Can you believe that this little gem was released 41 years ago this week!!
I really enjoy the decade or so tradition of bands playing one of their albums in its entirety. I know it would probably never happen, but if the Doobie Brothers were to do add join that tradition, then they should play “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.”
This was easily my favorite album of theirs. I always loved the overall sound of it. The breezy feel that it had, the use of harmonies and wooden instruments and yes, a trombone tossed in here and there.
The Doobies were a long time favorite of mine, but mainly for albums like this. “Black Water” was a huge hit, yet it’s nowhere near my favorite track on the album. I love the way the album had a nice warm flow. I’ve said many times that in most cases my least favorite Doobie songs were their huge hits. If I near hear “China Grove” again.. well that’s fine with me. I’d much prefer to hear “Song to See You Though” or other gems off this album such as “Spirit,” “Eyes of Silver.” In fact, two of the bands best tracks of all time just might be “Tell Me What You Want and I’ll Give You What You Need” or “Another Park, Another Sunday” Ha, after reading some of those title I probably should have saved this for a summertime feature. It really is a warm weather album. Producer Ted Templeman had a unique idea of running the guitars through a leslie speaker. No maybe not as famously as when the Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers did it on “Who’s that Lady,” but still rather unique.
Vices peaked at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. “Black Water” was a #1 hit, in fact it was the bands first #1 hit on the Billboard Hop 100 Single chart. “Another Park, Another Sunday” was the first single. “Eyes Of Silver” was the second. Radio began playing “Black Water” without a single and though word of mouth it reached all the way to #1.
A few ending notes… Little Feat’s Billy Payne added keyboards on the album and Arlo Guthrie added autoharp, harmonica.
- “Song to See You Through” (Johnston) – 4:06
- “Spirit” (Johnston, Simpson) – 3:15
- “Pursuit on 53rd St.” (Johnston) – 2:33
- “Black Water” (Simmons) – 4:17
- “Eyes of Silver” (Johnston) – 2:57
- “Road Angel” (Hartman, Hossack, Johnston, Porter) – 4:49
- “You Just Can’t Stop It” (Simmons) – 3:28
- “Tell Me What You Want (And I’ll Give You What You Need)” (Simmons) – 3:53
- “Down in the Track” (Johnston) – 4:15
- “Another Park, Another Sunday” (Johnston) – 4:27
- “Daughters of the Sea” (Simmons) – 4:29
- “Flying Cloud” (Porter) – 2:00
The Doobie Brothers:
- Patrick Simmons – guitar, vocals
- Tom Johnston – guitar, vocals
- Tiran Porter – bass, vocals
- John (Little John) Hartman – drums
- Michael Hossack – drums 
- Keith Knudsen – backing vocals
- Jeff “Skunk” Baxter – guitar, pedal steel, steel guitar
- James Booker – piano on “Down In The Track”
- Arlo Guthrie – autoharp, harmonica
- Eddie Guzman – conga, timbales, and other percussion instruments
- Jack Hale – trombone
- Milt Holland – tabla, marimba, pandeiro, and other percussion instruments
- Wayne Jackson – trumpet
- Andrew Love – tenor saxophone
- James Mitchell – baritone saxophone
- Novi Novog – viola on “Black Water”
- Bill Payne – keyboards
- Ted Templeman – percussion
See more albums from 1974…