“What a Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers
On “What a Fool Believes”, the narrator tells the story of a meeting between a man and woman who may have had some sort of relationship in the past. From the perspective of this man, he intends to use this meeting as an opportunity to recreate old feelings so as to return to his love interest’s life, meanwhile this lady was never interested in him.
As the story unfolds in the lyrics, we see that this woman possibly honored their meeting out of mere respect and not because she also had feelings for him. She makes it clear by offering an apology but it appears this man refuses to admit that the reunion he is longing for is impossible.
The truth of the matter is that he may well be aware but would rather deceive himself into thinking that the feeling is mutual instead of rationally acknowledging that she has no feelings for him. Throughout the song, the man lives in denial and continues to maintain a desire that may never be fulfilled. It is for this reason the songwriter labels him as a fool.
Facts about “What A Fool Believes”
This Doobie Brothers’ classic was released in December 1978.
It was produced by Ted Templeman and written by Kenny Loggins alongside Michael McDonald.
McDonald created the concept of the reunion and futile attempts by the ‘fool’ to rekindle a non-existing relationship, while Loggins continued from the bridge, finishing the lyrics over a phone call.
Producer Templeman had to play drums along with Keith Knudson. According to him, the sole aim was achieve what he had been describing as a ‘floppy record with a floppy feel” right. The band had already recorded the song for about six consecutive days before he made that decision.
It was rumored that Michael Jackson was not credited for contributing backing vocals to the Brothers’ original recording of this song. The band later dismissed these rumors as untrue.
At the 1980 Grammys, this classic won the Brothers the “Song of the Year” honor. In claiming the award, the song beat several other hits, including Kenny Rogers’ “She Believe in Me“.