Drift Away

Dobie Gray

Drift Away

1974

Nearly a full two decades before an erstwhile (and now again) Darius Rucker decided not to tie his Timberland boots, proto-Hootie Dobie Gray came up with a full-voiced good-timey chorus and not much else, and conquered MOR radio.

Playing now at a Safeway near you, “Drift Away” politely announces itself with something that sounds like a generic ringtone, followed by some dead space in which one would assume is contained the first verse of the song.  There likely are words to this verse, too, but whatever they are is anyone’s guess.  In fact, the lyrics to the verses of “Drift Away” could likely be lost to history.  But no matter, because soon enough here comes Dobie, calling on his “boys” to give him “the beat”, because of course he wants to get lost in their rock & roll and . . . yeah.  Whoops — I guess the boys didn’t hear him.  Hey boys — give Dobie the beat and free his soul already, so he’ll shut the hell up.

At this point you may be saying to yourself, “Who in the hell is Dobie Gray??”  Nobody seems to know.  After releasing his opus on the pre-Mayer masses, he was never heard from again.

As each repetition of the wordy exhortation gets lost and drifts a-waaayyyy, it’s followed by a sort of pregnant pause, which suggests nothing more than an aspiring Dobie/Hootie, sitting on a bean bag chair someplace trying to come up with the rest of the song and drawing the proverbial blank.  But after three minutes and change of such fruitless attempts, the whole extravaganza does, mercifully, drift away.

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