♫ What A Fool Believes ♫

Last week, I rather got into a Bryan Adams ‘mode’ and ended up playing three of his.  Then, I played one by the Doobie Brothers, which led to another, and in the course of doing the research for that ‘another’, I came across this one which may well be my favourite by the Doobie Brothers.  No, I don’t plan these things, but … when you’re on a roll, having a good time, chillin’ to the tunes … why not?

Kenny Loggins co-wrote this one with the Doobie Brothers’ lead singer at the time, Michael McDonald.  Loggins put his version on his album Nightwatch, which was released in July 1978, five months before The Doobies included it on their Minute by Minute album. Loggins’ version was never released as a single, but The Doobie Brothers took it to #1 in the US in April 1979.  Michael McDonald wrote the original version of this song. He presented a fragment of it to Templeman, who encouraged him to continue working on it. Kenny Loggins came in when McDonald got stuck on the bridge of the song. Bassist Tiran Porter had suggested Loggins to McDonald because the two were good friends.

The story goes that while he was waiting for Loggins to arrive at his home, McDonald played some of the songs that were “in progress” and asked his sister Maureen which she thought was best. As Loggins was getting out of his car, he heard McDonald playing a fragment of this. According to Loggins, he heard about three-quarters of the verse’s melody (no lyrics), but McDonald stopped at the bridge. Loggins’ mind continued without a break… and the song’s bridge was born. Then Loggins knocked on the door, introduced himself to McDonald, and demonstrated the bridge that he devised before the two of them could sit down. The lyrics were finished over the telephone the next day.

Now, I am a huge Kenny Loggins fan, and I will offer you both the Doobie Brothers version and Kenny Loggins’, but in this case, I have to say that I prefer the Doobie Brothers offering.

This was the band’s second U.S. #1, after “Black Water.” The Doobie Brothers took on a different sound when they lost lead singer Tom Johnston due to illness in the mid-’70s. Instead of the album rock they were known for, they had more of a soft rock sound with Michael McDonald as lead singer.

This won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. The album won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.  The song hit #1 in both the U.S. and Canada, and #31 in the UK.

What a Fool Believes
The Doobie Brothers / Kenny Loggins

He came from somewhere back in her long ago
The sentimental fool don’t see
Trying hard to recreate what had yet to be created
Once in her life, she musters a smile for his nostalgic tale
Never coming near what he wanted to say
Only to realize it never really was

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But a fool believes he sees
The wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be
Is always better than nothing
And nothing at all keeps sending him

Somewhere back in her long ago
Where he can still believe there’s a place in her life
Someday, somewhere, she will return

She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
As he rises to her apology
Anybody else would surely know
He’s watching her go

But a fool believes he sees
The wise man has the power to reason away
What seems to be (if love can come and love can go, then why can’t love return once more?)
Is always better than nothing
(Who got the power?)
There’s nothing at all (oh, now)
But a fool believes he sees (I believe she’s never gone away)
The wise man has the power
To reason away (to reason away)
What seems to be (oh, if love can come and love can go, oh, mama)
Is always better than nothing (better than nothing)
And nothing at all (oh, I believe)

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Kenny Loggins / Michael McDonald
What a Fool Believes lyrics © Gnossos Music / Milk Money Music, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

19 thoughts on “♫ What A Fool Believes ♫

  1. These guys are smooth operators for sure. I really enjoyed the 2nd video with K.L., has a bluesy mellow vibe esp from Kenny. Both versions are great, and of course MM is a dreamboat. 🙂

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      • Jill, it is funny, my brother feels The Doobies changed who they were when Michael McDonald joined them. I have felt he gave them a new sound to try on which kept them in the limelight. I do tend to like the earlier songs better, but the later songs are still very good, this one included. “Takin’ it to the Streets” is another later favorite. Keith

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        • Most people seem to think the group changed its focus when McDonald replaced Tom Johnston, some prefer the earlier Doobie Bros, some the later. I like some of their earlier and some of their later, so I’m no help! “Takin’ it to the Streets” wasn’t ringing any bells, so I Googled and listened, but I don’t believe I had ever heard that one before!

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  2. Sorry, not for me. I rather lost interest in the Doobies when MacDonald turned them from a great rock band into a pop outfit. And as the author of Footloose Kenny Loggins isn’t on my Christmas card list either 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t sure if you or David would like this one … you guys seem to pretty much share the same tastes … and I was right, for neither of you much liked it. And I get that … I think I preferred the Doobies after McDonald took over, but to each his own. But … no Christmas card for Kenny??? You don’t like “This Is It”? Or “House on Pooh Corner”? I’m in shock! 😉 Perhaps part of it is … I like looking at him, while that probably isn’t a huge draw for you. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • We do seem to be on the same page much of the time, don’t we? I think the Doobies became a different band when MacDonald took them over: as you say, it’s a matter of choice. Loggins was ok while he was part of Loggins and Messina but I never really enjoyed looking at him. Now, if he’d been Linda Ronstadt…

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