Music News

Michael McDonald preparing new EP & album, releases live version of "What the World Needs Now Is Love"

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Credit: Timothy White

Michael McDonald, who will be rejoining his old band The Doobie Brothers for a 50th anniversary tour that’s scheduled to begin in July, reveals that he’s working on a new studio album, which will be preceded by an EP of recordings he made with some local musicians.

McDonald tells Billboard that he was initially intending to sell the EP during the Doobie Brothers trek, but of course, that now is likely to be postponed because of the pandemic. He says the collection includes a previously unreleased song he wrote with David Crosby, a cover of Neil Young‘s “Helpless” and reworked renditions of such Doobies hits as “It Keeps You Runnin’,” “What a Fool Believes” and “You Belong to Me.”

Regarding the tour, McDonald says, “I know I’m really looking forward to it, and I hope all the other guys are up for it come next year.”

Meanwhile, McDonald has debuted a new lyric video for a live rendition of the classic 1965 Jackie DeShannon hit “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” penned by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

The soulful version of the song was recorded at a 2019 concert, and follows a live performance of Marvin Gaye‘s “What’s Going On” that McDonald posted on YouTube last month.

“We always end our evening with one of those two songs, or both,” McDonald, who’s currently quarantining in his Southern California home, tells Billboard. “We’ve tried to make our live shows leave people with a sense of community and a little something more important than just all of us getting together to hear some live music.”

The “What the World Needs Now Is Love” video features a montage of vintage home movies, including candid footage of family gatherings, weddings, toddlers playing and more.

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