Old McDonald

Come on, farmer boy! Make me go a baa-baa here and a baa-baa there!

The Nest is doing its Monday muzak feature freestyle, unchained from any special criteria or fancy pants categories.  This is just some of my absolute favorite songs ever, and after today we’ll have reached the halfway point in this celebration of excellent earworms I’m calling The Top 30 Songs We Just Feel Like Playing!  It’s time to go back to the 80’s and queue up another forgotten soundtrack song from a forgotten movie, and prove that…. well, at least the music should live on.  If not the concept of pitting a comedian and a dancer as police partners…

#16. “Sweet Freedom” – Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald, a local product from the St. Louis area, has been a fixture in the music business for five decades now.  He was an early member of Steely Dan, and later took on a prominent role in The Doobie Brothers… going so far as to completely overhaul their sound in the late 70’s…. albeit to their biggest commercial success.  I’ve never been a fan of McDonald’s Doobies work (“Minute by Minute” notwithstanding), and get more than tired of hearing him on Mecca Radio desecrate Motown songs that were already bad enough originally…

Ain’t no mountain high enough to throw your annoying ass off of…

But Mikey’s cool with me, because his one saving grace is one of the most enjoyable songs of the 80’s to listen to…. and the 80’s were a pretty damn good decade for music, mind you.  From the 1986 film Running Scared, here’s his take on “Sweet Freedom”….

“Sweet Freedom,” as well as the entire score for the Running Scared film, was written by former Heatwave member Rod Temperton.  Temperton’s list of pop hits he penned is almost a who’s who (or I guess a what’s what) of late 70’s to mid 80’s R&B.  Temperton even wrote a lot of Michael Jackson’s early solo hits… including “Thriller.”  Not bad for a dorky looking white guy from England….

Not only did he write Thriller, but he also inspired the makeup for the zombies…

Come back next week for song #15, by an artist who I know is near and dear to one of my readers……


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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12 Responses to Old McDonald

  1. I clearly remember thinking when McDonald joined the Doobies that it made their “new sound” un-Doobie-ish but it actually just knocked them up a few notches in the more polished music category. The Doobies are my all time favorite group – and my favorite “driving in the car” music. Age hasn’t been particularly kind to Michael but then it hasn’t been my best friend either! HAHAHA


    • I remember you stating your Doobies fandom when I featured “The Doctor” on the DVA! I definitely prefer their classic sound, but you’re right that under McDonald they went from FM rock band to pop stars. I wasn’t sure if that was really McDonald in that picture I brought up… all those years of Doobies and doobies really took their toll!

  2. Having re-watched Beverly Hill Cops for the 6,000th time recently, this song fits in nicely in my earworm playlist. I was always a big Michael McD fan and didn’t object to his rebranding the Doobies. Nice Monday selection! Looking forward to the next fan favorite.

  3. Wow and here I thought that Michael McDonald wrote all of his own songs, wow. I loved the movie Running Scared, the original not the stupid reboot.

    • I was a little surprised by that too… but it turns out the same guy wrote his duet with James Ingram a few years earlier, so it isn’t even the first song McDonald recorded that someone else had written. I had no idea they rebooted Running Scared, but sadly that doesn’t surprise me. Almost everything from my precious 80’s has been remade and desecrated!

  4. I’ve been so out of touch this week. I haven’t even posted anything on my own blog much less… anyway. Good choice. He was part of Steely Dan????? Really? I did not know that. Good song choice. I am liking the variety. Michael McDonald is one of those singers where the picture and the voice never quite matched up to me. But that is ok. It just makes things more interesting. On the other hand Geddy Lee matches with his unique voice, but that isn’t a bad thing and an entirely different post.

    • It isn’t just you… it seems like most of my peeps are out of the loop this week given the slow trickle of comments on all of my last few posts! McDonald was in early Steely Dan before the Doobies stole him and Skunk Baxter for their own. I think (stress, THINK) that’s McDonald doing background vocals on “Peg.” It sure sounds like him. You are right about both Michael and Geddy…

  5. draliman says:

    There were a lot of songs from a lot of people which sounded almost exactly like that one back in the 80s. It really fits the era.
    (My New Year’s resolution was “not to be too negative about ES’s song picks”.)

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