Time To Celebrate The Musical Magic Of Daryl Hall & John Oates!
First, they have NEVER been known as “Hall & Oates” – their first names have always been part of their professional name…
There has been a great critical re-evaluation of Daryl Hall & John Oates, and deservedly so! They are the best selling duo in music history – with a body of music that has stood the test of time…
They had more than 30 top twenty singles, including classics like “She’s Gone” from the 70’s – and this signature early hit – the live version of the classic “Sara Smile”, this one from 1988:
Hall & Oates OWNED The 80’s!
The duo had a slew of massive hits in the 1980’s – “Kiss On My List”, “Private Eyes” and “You Make My Dreams” – all massive hit singles.
A More Mellow 90’s:
The duo kept making music long after their string of hit singles ended…in fact, they matured and created more nuanced music , such as this hit single from the 90’s – the beautiful “So Close”:
Daryl Hall and John Oates have both released a number of solo albums as well as continuing to tour together. They still record new music today, such as the classic ballad “Do It For Love”:
Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Their critical resurgence was made complete when the duo was just inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame…
Time To Uncover Deep Album Cuts!
Although the duo has a long list of hit singles, I’m also a huge fans of their albums. With that said, here are my top five favorite Hall & Oates album cuts!
Some of these songs are from the H&O albums that didn’t sell as well, so don’t get played as often – but they are all classic Hall & Oates songs…
Let’s begin with one of my all-time favorite songs:
#5: “IT’S A LAUGH”
Check out the gorgeous song “It’s A Laugh” from the “Along The Red Ledge” album! Here’s a great live version from Hall & Oates circa 1979:
While that album was fairly popular, their next release sank virtually without a trace!
The Criminally Obscure CD “Beauty On A Back Street”!
After a string of hits in the 70’s, the duo lost steam, and this album didn’t have a single top twenty hit – even this classic Hall & Oates song:
#4: “Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts?”
It begins with a screaming guitar solo, but then segues into a beautiful H&O blend of iconic vocals and flawless harmonies…here is an “audio only” version:
The Comeback Begins!
Here’s another album that wasn’t that well known – The “Bigger Than Both Of Us” Album – although it did include the smash hit “Rich Girl!”
Here is the more obscure song from the album that I love:
#3: “Back Together Again”
And one other obscure Hall & Oates album included one of Daryl Hall’s most beloved ballads, but the album itself didn’t sell well:
Time To Get “X-Static!”
Yes, it had the hit single and iconic H&O sound of “Wait For Me”, but the album was out of step with the music of the time…and some of the disco-influenced songs confused fans…but what a great collection of music, including this legendary ode to the love of wine!
“Give me wine wine, I need Intravino, give me wine wine, I need it every day-o!” Behold the obscure Hall & Oates track that is their ode to wine! Here is a classic 1979 live performance:
HI have to give an honorable mention to the classic song from the album: “Portable Radio” – such a catchy song, amazing it wasn’t a hit single! I found this hilarious fan video on youtube!
And here is another criminally neglected song:
Ooh Yeah, Indeed!
The album “Ooh Yeah!” was the end of a decade-long string of smash hits, and wasn’t nearly as successful as the other albums from the 80’s – just like the 70’s, once again the duo was running out of sales steam – still, after being the biggest selling duo of the decade, it was inevitable…”Ooh Yeah!” includes the classic single “Everything Your Heart Desires”, but I love love love:
My #1 Obscure Hall & Oates Classic: Downtown Life!
This is the first song on the album, and it’s a classic H&O sound. Here is a GREAT live version of the song from Tokyo in the late 80’s:
So there you go, my five favorite Hall & Oates album tracks, but there is so much more!
If you want to know more about other Hall & Oates albums, you can read about the brilliant and underrated “War Babies”, read my story about it right here:
The brilliant musical Artist Todd Rundgren produced that H&O masterpiece. To read about Daryl Hall’s long musical friendship with Todd, click here:
Todd has been a guest on the great TV series “Live From Daryl’s House” twice already, and they are classic shows…one one episode, Hall played the neglected classic “Babs & Babs” from his censored solo album, “Sacred Songs.”
To read all about that brilliant solo work, click here:
Kudos to Daryl Hall and John Otes for a career of great music!
Categories: Awards, Books / Media, documentary films, Music, New York, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized
My absolute favorite “deep album track” is “Go Solo.” Passionate, deeply dramatic, chock full of surprising harmonic changes, and one of the Daryl’s most emotionally fraught lead vocals of all time! (The last verse.) Only two versions in existence that I can find: One LFDH version and then the original from the album H2O. If you want to see how it was made in detail, be sure to watch the MTV documentary, “The Making of H2O.”
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Thanks for sharing this, I agree that “Go Solo” is terrific and gut-wrenching – the emotional flip side to love songs like “Kiss On My List” for sure!
It sounds like a frustrated, angry love song, but I think that it’s actually about their contemplating splitting up the duo for a while. I can’t back that up but the timing is right.
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That’s a great point! I’m friends with Gary Dell’Abate, the Producer of Howard Stern’s radio show. He originally pushed Howard to have Daryl on – and got him to admit on-air his ongoing frustration with his solo albums never doing as well as the H&O music….have you seen them in concert lately? I saw them late 2017 and John seems content to let Daryl run with most of the show…
very interesting post! my favourite song is some things are better left unsaid from the big bam boom album. in my opinion is a great song unfortunately always been underestimate.
best from Italy!
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agree, that is a really great song!
Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:
It’s an H&O Saturday
Great post. My top 5 of H & O is close from yours. Downtown Life and Intravino !!!!!!!!!!!
Great post-especially It’s a Laugh-but you should also have shoted out “One Last Time” for that album- classic harmonies and Philadelphia soul sound, with Caleb Quaye’s electric guitar!