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This is over. We dove in head first and made the record. The song had been brewing for a couple of years.
Upon his arrival, he heard McDonald noodling around on the piano, playing that riff. Recording the song, however, did not flow as easily. It was like many studios of its time: fluorescent lights, white linoleum floors, walnut paneling and orange fabric walls.
Even the couches were uncomfortable.
Classic Tracks: The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”
The console was a classic API and everything was recorded on 3M 2-inch track machines. It was just a funny song to learn to play.
We had big boxes of 2-inch tape piled to the ceiling on just that one tune. We had gone through God knows how many rolls of tape trying to get that song.
I believe Ted Templeman played drums on that track. We must have cut that thing for five or six days straight. I finally — just to get the feeling right — ended up playing drums on it myself along with [regular Doobies drummer] Keith Knudsen. Little Feat keyboardist Billy Payne and McDonald spent a day working on the synthesizers for the track.
I still own the Oberheim I used on the session.
What A Fool Believes
We felt the track had a certain pop sensibility that was kind of retro in a way, and that always seemed to be where our heads were. Whenever we cut a track, we were constantly comparing it to stuff that was done years ago, either production value-wise or song-wise. In any case, where we could use the live vocal we did, and I would just punch in and fix any words I flubbed. Despite the many takes, McDonald says that Templeman truly knew what he was after.
I know which one it is. By the time the mixing process began, McDonald was exhausted.
Thankfully, Templeman had faith in the song and its recording. It was pretty obvious.
It may have been obvious, if only to Templeman. Gest and any of the nay-sayers were probably comparing the songs on Minute By Minute to the disco sound du jour that dominated the airwaves. That song, and other Doobie compositions pre-McDonald, had more of a raucous rock feel. To this day, McDonald remains modest and humble about his place in the Doobies.
Michael McDonald - What A Fool Believes
I never really thought anything I did with the band ever replaced what the band was originally. It became even more obvious, when even Gest changed his tune.
What a Fool Believes Lyrics
One day, David came over and he was standing by the piano. I was eating and looked up, and just above my head was a frame with a bronze plaque with the envelope with the lyrics. Your browser is out-of-date!