|1. Natural Thing|
|2. Long Train Runnin'|
|3. China Grove|
|4. Dark Eyed Cajun Woman|
|5. Clear As The Driven Snow|
|6. Without You|
|7. South City Midnight Lady|
|8. Evil Woman|
|9. Busted Down Around O'Connelly Corners|
|11. The Captian And Me|
The first three songs are simply classic, with "Natural Thing", "Long Train Runnin'", and "China Grove" all being super Doobies hits (not to mention sounding great being played 1,2,3). The rest of the album, if a little more subtle, is just as good, with songs like "Clear as the Driven Snow", "South City Midnight Lady", the title track, "Ukiah", and "Evil Woman" all maintaining the intensity and songsmanship at an extremely high level.
The Doobie Brothers are the quintessential American band, and this is one of their masterpiece albums. It sounds as good today as when first released, and it makes you wish that modern bands could put out material even half this good. For fans of the Doobies or classic rock in general, "The Captain and Me" is a must have for your collection.
The sequencing of the first three tracks -- 'Natural Thing', 'Long Train Runnin'' and 'China Grove' -- is highly instructive, because they build to a magnificent rocking crescendo. The three tracks now go together as an indivisible unit, and yet really 'Natural Thing' isn't that catchy a tune. If it hadn't been placed at the front of the album, it might not have attracted the attention and classic status it undoubtedly now enjoys. Nevertheless, great tunes, killer hooks and, on 'China Grove', a hard rock sound.
For most of the 80s, my favourite track was Pat Simmons' deliate composition, 'Clear as the Driven Snow'.
But now, and fFor the past few years my favourite track on the CD has been 'Ukiah' -- yes, I'm still getting into side two. This track features Little Feat's Bill Payne on discreet piano and Margouleff/Cecil on ARP synthesizer. (Margouleff & Cecil were the guys who introduced Stevie Wonder to the synthesizer before TALKING BOOK.) Steely Dan's Jeff Skunk Baxter was merely on loan at this stage.
This is a fantastic album, showcasing music that is distinctively American, and yet it is music for the world.