“Listen to the Music“ is a song recorded by The Doobie Brothers on their second album Toulouse Street….which was the Doobies first big hit in 1972…..and was written by band member rhythm guitarist Tom Johnston…..who described the motivation for the song as a call for world peace when he said…. “The chord structure of it made me think of something positive, so the lyrics that came out of that were based on this utopian idea that if the leaders of the world got together on some grassy hill somewhere and either smoked enough dope or just sat down and just listened to the music and forgot about all this other bullshit, the world would be a much better place. It was very utopian and very unrealistic (laughs). It seemed like a good idea at the time.”
The studio recording used both a banjo….with a prominent flanging effect….which was audible from the bridge until the fade-out….plus, when it was released as a single by Warner Brothers Records….the song peaked at # 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1972…..as the commercial success of “Listen to the Music” helped the album Toulouse Street rise on the charts…..for the song remains a staple of adult contemporary and classic rock radio…..plus the band used it as an encore song during live shows….whereas Patrick Simmons, the second guitarist and vocalist in the group, sings the bridge of the song.
As seen in this video below…..The Doobie Brothers perform “Listen To The Music” live on stage at their 1983 Farewell Concert.