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"What A Fool Believes" - Doobie Brothers

What makes this such a good song?

by Anonymousreply 9005/05/2013

The beat! Or, if you prefer, that we've all been the fool in a relationship.

by Anonymousreply 105/04/2013

The beat, Michael McDonald's vocals, the lyrics.

by Anonymousreply 205/04/2013

Michael McDonald's voice. Period.

by Anonymousreply 305/04/2013

Michael McDonald's mumbling.

by Anonymousreply 405/04/2013

Love this song. The uplifting lyrics melded to the soaring chorus makes it a winner, plus of course yacht rock icon Michael McDonald, the Kenny Rogers of white soul and Rick Astley precursor.

There's a disco mix and it has a slight tinge of that to it. The Aretha version is dreadful.

by Anonymousreply 505/04/2013

This is it!

by Anonymousreply 605/04/2013

It's cheesy, but satisfying. It's musical comfort food.

by Anonymousreply 705/04/2013

I always thought Michael McDonald was hot. And then there's that voice. Too bad he is straight. I guess we can't have them all.

by Anonymousreply 805/04/2013

My friends and I used to joke about the disgusting vocals in this song. We named his singing style "hongin"" (for the predominant sound he puts into so many words).

by Anonymousreply 905/04/2013

I used to think he was saying, "galowky stowky prower"

by Anonymousreply 1005/04/2013

Great well-crafted music is still in the charts today - look at the hits of Bruno Mars, Maroon 5 and Rhianna.

by Anonymousreply 1105/04/2013

[quote]The Aretha version is dreadful.

Aretha sings fat.

by Anonymousreply 1205/04/2013

I always thought it was "he's watching her grow."


by Anonymousreply 1305/04/2013


Aretha is anything but fat!

by Anonymousreply 1405/04/2013

For a long time I thought it was "the white man has the power". Didn't make sense.

by Anonymousreply 1505/04/2013

[quote]For a long time I thought it was "the white man has the power".

Up until now, so did I.

by Anonymousreply 1605/04/2013

Ok, I'm listening to the song and here is my attempt to interpret the lyrics:

He came from somewhere back in her long ago

Sentimental fool can't see

Trying hard to recreate what had yet to be created

Once in her life

She must've served smiles

For his nostalgic touch

Never coming near what he wanted to say

Only to realize

He never really was

She had a place in his life

He had to make up things twice

As she rises to her apology

Anybody else would surely know

He's watching her go

What a fool believes

He sees

No wise man rise above her

To reason away

What seems to be

It's always better than nothing

Than nothing at all

Keep sending him back in her long ago

Where he can still believe there's a place in her life

Some day, some where

She will return

She had a place in his life


I'm sure that's not right, but that's how it sounds to me. And it makes no sense.

by Anonymousreply 1705/04/2013

I had no idea Kenny Loggins co-wrote this.

Lyrics are:

He came from somewhere back in her long ago The sentimental fool don't see Tryin' 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 what a fool believes ... he sees No 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 what a fool believes ... he sees No wise man has the power to reason away What seems ... to be Is always better than nothing There's nothing at all What seems ... to be Is always better than nothing There's nothing at all But what a fool believes he sees ... No wise man has the power to reason away What seems ... to be Is always better than nothing

by Anonymousreply 1805/05/2013

His singing is just awful

by Anonymousreply 1905/05/2013

My dad listened to him a lot so I grew up with his underwater, mumbly sounding voice. I had a little crush on him and his beard.

by Anonymousreply 2005/05/2013

It Keeps You Running is much better.

by Anonymousreply 2105/05/2013

My favorite record that year. The next year, it won Record of the Year, and Song of the Year Grammys.

When I was working at a Naval Hospital, a sailor told me about he and his buddies winning a karaoke contest on base with their version of an old song, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". My imagination carried over to them performing this song. Fun for me!

by Anonymousreply 2205/05/2013

Remember this little ditty.

by Anonymousreply 2305/05/2013

On My Own was a great duet.

I always preferred Michael McDonald's version of You Belong To Me over Carly Simon's.

by Anonymousreply 2405/05/2013

I love doobies!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 2505/05/2013

I remember on an episode of 30 Rock someone told Jenna Malone to start singing like Michael McDonald and she did, it was funny. I don't think he gets referenced much so that was kind of an odd moment.

by Anonymousreply 2605/05/2013

I nominate this as the most useless thread here

by Anonymousreply 2705/05/2013

I know better, but when I hear them, I always get him and Peter Cetera mixed up.

by Anonymousreply 2805/05/2013

I preferred "Real Love" by the Doobies. Or for their minor hits, "Depending On You".

But for me, their claim to fame will always be their appearance on "What's Happening!!" warning Raj, Dwayne and Rerun about the dangers of bootlegging a concert.

by Anonymousreply 2905/05/2013

r28, how is that possible? Peter Cetera can actually, you know, sing, rather than mumble his way through a song.

by Anonymousreply 3005/05/2013

He's a fool filled with unrequited love for someone who never gave him a second thought and who apologizes insincerely to him on meeting years later, planning to go away, while he dreams that she is coming back to him.

Is that right, dl? I don't see this song as upbeat.

by Anonymousreply 3105/05/2013

I LURVE the Doobies, such great music

by Anonymousreply 3205/05/2013

I love Aretha's version. Not as good as the Doobies, but still kick ass in its own right.

And she has Toto backing her.

by Anonymousreply 3305/05/2013

Brilliant lyrics, badly sung. It's not upbeat at all but completely relatable.

I thought for decades he was singing "What a fool believes he sees, the wise man has the power to reason away" (instead of "no wise man"), rather the opposite of the intended message.

I also thought for decades that Tina Turner was singing "We don't need another hero; we don't need another white hope."

by Anonymousreply 3405/05/2013

oldster version

by Anonymousreply 3505/05/2013

I gave it the opposite meaning too when I heard it. It sounds upbeat, and I thought she grew into him and they were reconciled, which is the opposite of what the real lyrics imply.

by Anonymousreply 3605/05/2013

what the hell does "Ya mo be there" mean anyway?

by Anonymousreply 3705/05/2013

[quote]The uplifting lyrics

What song are [italic]you[/italic] listening to?

by Anonymousreply 3805/05/2013

MMcD looks like a grown-up Triscuit in the R5 video.

by Anonymousreply 4005/05/2013


Ive always interpreted it as:

What a fool sees... no wise man can come along and tell him any different... the fool's still going to believe what he thinks he sees regardless.

by Anonymousreply 4105/05/2013

R39 = crying as she types this

by Anonymousreply 4205/05/2013

You're right, R42, I was. Happy now?

by Anonymousreply 4305/05/2013

Well I was going to say bittersweet lyrics R38, but the melody is definitely uplifting so it doesn't matter.

Sad lyrics with happy tune always or usually results in uplifting feeling and sentiment overall. Even the happiest songs can have sad undertones in the lyrics and these types of songs with subtle contrasting shadings are often the best.

by Anonymousreply 4405/05/2013

yes! r29 "you be a Doobie?" I still picture them singing to Dee the rare times I hear 'Little Darlin'

I had a crush on Dwayne.

Michael McDonald was one of those proto-bears, like the Grizzly Adams guy and Mr. French, love how versatile he is.

by Anonymousreply 4505/05/2013

I treasure my topless pinup of Michael McDonald to this day.

by Anonymousreply 4605/05/2013

I prefer Long Train Running...

by Anonymousreply 4705/05/2013

I'm sorry bitch, I like Aretha's version, especially the jazzy scatting backups

by Anonymousreply 4805/05/2013

I love this song. I think it is about slavery or the underground railway

by Anonymousreply 4905/05/2013

I always hated that song "What a Fool Believes" - the weak, horrible voice/singing, the weak melody, the dumb lyrics and the repetitive, non-stop airplay. He had a very unattractive look at the time, too.

by Anonymousreply 5005/05/2013

Well smell the shit out of you, fucktard from R50. As if anyone gives a shit what you hate.

by Anonymousreply 5105/05/2013

Shirley doesn't have breasts the size I would expect for a woman her size.

by Anonymousreply 5205/05/2013

I just googled the lyrics, and never realized what a sad song it is. And surprisingly well-written.

by Anonymousreply 5305/05/2013

What's "well-written" about that vague rambling mess?

by Anonymousreply 5405/05/2013

The ultimate seventies vibe

by Anonymousreply 5505/05/2013

Mumbling or not, he's very soulful. Aretha wouldn't cover that for nothing.

I always go for melody over lyrics anyway. I don't care how good the lyrics are, if it's aligned to a meh tune I'm not interested.

by Anonymousreply 5605/05/2013

What's "vague" about it, R54? What's not to understand?

by Anonymousreply 5705/05/2013

Thanks for that clip R52. God, I used to love Shirley. Just that scene starting at 5:30 cracked me up, and I know it wasn't great writing, but her delivery always had me in stitches.

And then the way Raj would turn his chair around before he sat in it... I can remember some of us in elementary school doing that at the lunch table because we saw it on What's Happening!

by Anonymousreply 5805/05/2013

I knew it was a sad song when I first heard it as a teenager probably because I was a sad teenager and always picked up on that kind of stuff, "happy" melody or not. That line about "she had a place in his life, he never made her think twice", says it all.

by Anonymousreply 5905/05/2013

The excessive use of pronouns in the lyrics always bugged me. Chorus is catchy, though.

by Anonymousreply 6005/05/2013

r59, explain the meaning of the line you quoted.

by Anonymousreply 6105/05/2013

Senility, because nobody under 60 knows who these people are?

by Anonymousreply 6205/05/2013

R48 I love Aretha's version too.

by Anonymousreply 6305/05/2013

Wow, R61. Seems pretty obvious. Maybe you're joking?

by Anonymousreply 6405/05/2013

If it's so obvious r64, why were you unable to explain it?

by Anonymousreply 6505/05/2013

[quote]"she had a place in his life, he never made her think twice"

I assume it means she was important to him but he wasn't as important to her. But it is very badly phrased in an effort to get a rhyme.

by Anonymousreply 6605/05/2013

I second Depending on You as the catchier song from Minute by Minute. Heard it the other day in the drugstore and had to stop to groove for a minute.

Had a serious crush on a short haired Patrick Simmons as a pre-teen. Had a photo of him on my wall and everything, didn't look twice at him with long hair but once he chopped it off went nuts. Mom tried to take me to a psychiatrist over that one.

by Anonymousreply 6705/05/2013

Michael Jackson actually sings back up on that song.

by Anonymousreply 6805/05/2013

R65, I didn't want to explain it because it seemed like R61 was just being sarcastic because it's too easy.

by Anonymousreply 6905/05/2013

The first sentence in r66's quoted lyric is just fine. It's the second that is awkward. But the real trouble is that the subject pronoun in each phrase doesn't represent the point of view - the object does.

by Anonymousreply 7005/05/2013

r69 STILL can't explain it.

by Anonymousreply 7105/05/2013

There's no point in explaining it now R71 since R66 has said it. You have fun fighting with yourself, I'm not interested.

by Anonymousreply 7205/05/2013

Fuck Henretha, Donna should've just sung everything.

Here she is with Michael, er, Kenny and she destroys Gloria, decapitates Rickie Lee Jones, squashes Peaches & Herb, eats EW&F and drubs The Doobies.

by Anonymousreply 7305/05/2013

R70 can u explain to me how the object of the sentence giving perspective is a problem. I'm dying to know. When I heard those lyrics, I immediately got what they were saying and I appreciated the poetry

by Anonymousreply 7405/05/2013

Because, r74, English speech patterns set up mental expectations. If you're going to communicate a point, you should be aware of how English usually works. It doesn't mean it can't be deciphered, it's just awkward.

by Anonymousreply 7505/05/2013

For some reason, this song takes me back to when I was in day care. I've always loved it, though.

by Anonymousreply 7605/05/2013

R70, what [italic]are[/italic] you yammering about?

The subject in "she had a place in his life" is "she." The object is "place."

The subject in "he never made her think twice" is "he." The object is "her."

What does this have to do with anything?

by Anonymousreply 7705/05/2013

Aw man, the Doobie Brothers broke up.

by Anonymousreply 7805/05/2013

Happy sluts for seventies lounges

by Anonymousreply 7905/05/2013

r77, I thought r70 was pretty clear. It's a matter of optimal expression of meaning. The meaning of the first sentence is "he valued her." The point of view is from HIM, yet "she" is the subject of the sentence. You can do it that way, but it is not ideally stated for clarity.

In the second sentence, the meaning is "she gave little thought to him." The point of view here is from HER, yet "he" is the subject of the sentence. Again, you can tell what it means, but it's not the best way to put it.

by Anonymousreply 8005/05/2013

Oh, I know what the song [italic]means[/italic], R80.

by Anonymousreply 8105/05/2013

Go to 6:30 and hear what an amazing voice can do to the song. (actually it's hilarious the way Donna wipes the stage with Kenny Rogers)

by Anonymousreply 8205/05/2013

r80 and r70 I still don't see the issue here. The writers were being poetic in how they related the situation. Sometimes poetry involves rhyming schemes to provides structure for the poem or song. The lyrics may be unusually structured but they're not grammatically correct and besides they are poetic.

Any "fool" can decipher the meaning ;-)

by Anonymousreply 8305/05/2013

r81, did you read the last 2 sentences of each paragraph?

by Anonymousreply 8405/05/2013

Yeah, songs are notorious for twisting language to fit a rhyme, but that line is not artfully written.

by Anonymousreply 8505/05/2013

R82 mine wouldn't embed, there are different versions of it but you found the only one in full in HQ.

I bet poor Gloria was seething at the Queen of Disco taking her song, the only Best Disco Recording winner!

by Anonymousreply 8605/05/2013

r83 here, meant to type "...they're not grammatically INCORRECT..."

by Anonymousreply 8705/05/2013

I think you're overthinking it, R84, R85, R81, etc., etc.

I've never had any difficulty understanding this song, whereas y'all're just obfuscating like mad.

by Anonymousreply 8805/05/2013

I love Michael McDonald... but this was hilarious.

by Anonymousreply 8905/05/2013

"What a Fool Believes" won the 1979 Grammy awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year (Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins, songwriters). Well-deserved victories.

by Anonymousreply 9005/05/2013
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