Monday, May 28, 2012

Robbie Dupree "Steals Away" Michael McDonald's Sound

A funky drum beat. A sparkling keyboard. A bouncy piano riff. You're thinking, "All right, 'What A Fool Believes'! I love Michael McDonald!" There's just one problem: it's not Michael McDonald. It's ... Robbie Dupree.



"Steal Away" is the best Michael McDonald rip-off of all time. It sounds exactly like "What A Fool Believes." But see, the brilliance of it is, it doesn't sound exactly like "What A Fool Believes." Go ahead, name the one melodic element that is directly stolen. You got nothing. And yet, when you listen to it, you know what song it sounds like. Listen to the backing vocals during the bridge (at the 2:08 mark). It even sounds like Michael McDonald is singing backing vocals. It's about as close as you could get to covering a song without actually covering it. It's like those disclaimers at the beginning of bio-pics stating "Based On A True Story." "Steal Away" is "based" on a Michael McDonald song.

According to Wikipedia, "On May 21, 2010 Dupree performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as part of Jimmy's ongoing tribute to Yacht Rock." So wait, not only did Robbie Dupree steal away Michael McDonald's sound, now he's stealing away Michael McDonald's leftover nostalgia residue?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was fooled by this song for about five years in the cassette years. For sure I believed it to be M. McDonald, but it was fools gold! So why did not Dupree have any more hits as he could not write anything original just another druggie.

Anonymous said...

Michael McDonald sang "Ride Like the Wind" with Christopher Cross on Jimmy Fallon for a Yacht Rock night. It was rad.

Chris Jeavons said...

Just listening to it on Jango, thought I'd google to see if MM was on backing vocals, glad I saw your blog - agree totally!!

Ben Kiuriyaki said...

That sparkling keyboard is a Huge influence in Music even Bon Jovi has it on runaway on a different tempo ...

richgilberto said...

That is McDonald on backing vocals (uncredited)

Mario Miranda said...

It sounds absolutely like Michael McDonald doing backup. I don't doubt that it is him. It was common for big names to work, uncredited, on other people's albums. I remember seeing a video of Michael Jackson mentioning how he did backup vocals for The Doobie Brothers. "Steal Away" is a total ripoff, but still, every time I hear it, I love it.

Paul Ferguson said...

I'm not sure about the chronology, but to me that riff sounds more Captain and Tenille 'Love Will Keep Us Together'... or could they both be rip offs of the Mighty McDonald sound?

Paul Ferguson said...

Well, goes to show you should always do your research before you post. Turns out Cap and Tenille came first, 1975. And that was a cover version so we have Neil Sedaka to thank!

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog because I wanted to see if he was doing background vocals. I know he did that quite a few times. Really never connected it with him as the artist, just a possible background vocalist.