Weather Report – Domino Theory (1984), Jazz Fusion Album

‘Domino Theory’ is the title of the 12th studio album released by legendary American jazz fusion band Weather Report in February 1984. ‘Domino Theory’ is the second Weather Report studio album which featured the rhythm section consisting of Omar Hakim (drums), José Rossy (percussion), and Victor Bailey (on bass guitar). The album’s title is a clear reference to the American geopolitical theory of the same name which gained popularity in the United States of America between the 1950s and 1980s.

Frontal cover artwork of ‘Domino Theory’ (1984) by legendary jazz fusion band Weather Report. Image source:

The LP has a total length of 47 minutes and 14 seconds and was released through Columbia Records, the record label with which the band was initially signed as early as the 1970s. It was produced by co-frontmen and co-founders Joe Zawinul (keyboards) and Wayne Shorter (saxophone) in collaboration with Omar Hakim (drums). The main producer was Joe Zawinul whereas Wayne Shorter and Omar Hakim were the co-producers.

Frontman/band leader and keyboardist Joe Zawinul stated the following on this record:

‘You can listen to the album from beginning to end and feel a completeness.’

The album consists of 7 tracks as follows (side one encompasses the first three tracks whereas side four encloses the last four):

  1. Can It Be Done (composed by American funk and soul singer-songwriter and keyboardist Willie Tee);
  2. D Flat Waltz (composed by Joe Zawinul);
  3. The Peasant (composed by Joe Zawinul);
  4. Predator (composed by Wayne Shorter);
  5. Blue Sound – Note 3 (composed by Joe Zawinul);
  6. Swamp Cabbage (composed by Wayne Shorter);
  7. Domino Theory (composed by Joe Zawinul).

As you can clearly see from above, 4 songs on the album were composed by Joe Zawinul, 2 by Wayne Shorter, and 1 is a cover by New Orleans-based artist Wilson/Willie Tee. In terms of professional ratings, the album was met with mixed reviews on behalf of both AllMusic and The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. AllMusic only gave it 2 and a half stars out of 5 whereas The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide gave it 3 out of 5. The recording personnel was as follows:

  • Josef ‘Joe’ Erich Zawinul – keyboards and synthesizers;
  • Wayne Shorter – saxophone;
  • Omar Hakim – drums;
  • Victor Bailey – bass guitar;
  • José Rossy – percussion;
  • Carl Anderson – vocals solely on ‘Can It Be Done’.

The technical personnel was as follows:

  • Bernie Fromm, Mitch Gibson, and Tom Suzuki – engineers;
  • Larry Ferguson – assistant engineer;
  • Tony Lane and Nancy Donald – cover artwork/design.

Out of all songs, ‘Swamp Cabbage’ is the only one that has a music video (which is fantastic, by the way). Down below you can listen tot the entire album integrally via Youtube. Enjoy and all the best!

Documentation sources and external links:

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