and then some) of the audience left behind by Creedence Clearwater Revival and John Fogerty, with Johnston songs like “Pursuit on 53rd Street,” “Down in the Track,” and “Road Angel” recalling pieces like “Travelin’ Band,” while Simmons’ “Black Water” (their first number one hit) evoked the softer side of the “swamp rock” popularized by CCR. Actually, in some respects, given the range of instruments employed here, including an autoharp (courtesy of Arlo Guthrie) and viola, the songs on the original LP’s first side suffer somewhat from a sameness that makes What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits a little less interesting than the albums that preceded it. The original side two had a lot more variety, which is as good as any full album the band ever recorded: Simmons’ “Tell Me What You Want (And I’ll Give You What You Need)” and Johnston’s “Another Park, Another Sunday,” which both outdo the Eagles and Poco at their respective country-rock games (and keep a certain soulful edge, too), Simmons’ lyrical, ethereal, slightly spacy “Daughters of the Sea,” and the very spacy, shimmering instrumental “Flying Cloud” (written by bassist Tiran Porter). In all, despite the weakness of its original first side, it’s got a lot more to offer than the single hit, and has at least six numbers (out of 12) that rate with the better album tracks the group has ever done.
01 – Song to See You Through
02 – Spirit
03 – Pursuit on 53rd St.
04 – Black Water
05 – Eyes of Silver
06 – Road Angel
07 – You Just Can’t Stop It
08 – Tell Me What You Want
09 – Down in the Track
10 – Another Park, Another Sunday
11 – Daughters of the Sea
12 – Flying Cloud
Mastered by Rob LoVerde at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.