ABBA in, Doobie Brothers not?

ABBA has been voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is a cultural travesty on par with Wall Street suits still raking in millions as the economy remains trapped in a financial septic tank of their making.

What drives me to write about ABBA’s recognition, other than to lash out at the three decades of trauma I’ve suffered from their Swedish-spawned alleged “rock” music? In truth, I have nothing against the musicians, and there obviously are many people who like their sound. Elevator music from hell is what I label it, but that’s only one amateur critic’s opinion.

No, the absolute injustice I am compelled to shout from the Hall’s rooftop is that while ABBA has made it to the Rock Hall, the Doobie Brothers have not. Please pardon the outburst, but, ARE YOU BLEEPING KIDDING ME!?! ABBA was a banal stain on the radio waves of the 1970s. The Doobies were the life of the party.

What the ABBA were the Rock Hall voters smoking this year? Not doobies. More like candy cigarettes.

Doobies Brothers 1974

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43 Responses to ABBA in, Doobie Brothers not?

  1. Midwinter says:

    Surely this is a sign of the end times.

  2. ABBAfan says:

    Yeh well ABBA may not be a rock act, granted, but are the Doobies? and who exactly sold more records and made more of an impact on music culture, the Doobies? And pardon me but when was the last Doobie Brothers revival? I can’t recall one. On this point it should also be noted that the ABBA revival (in 1992) was organised iniitially by the company that holds rights to their music, not by ABBA themselves.

    OK, so you don’t like ABBA, but at least ABBA has the good grace not to reform and/or tour, unlike those more ‘credible’ music acts like The Police, Fleetwood Mac or The Beach Boys, (and didn’t the Doobie Brothers do that at one stage too?)

    And as for your comment the Doobies being the life of the party? That’s not a party of I”ve ever been to, (or would like to be at) but like you, that’s just my opinion too.

  3. thebuzzman says:

    ABBAfan – First of all, for your information – except for a brief hiatus – The Doobie Brothers have been touring, rocking the entire time and continue to do so as I type this. Clearly you do not know what you are talking about but I’ll go with your examples as inconsistent as they are. Lindsey Buckingham, Sting, and Brian Wilson are all legendary for their genius and contributions to music. Your disparaging Fleetwood Mac and The Police for continuing to tour and I may add perform at a level today kicking ass as well as they ever have and way more than ABBA ever could indicates ignorance of just what rock is all about. ABBA’s impact on music is analogous with The Village People. Sure there are millions of people who like ABBA but their induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is a disgrace and I am positive they themselves would say The Doobie Brothers deserved to be in lightyears before them. Over the years I’ve seen many interviews with ABBA’s members and they’re smart people – who by the way made most of their money not from record sales but via ABBA the corporation…from manufacturing oil rig parts and mark my words, during their acceptance speech watch for them to talk about not being sure why they are there.

  4. Inspmark says:

    Wow, “Abbafan”, did you ever bite off more than you can chew when you disparaged several rock and roll legends (KNCLUDING the Doobie Brothers) and waxing poetic about ABBA.

    ABBA is amazing only in that they reached such greats while singing songs the women didn’t understand (they weren’t -and aren’t- that good at english) and most of the songs have lyrics that reflect that lack of knowledge of the English language. I think might be attributed to the teenage crowd, and the fact that the two female leads were very easy on the eyes.

    The Doobie Brothers have long ago earned their place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and it’s simply the fact that the music purchasing public doesn’t have any say in who is inducted, but rather some Rolling Stone writers and editors (and music wannabes) that do the voting.

    Finally, the only real reason I can see for ABBA making it into the Hall of Fame is that the nominating sessions must have involved the use of mind altering drugs…as I’m sure has happened before.
    After all, Run DMC got into the Hall too, and I can only think of one song that might have qualified them, and Aerosmith played BIG role in that one. Run DMC and ABBA?? Hall of Fame of what??? It ain’t rock and roll, that’s for sure.

  5. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Abbafan, the Doobies still tour and they still put out a fine new CD every few years.

  6. Doug Gibson says:

    Count me and my wife as solid Abba fans … and we loved Mama Mia too.

  7. ABBA Fans…while I will not discredit your support of the band, I do think that being uninformed is ignorance. You should really check out the Doobie Brother’s Ofifical Website ( and do a little surfing through their MANY YEARS of music releases and take special notice of how LITTLE they weren’t around. No re-uniting for a little gig, here or there…when they re-united, they stayed together, starting writiing more, and soon they became a pretty well oiled machine and are still to this day playing. They are now artists, real bona fide artists.
    The Rock and Roll HALL OF SHAME as we (Doobie fans) call it, is a bunch of USED TO BE rock and roll music lovers, who turned into corporate money snatchers. They honestly don’t care who is added to the list, their best choices are already in there!
    Also give our little fan club a look-see. I think the address will post.
    Enjoy the induction!
    Our day will come and when it does…there is going to be a party like no other induction party at any place on the planet
    Peace, Holly

  8. JohnB says:

    There is an enormous amount of ignorance regarding ABBA and what they did. Various comments here have been written by people who clearly have never heard an ABBA album. They didn’t help their image by encouraging that dreadful musical (“Mamma Mia”) which, ironically, is probably what finally got them the induction. I can understand why anyone who saw or even heard of that would think this a travesty. Don’t base your idea of ABBA on that or on the relatively few hits they had in the US. ABBA is one of the biggest acts worldwide. There are artists already in the HOF who freely admit to ABBA’s influence. It would be trravesty for ABBA not to be included.

  9. MSimmons says:

    Abba in the rock & roll hall of fame??????????? What an oxymoron that is! Abba is like disco——was popular back then, but is now an embarrassment to admit that you liked them. When people bring up Abba, it’s usually a butt of a joke type of thing, comments like can’t believe I listened to that stuff ect….But if someone mentions the DOOBIES, it’s like yeah, they were cool, do you remember, and they list their hits, no jokes there. Just real rock & roll music appreciation.

  10. Peaman says:

    If I had 15 minutes to gather up all the music I could as I was about to be washed ashore on a deserted island…..and I had to bring ABBA music, I would choose a pair of cement shoes to go with their “Best Of”.
    The Doobie Brothers and their music have stood the test of time.

  11. Ronnie says:

    ABBA is second to the Beatles as the largest selling band is music history…that alone speaks for itself. Yes they were pop…but so was Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bee Gees….and yes EVEN THE BEATLES!!! Grow up and open your closed minds people.

  12. jimbo says:

    ABBA – easily judged harshly by Americans (they never really cracked America in the 70′s). Listen to their singles or the (horrible) Mamma Mia and yes, it’s bubble-gum pop. Listen to their albums and also put into context the fact they are still the only group outside US or UK to REALLY make it, then you do have something worth celebrating. Many of their early work had a rockier feel, and Benny Andersson’s background was indeed rock. Loads of album tracks are more interesting than their singles: Tiger; Rock me; Watch Out; So Long; Hole in your Soul…

    They wrote their own material, arranged it, produced it, worked hard. Yes the lyrics of the singles started out weak, but improved immersurably. Melodically they are untouchable. They were the first girl-fronted band to gain such international success and I suspect that sexism is part of the dismissal. The women perfectly understood the lyrics and contributed much creative work to the harmonies and arrangements.

    I think the really daft thing is the argument of Rock vs Pop (ie \Cool vs Naff\). How would you classify them??? Let’s face it everyone – it’s all just \popular music\. I mean, neither the Dooby Brothers, nor ABBA, is exactly Beethoven is it…??? Rock or Pop – who cares? it’s all cynical, overhyped money grabbing trash at the end of the day. It’s not really ART.

    Come on guys, get it in perspective!!!

  13. Michael Trujillo says:

    The day I have a top selling album will be the day I criticize any musical perfomer, whether it’s ABBA ot the Doobie Brothers.

    I have fond memories of both bands. The Doobies’ “China Grove” used to blast from the juke box in the Layton High lunch room (yeah, I’m that old) and the stereos in the Pearl Harbor barracks, and I used to score in my twenties to the dance beat of ABBA in the discos of Honolulu. Personally, I’m just happy the Boss, AC/DC, and Van Halen are in the Hall of Fame.

    Congratulations ABBA. Doobies – your day will come.

  14. Michael says:

    Please change your medication…ABBA WAS/ARE the largest selling group since the Beatles. Any fool who wants to \critique\ should have a musical clue! ABBA was and is huge, meaning the music and legend shall forever live on. ABBA is not quantity, the group is quality, Just because you’re what I call a denial issue, doesn’t make ABBA less, it makes you poorer.

    Get over it!

  15. Mark says:

    The Doobie Brothers genre is Rock and Roll, while Abba was / is pop. Plus, with many more albums to their discography, including one of brand new material currently in the works, the Doobie Brothers have shown their staying power and range by adapting their musical style to bring the most out of the current band members talents who are in group at any given time. Simply listen and compare the music on the Doobies albums Stampede, Takin It To The Streets, Minute By Minute, One Step Closer, Cycles and Sibling Rivalry and it will become plainly apparent that these are, and have been, very adaptable and capable musicians.

    While I also like much of Abba’s music, the Doobies have performed longer, released more albums, and appeal to a much wider range of audience than Abba does. Therefore, I feel they should’ve been given the nod first.
    Happy Holidays to all. :)

  16. Harold Hanlon says:

    ABBA’s music has and will stand the test of time.
    I doubt the Doobies or whatever they’re called will be remembered much beyond their contemporaries.
    I think that says it all.

  17. Peter Anderson says:

    You bash “disco” which of course ABBA wasn’t a “disco” act anywya, but if you think it’s bad that ABBA is in the Hall, what about Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash. If there is any form of “pop” music that isn’t music to me it’s “rap”. If there’s room for rap artists in the hall, there’s plenty of room for ABBA.

  18. Mark says:

    Gee I love these comments re ABBA’s induction…at the end of the day ABBA’s music is timeless the Doobie Brothers is not.
    ABBA have been inducted the Doobie’s have not…let’s move on.
    I love it when you guys spit the dummy….

  19. Di says:

    I find myself agreeing with Doug for once. I like ABBA. I really don’t know anything about Doobie, so can’t comment on them, but ABBA put out some good stuff.

  20. kperk says:

    I have nothing against Abba but the exclusion of one of the greatest bands in the history of both rock and pop (the Doobies) is a disgrace. To try and justify Abba being in the “ROCK AND ROLL” HOF by bringing up madonna and michael jackson does NOTHING for your argument as those two suck worse than Abba. Add to the missing list bands like Heart, Steve Miller Band, Journey, Boston, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pat Benatar, the Cars, Dire Straits, Def Leppard, Rush and many more well deserving artists who should already be in the “Rock and Roll” HOF. Change the criteria or change the name or blow the stinking dump to smithereens.

  21. flatlander100 says:

    I can see Abba in the Pop Music Hall of Fame.

    But Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? That’s a stretch.

    I enjoyed back in the day, and now and then now, Abba tunes that come over the coffee shoppe musak when it’s on an oldies channel. But I don’t confuse the genre with what Jefferson Airplane or Steppenwolf or Iron Butterfly or The Doors or the Stones did. Which I enjoyed back in the day as well and still do.

    What doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me is denouncing those who don’t happen to like the music I do. Hell, folks, diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, ok? Or, same idea put a little differently, “it’s all rock and roll to me.”

  22. kperk says:

    Once again let me say I liked some of Abba’s songs but this is the “Rock and Roll” HOF. If you hard-headed Abba fanatics could list Abba’s 10 best rock songs, it would be much appreciated. Too difficult? Okay, make it 5. Still can’t do it? Name 1. That’s what I thought. Morons.

  23. There is nothing light and fluffy about the music of ABBA. The Album (1977), Super Trouper (1980) and The Visitors (1981) are all brilliant, well crafted albums. Most people make the assumption ABBA only wrote Mamma Mia or Dancing Queen over and over again, that is simply the most silliest idea one can have about the music of ABBA.

    I think this is one of the best comments about the inclusion of ABBA in the R&RHOF (not written by me personally)

    ["wolfram - I don't remember anyone claiming ABBA were a rock band. But it's not the Rock Hall of Fame, but the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. When I hear Rock and Roll I think of Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard etc. So obviously the name Rock and Roll Hall of Fame includes what developed from that 50s dance music genre over the following decades. Pop music would surely be a part of that.

    I'm pretty amazed anyway how so many here seem to know precisely what is Rock and what is Pop. I find those terms to be so flexible I could not tell you for bands like Oasis, U2 or the Talking Heads what they are. I always felt the Beatles to be mainly a Pop band. No place in the Hall for them?

    Unfortunatly there is no definition of Rock and Roll on the homepage of the RNRHOF. Might make this discussion easier."]

    Ringo himself thought The Beatles were a pop group – “When the Beatles were inducted, Ringo Starr responded to that gentle ribbing from Jagger with a zinger of his own. “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” he said from behind his aviator shades. “I love it. They always called us a pop group!”

    Here is my personal input – In the mid-19th Century the music of the composer Richard Wagner represented a new phase of music, whereas the music of the composer Johannes Brahms was considered much more conservative and old-fashioned. At the time, everyone considered the music of these two men to be totally separate ie no one would say they are the same genre, (Old Style Vs New Style), whereas nowadays they are seen under the same umbrella (ie German Romanticism). Could one day Rock Vs Pop become one group of music?

  24. Harold Hanlon says:

    If you don’t like ABBA, such as Moron kperk, then it’s your loss.

  25. kperk says:

    I take it you are gay, harold. Good for you. You would probably like a 3some with those two weird looking guys in Abba. Once again, they aren’t rock and roll. If you let them in, you may as well let in Lawrence Welk and Guy Lombardo.

  26. Personally, from my argument above, I see ABBA as being very worthy members in the HOF. Good on them.

  27. ctrentelman says:

    abba or the republicans as traitors — well, i guess i can see what YOU people want to discuss.

    actually, i like them both, but abba is a guilty pleasure. “Cn you hear the drums fernando…..?”

  28. Harold Hanlon says:

    Sorry to disappoint you dickhead.

    A moron you definitely are though!

  29. JohnB says:

    I suspect there is a lot of ignorance on both sides of this argument.

    ABBA doing “Rock ‘n Roll”:

    I have to admit that my knowledge of Dooby Brothers is quite limited. I think their best known song outside the US is “Listen to the music” which to me sounds like a forerunner to Disco rather than “Rock and Roll”. Incidentally that song in its original form is rhythmically surpisingly similar to “Dancing Queen”.

  30. ABBA totally rocks and so do the totally HOT Euro rocker chicks those lucky dudes get to sing with. Only sissy pink-panty boyz think otherwise!

  31. Windy City Guy says:

    Never mind the Doobies, why isn’t Chicago in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band has amassed a combined 19 gold albums, 13 platinum, 12 Top 10s, and 5 No. 1s since their inception in 1969. Granted they are just a shell of the original political oriented Chicago Transit Authority. Hendrix once said the band’s late guitarist Terry Kath was better than him. Chicago is far more deserving of the hall than some of the bands there

  32. Max says:

    It was about time that ABBA is included into the Rock and roll Hall of fame.
    Great timeless songs, good singing, great production etc..
    Some people have based their comments only on 2 or 3 songs they know from ABBA (like Dancing Queen or Fernando) but they should listen to their albums first before they judge.


  33. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Windy City Guy, You’ve nailed another head-scratcher. Chicago was unbelievably good. I was a huge Chicago fan, and saw them in concert in Salt Lake City in 1973 or ’74. The group went downhill after Kath killed himself. But Chicago should have been in the HoF long ago as well.

  34. Carl Kove says:

    The wide variety of musicians in the Rock Hall include Hank Williams, Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash. It is dedicated to all who played music that many used for inspiration.

  35. Ed Kollin says:

    First things first, they never should have allowed non Rock/Rock and Roll acts in. That proverbial horse left the barn a long time ago. So lets deal with what we have the “Rock era” Hall of Fame. My arguing for ABBA does not mean I do not think that there has been injustice done to deserving bands.

    ABBA was not a disco act. Unfortunately since they were a 1970’s act that had “Dancing” in the title of their biggest U.S. hit, so they are perceived that way. Donna Summer, Chic, Sylvester, Gloria Gaynor were Disco acts. They had that 4/4 beat that went “ Boom Boom Boom Boom Boom” that drove some of us crazy at the time. ABBA was a Europop act that dabbled in Disco (and probably wrote “Dancing Queen” with Disco’s popularity in mind). Many acts dabbled in Disco at the time including such “real” rock guys as The Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead.

    It is best to compare ABBA to their Top 40 contemporaries and look at future influence. Let’s look at the Summer of 1974 when ABBA released had their first major U.S. hit “Waterloo” (and coincidentally The Hollies had their last). A look at the charts or more specifically pop acts on the charts that summer, Paul Anka “Having My Baby”,John Denver “Annie’s Song”, Dave Loggins “Please Come to Boston”, Donny & Marie Osmond “I’m Leaving It (All) Up to You”. ABBA might have been cheese but they were WAY better cheese then anybody mentioned above. ABBA brought the euro influence for the first time to the UK and US. It is hard to imagine the whole 1980’s New Wave/Synthpop era and a lot beyond without that influence (Even though the majority of Synthpop acts were British)

  36. Roy J says:

    Thanks, Ed, for a very rational post. It’s endlessly amusing to observe these debates between partisans of one act or another, or one form or another, usually by people with only a passing knowledge of what they criticise. I happen to love both the Doobies and ABBA but then I come from a Top 40 background. In my radio daze in the 70′s and 80′s I could happily seque from the Doobies to ABBA to Led Zeppelin to Elton: Not once did anyone protest, “Hey, that ain’t rock.”

    Of course much of the current debate stems from ignorance of what the R&R Hall of Fame is meant to honour. Read the criteria for induction (it’s not a secret) and you’ll find it’s not about who rocks hardest or longer, it’s about “significance” and “influence” in the field. So what’s so significant about ABBA? For starters they were the first act from outside the US and UK to achieve lasting and massive international success. The Hall is not about sales either but consider that ABBA’s 400 million records sold (yeah, second only to the Beatles among bands) was achieved despite the virtual indifference of the American music establishment. Worldwide they had 15 or more number one singles, only four of them in the US. (One on the rock chart, two on the AC, and one on the dance chart.) In the process ABBA opened the door to a lot of European and non-Anglo/American acts that followed. (Literally: The Stockholm studio they created has since produced some of the greats of the rock world.)

    Also influential, in my opinion, is that ABBA was the first major pop act to effectively use professional music video to greatly expand its exposure and fan base. More than two dozen of ABBA’s singles and significant album tracks were produced on video (most of them directed by future Oscar-nominee Lasse Halstrom) and almost all of them before MTV was ever dreamed of.

    Not your cup of tea? Fair enough, there are dozens of acts in the HoF that leave me cold. But I rarely question their eligibility for induction: My personal taste is irrelevant. ABBA in my view clearly demonstrate the influence the Hall demands. As for the Doobies, I agree they deserve recognition but, as to influence, I’m undecided. The FutureRockLegends web site, with a prettty good track record in these things, gives the Doobies’ chances only 12% (they had rated ABBA at 44%). Good and enduring rockers that they are, I’ll leave it to others to identify what sets the Doobie Brothers apart from scores of their contemporaries.

  37. Roy J says:

    By the way, thanks JohnB for the link to ABBA’s excellent performance from 1981. A nice showcase for ABBA’s superb drummer, the late Ola Brunkert who, along with bassist Rutger Gunnarsson, backed ABBA on every one of their albums and tours.

  38. laytonian says:

    One of the problems in putting the Dobbies in the RRHOF, is that the stage couldn’t hold all of the members! There’s never been much of a cohesive lineup, and those nasty Michael MacDonald “pop” years didn’t help their case much.

    List of members here:

  39. Ed Kollin says:

    Thanks Roy J. A couple of more notes. Since you mention video most of us in the US overlook this as video did not arrive here in any meaningful way until 1981. But although there was not a video music channel ,videos were a staple of music television programs in the UK since the middle 1970′s.
    Top 40 radio is/was also misunderstand. It was not pop radio, disco radio or rock radio it was literally the top singles on the charts.The other main radio format of the 1970′s was Album Oriented Rock (Classic Rock minus “soft rock” acts like Billy Joel, Elton John). Top 40 radio was looked down upon by the Album Oriented Rock Fans. As mentioned above there was some legitimate reasons for this. People listened to Top 40 radio although it was not something you admitted to friends. That means real talented rock groups such as ELO and Three Dog Night were looked down upon or ignored by AOR. There were some I love ABBA but I don’t think they belong type criticisms on the various blogs , but I see a lot of the old attitude.

  40. Mark Shenefelt says:

    Laytonian, another thing I’ve liked about the Doobies is that they’ve given adequate credit to the secondary members they’ve included over the years. I also think using excellent augmentations to the usual power trio core of many bands has been one of the band’s strengths.

    Aside from the comings and goings, the heart and soul of the band always has been the two lead guitarists / singers / songwriters, Patrick Simmons and Tom Johnston. Simmons has been aboard the entire time. Johnston left for several years, which ushered in the McDonald era. But after a breakup and McDonald’s exit, Johnston returned in the mid-80s. They’ve added several CDs to their discography since. They’re working on a new release now, and they tour every year.

    They’ve blended in several younger band members who only make the sound better while still being led by Johnston and Simmons. That growth and controlled fluidity is more interesting to me than, for instance, the same four wrinkled Rolling Stones for 50 years.

  41. Jethro Tull, Cheap Trick, Kiss, Bad Company… none of them are in the RRHoF either. I think the Doobies are in better company than those who were inducted…

  42. robban says:

    Who are the dooby brothers???

    I mean, in these times, everyone knows abba, no one knows dooby brothers.

    That says all about the power and deadless music of ABBA !

  43. Mark Shenefelt says:

    The “deadless” music of ABBA? You said it, I didn’t.

    If you were in the United States in the 1970s and 80s, you were well aware of the Doobie Brothers and ABBA. I pity the foo who hasn’t listened to the Doobie Brothers ;)

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