Stampede (The Doobie Brothers album)

Stampede is the fifth studio album by American rock band The Doobie Brothers. The album was released on April 25, 1975, by Warner Bros. Records. It was the final album by the band before Michael McDonald replaced Tom Johnston as lead vocalist and primary songwriter. The album has been certified gold by the RIAA.

The Doobie Brothers - Stampede.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 25, 1975
RecordedSept. 9 - Oct. 6, 1974 at Warner Bros. Studios, North Hollywood, CA, Burbank Studios, Burbank, CA, Curlom Studios, Chicago, IL and The Record Plant, Sausalito, CA. "I Been Workin' on You" recorded at Creative Workshop, Nashville, TN
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerTed Templeman
The Doobie Brothers chronology
What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
Takin' It to the Streets
Singles from Stampede
  1. "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" / "Slat Key Soquel Rag"
    Released: April 23, 1975
  2. "Sweet Maxine" / "Double Dealin' Four Flusher"
    Released: July 8, 1975
  3. "I Cheat the Hangman" / "Music Man"
    Released: November 12, 1975
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]
The Great Rock Discography5/10[3]
Rolling Stone(mixed)[4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[5]

Recording and contentEdit

Stampede showed the band diversifying elements of their sound more than ever before, combining elements of their old sound as well as country-rock, funk and folk music. Many guest musicians contributed on the album including Maria Muldaur, Ry Cooder and Curtis Mayfield.

This was the first album featuring Jeff "Skunk" Baxter as a full-fledged member of the band. He had previously played on a couple of songs as a guest on the two previous albums and toured with the band prior to this one.

The first and most successful single released from this album was "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" on April 23, 1975, a classic Motown tune written by the legendary songwriting trio of Holland-Dozier-Holland. Tom Johnston had wanted to record the song for several years. "I thought that would be a killer track to cover," he said. "It's probably one of my favorite songs of all time. I thought our version came out great."

The next single, released on July 8, 1975, was "Sweet Maxine" which was more akin to the Doobie Brothers' earlier hits style-wise. "Pat wrote the music to this and I wrote the words, " Johnston recalled. "And Billy Payne had a lot to do with the sound of the song, because of his incredible keyboard playing." The track stalled at #40 on the Billboard charts.

The third and final single was Patrick Simmons' "I Cheat the Hangman", released November 12, 1975. It is a somber outlaw ballad that was inspired by the story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce. "It's about a ghost returning to his home after the Civil War and not realizing he's dead," said Simmons about the song. The album version of the song is a progressive rock-style composition ending in a twisted collage of strings, horns and synthesizers made to sound like ghostly wails. "We'd cut the track, and we kicked around how to develop the ending-I thought about synthesizers and guitar solos. Ted [Templeman] got to thinking about it, and he ran it past [arranger] Nick DeCaro for some orchestration ideas. 'Night on Bald Mountain' by Mussorgsky really inspired the wildness of the strings, and Nick came up with the chorale thing at the end." The ambitious "I Cheat the Hangman" only managed to reach #60 on the music charts.[6]

"Neal's Fandango" was inspired by the Santa Cruz mountains and was an homage to Neal Cassady, Merry Prankster bus driver and former Jack Kerouac sidekick in On The Road. It was occasionally played on San Francisco Bay Area classic rock station KFOX "K-FOX" (that means KUFX) because of the Doobie Brothers' South Bay roots.

Track listingEdit

Side one
1."Sweet Maxine"Tom Johnston, Patrick SimmonsJohnston4:26
2."Neal's Fandango"SimmonsSimmons3:20[nb 1]
3."Texas Lullaby"JohnstonJohnston5:00
4."Music Man"JohnstonJohnston3:34
5."Slat Key Soquel Rag[nb 2]"Simmonsinstrumental1:54

Side two
6."Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)"Holland–Dozier–HollandJohnston3:39
7."I Cheat the Hangman"SimmonsSimmons6:38
8."Précis"Jeff Baxterinstrumental0:56
9."Rainy Day Crossroad Blues"JohnstonJohnston3:45
10."I Been Workin' on You"JohnstonJohnston4:22
11."Double Dealin' Four Flusher"SimmonsSimmons, Knudsen, Johnston3:30


The Doobie Brothers:

Additional Musicians:


  • Producer: Ted Templeman
  • Engineer: Donn Landee, Travis Turk
  • Concert Master: Harry Bluestone on "Rainy Day Crossroad Blues"
  • String Arrangements:
    • Nick DeCaro on "Texas Lullaby", "I Cheat the Hangman" and "Rainy Day Crossroad Blues"
    • Curtis Mayfield on "Music Man"
    • Paul Riser on "Take Me in Your Arm (Rock Me a Little While)"
  • Horn Arrangements:
    • Curtis Mayfield on "Music Man"
    • Paul Riser on "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)", "Sweet Maxine" and "Double Dealin' Four Flusher"
  • Orchestration: Richard Tufo on "Music Man"
  • Design: Barbara Casado, John Casado
  • Photography: Jill Maggid, Michael Maggid
  • Art Direction: Ed Thrasher



Year Chart Position
1975 Pop Albums 4


Year Single Chart Position
1975 "Sweet Maxine" Pop Singles 40
1975 "Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While)" Pop Singles 11
1976 "I Cheat the Hangman" Pop Singles 60


  1. ^ Bruce Eder. "Stampede - The Doobie Brothers". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0857125958.
  3. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2002). "The Doobie Brothers". The Great Rock Discography. The National Academies. ISBN 1-84195-312-1.
  4. ^ Jim Miller (1975-07-03). "The Doobie Brothers: Stampede". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 253. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  6. ^ "Old Black Water Keep on Rollin': 30 Years of the Doobie Brothers". Long Train Runnin': The Doobie Brothers 1970 - 2000 (CD Booklet). The Doobie Brothers. Warner Bros. Records. 1999. p. 33. 75876.CS1 maint: others (link)


  1. ^ On all CD reissues this track's length is about 3:09 due to the section before the final guitar solo being edited out.
  2. ^ This was originally listed incorrectly as "Slat Key Soquel Rag."