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Michael McDonald

With his husky, soulful baritone, Michael McDonald became one of the most distinctive and popular vocalists to emerge from the laid-back California pop/rock scene of the late '70s. McDonald found the middle ground between blue-eyed soul and smooth, soft rock, a sound that made him a star. He initially essayed his signature style with the Doobie Brothers, ushering in the group's most popular period with hits like "What a Fool Believes" and "Taking It to the Streets." McDonald disbanded the group in 1982 to pursue a solo career, which was initially quite successful, but by the end of the decade his popularity had faded away, since he was reluctant to work regularly and hesitant to update his sound to suit shifting popular tastes.

After singing backup on several Steely Dan albums in the mid-'70s, Michael McDonald joined the Doobie Brothers in 1977. He was largely responsible for moving the group away from boogie rock and toward polished, jazzy blue-eyed soul. Prior to the Doobies' farewell tour in 1982, he sang harmony on several hit singles, including tracks by Donna Summer, Toto, Kenny Loggins, and Christopher Cross. As it turned out, McDonald's solo work was a cross between the Doobie Brothers' white-bread soul and Cross' adult contemporary ballads.

McDonald released his solo debut, If That's What It Takes, in 1982. The record climbed to number six on the strength of the number four single "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)," which also crossed over into the R&B Top Ten. In 1983, he had another Top 20 pop hit (and a Top Ten R&B hit) with his duet with James Ingram, "Yah Mo B There." McDonald didn't deliver his second solo album, No Lookin' Back, until 1985. The record wasn't as successful as its predecessor, producing only one moderate hit in its title track. He bounced back the following year, when his duet with Patti LaBelle, "On My Own," shot to number one and "Sweet Freedom," his theme for the Billy Crystal/Gregory Hines comedy Running Scared, climbed into the Top Ten.

Instead of capitalizing on his revitalized success, McDonald didn't release another album until 1990. The resulting Take It to Heart was a bomb, peaking at number 110. Two years later, his fortunes were revived somewhat when he sang on Aretha Franklin's minor hit "Ever Changing Times" and toured with Donald Fagen's New York Rock and Soul Revue. The following year, he released Blink of an Eye, which was ignored. In 1994, "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)" was sampled heavily in Warren G's smash hit "Regulate." By 1996, McDonald had returned to the Doobie Brothers, touring the oldies circuit with the reunited group. The following year, he released Blue Obsession, his first album of new material in three years. He released a Christmas album, In the Spirit: A Christmas Album, in 2001, and began a series of recordings devoted to the Motown catalog with 2003's Motown. Motown Two and Soul Speak followed in 2004 and 2007, respectively. Tribute to Motown Live followed in 2009. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Soul Speak

1. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)

2. Living For The City

3. Love T.K.O.

4. Walk On By

5. Still Not Over You (Getting Over Me)

6. For Once In My Life

7. Into The Mystic

8. Hallelujah

9. Enemy Within

10. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher

11. Only God Can Help Me Now

12. Baby Can I Change My Mind

13. Redemption Song

14. You Don't Know Me

x

Track List: Motown Two

1. You're All I Need To Get By

2. I Was Made To Love Her

3. Reach Out, I'll Be There

4. Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)

5. Baby I Need Your Lovin'

6. Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

7. Tracks Of My Tears

8. What's Goin' On

9. Second That Emotion

10. After The Dance

11. Nowhere To Run

12. Tuesday Heartbreak

13. Mercy Mercy Me

14. Baby I'm For Real

x

Track List: Motown

1. I Heard It Through The Grapevine

2. You Are Everything

3. Signed, Sealed, And Deliverd I'm Yours

4. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me

5. Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing

6. Reflections

7. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

8. Ain't No Mountain High Enough

9. All In Love Is Fair

10. I Want You

11. Distant Lover

12. I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)

13. Since I Lost My Baby

14. Too High

x

Track List: Blink Of An Eye

1. I Stand For You

2. East Of Eden

3. More To Us Than That

4. I Want You

5. No More Prayin'

6. Matters Of The Heart

7. Hey Girl

8. What Makes A Man Hold On

9. Blink Of An Eye

10. Everlasting

11. For A Child

x

Track List: Take It To Heart

1. All We Got

2. Get The Word Started

3. Love Can Break Your Heart

4. Take It To Heart

5. Tear It Up

6. Lonely Talk

7. Searchin' For Understanding

8. Homeboy

9. No Amount Of Reason

10. One Step Away

11. You Show Me

x

Track List: The Very Best Of Michael McDonald

1. No Lookin' Back

3. I Gotta Try

7. By Heart

8. Bad Times

9. Matters Of The Heart

11. Get The Word Started

12. Any Foolish Thing

13. Take It To Heart

15. Lost In The Parade

16. Blink Of An Eye

x

Track List: No Lookin' Back

1. No Lookin' Back

2. Bad Times

3. (I'll Be Your) Angel

4. By Heart

5. Any Foolish Thing

6. Our Love

7. (I Hang) On Your Every Word

8. Lost In The Parade

9. Don't Let Me Down

x

Track List: If That's What It Takes

1. Playin' By The Rules

2. I Keep Forgettin'

3. Love Lies

4. I Gotta Try

5. I Can Let Go Now

6. That's Why

7. If That's What It Takes

8. No Such Luck

9. Losin' End

10. Believe In It

Comments

Report as inappropriate
kimready46
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Nice
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Ya Mo bee there.... Up an over!!!! LOVE this song!!!!!!❤️
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so beautiful --- much love Michael
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will you marry me Michael. Much love
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heavymetal35 9
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
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johnmargie6
Best trio ever...
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cherokeeprin c e s s 1 2 7
❤❤❤❤❤❤
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Been a fan since Benld Coliseum!
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Love this man, his voice, his spirit, heart and soul....
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
orionkovach2
Michael McDonald has such a smooth style. Such talent.
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Love this song
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The 'Combo-of-La b e l l e & M c D o n a l d . Is as complentary. A s EBONY and IVORY in vocal duets....... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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dragonlady60 8 8
BEAUTIFUL SONG
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justinjenny4 9 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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phowley80
Sweet Jesus! That is smooth music.
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Michael has one of those cross over voices that appeal to all. I have many Black and Latino friends that love his voice, projection and persona! If I could pick one voice to have it may very well be his! What a sound!
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Michael has one of those cross over voices that appeal to all. I have many Black and Latino friends that love his voice, projection and persona! If I could pick one it may very well be his! What a sound!
Report as inappropriate
rbrown1325
I Keep Forgetting
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Such a powerful and smooooth voice!
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KFOX
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
Saw him when he joined the Doobie Brothers. So much fun in the 70's with all of the great music.....gr e a t concerts...g r e a t friends....g r e a t life....in the 70's
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alexandraabe l l a 1 7
❤❤❤❤❤
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He has a great voice. ..no one cares why...
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A beautiful, unique voice!!!
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oh baby!
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Saw him for the millennium at El Conquistador Resort in 2000 - so beautifully handsome, so talented - indescribabl e .
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His voice turns me on. Whew!
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
EVERY TIME I HEAR THE SONG I KEEP FORGETTING, IT ALWAYS REMINDS ME OF MY FIRST - MOTHER-IN-LA W , MRS. CINDY WEBB LEWIS, WHOM I STILL MISS HER SO MUCH
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One of the most underrated singers ever!!! His sound is so unique that once you hear his voice, you immediately know that it is Michael McDonald.
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Dope singer
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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dragonlady60 8 8
I keep forgetting.. . . . m y fave...but MICHAELS IS SO AMAZING ALL HIS SONGS ARE OUTSTANDING
Report as inappropriate
sjg070161
The man can s-a-n-g. Met him twice, literally saw him on the street and was surprised nobody else recognized him. So down to earth and gracious. I don't think he'll ever run out of work, his voice is that good. good. Love me some MM.
Report as inappropriate
Excuse Me.....thing s Will ...Never Be The..Same... A g a i n . . . . . I Keep Forgetting.. . . . . Forget....Wh a t . . . U Need...U...W a n t . . a n d .What...U Claimed to BE.....I Need too Forget....U! ! ! X X X X O O O O O O O O O O O
Report as inappropriate
Very beautiful song
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dragonlady60 8 8
U CAN GOOGLE MICHEAL MCDONALD
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dragonlady60 8 8
Gorgeous man and VOICE
Report as inappropriate
sandymcleod1 7 5
❤❤❤❤❤
Report as inappropriate
I've seen him in concert 3 times! He is awesome!
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Cool
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One of my top song's!!! Love the voices!!!
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What a great voice! He is a soul brother like no other. This sista can vouch for it.
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Love this song!!!!
Report as inappropriate
and where is he now?
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If I hear Yah Mo B There one more time, I'm gonna Yah Mo burn this place to the ground.
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