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Hall and Oates

From their first hit in 1974 through their heyday in the '80s, Daryl Hall and John Oates' smooth, catchy take on Philly soulbrought them enormous commercial success -- including six number one singles and six platinum albums -- yet little criticalsuccess. Hall & Oates' music was remarkably well constructed and produced; at their best, their songs were filled with stronghooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave andhard rock.

Daryl Hall began performing professionally while he was a student at Temple U ...read more

From their first hit in 1974 through their heyday in the '80s, Daryl Hall and John Oates' smooth, catchy take on Philly soulbrought them enormous commercial success -- including six number one singles and six platinum albums -- yet little criticalsuccess. Hall & Oates' music was remarkably well constructed and produced; at their best, their songs were filled with stronghooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave andhard rock.

Daryl Hall began performing professionally while he was a student at Temple University. In 1966, he recorded a single withKenny Gamble and the Romeos; the group featured Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, who would all become the architects ofPhilly soul. During this time, Hall frequently appeared on sessions for Gamble and Huff. In 1967, Hall met John Oates, a fellowTemple University student. Oates was leading his own soul band at the time. The two students realized they had similartastes and began performing together in an array of R&B and doo wop groups. By 1968, the duo had parted ways, as Oatestransferred schools and Hall formed the soft rock band Gulliver; the group released one album on Elektra in the late '60sbefore disbanding.

After Gulliver's breakup, Hall concentrated on session work again, appearing as a backup vocalist for the Stylistics, theDelfonics, and the Intruders, among others. Oates returned to Philadelphia in 1969, and he and Hall began writing folk-oriented songs and performing together. Eventually they came to the attention of Tommy Mottola, who quickly became theirmanager, securing the duo a contract with Atlantic Records. On their first records -- Whole Oates (1972), AbandonedLuncheonette (1973), War Babies (1974) -- the duo were establishing their sound, working with producers like Arif Mardin andTodd Rundgren and removing much of their folk influences. At the beginning of 1974, the duo relocated from Philadelphia toNew York. During this period, they only managed one hit -- the number 60 "She's Gone" in the spring of 1974.

After they moved to RCA in 1975, the duo landed on its successful mixture of soul, pop, and rock, scoring a Top Ten singlewith "Sara Smile." The success of "Sara Smile" prompted the re-release of "She's Gone," which rocketed into the Top Ten aswell. Released in the summer of 1976, Bigger than the Both of Us was only moderately successful upon its release. The recordtook off in early 1977, when "Rich Girl" became the duo's first number one single.

Although they had several minor hits between 1977 and 1980, the albums Hall & Oates released at the end of the decadewere not as successful as their mid-'70s records. Nevertheless, they were more adventurous, incorporating more rockelements into their blue-eyed soul. The combination would finally pay off in late 1980, when the duo released the self-produced Voices, the album that marked the beginning of Hall & Oates' greatest commercial and artistic success. The firstsingle from Voices, a cover of the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," reached number 12, yet it was thesecond single, "Kiss on My List" that confirmed their commercial potential by becoming the duo's second number one single;its follow-up, "You Make My Dreams" hit number five. They quickly released Private Eyes in the summer of 1981; the recordfeatured two number one hits, "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," as well as the Top Ten hit "Did It in aMinute." "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" also spent a week at the top of the R&B charts -- a rare accomplishment for awhite act. H20 followed in 1982 and it proved more successful than their two previous albums, selling over two million copiesand launching their biggest hit single, "Maneater," as well as the Top Ten hits "One on One" and "Family Man." The followingyear, the duo released a greatest-hits compilation, Rock 'N Soul, Pt. 1, that featured two new Top Ten hits -- the numbertwo "Say It Isn't So" and "Adult Education..

In April of 1984, the Recording Industry Association of America announced that Hall & Oates had surpassed the EverlyBrothers as the most successful duo in rock history, earning a total of 19 gold and platinum awards. Released in October of1984, Big Bam Boom expanded their number of gold and platinum awards, selling over two million copies and launching fourTop 40 singles, including the number one "Out of Touch." Following their contract-fulfilling gold album Live at the Apollo withDavid Ruffin & Eddie Kendrick, Hall & Oates went on hiatus. After the lukewarm reception for Daryl Hall's 1986 solo album,Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine, the duo regrouped to release 1988's Ooh Yeah!, their first record for Arista. Thefirst single, "Everything Your Heart Desires," went to number three and helped propel the album to platinum status.

However, none of the album's other singles broke the Top 20, indicating that the era of chart dominance had ended. Changeof Season, released in 1990, confirmed that fact. Although the record went gold, it only featured one Top 40 hit -- thenumber 11 single "So Close." The duo mounted a comeback in 1997 with Marigold Sky, but it was only partially successful; farbetter was 2003's Do It for Love and the following year's soul covers record Our Kind of Soul. The issuing of "greatest-hits"albums reached a fever pitch during the 2000s, with no fewer than 15 different collections seeing the light by 2008. Liverecords were in proliferation as well, with the A&E Live by Request release Live in Concert hitting stores in 2003, a reissue oftheir Ecstasy on the Edge 1979 concert (titled simply In Concert this time around) in 2006, and the Live at the Troubadourtwo-CD/one-DVD set in 2008. As far as proper studio albums go, the 2000s were lean, with only three releases -- theaforementioned Do It for Love and Our Kind of Soul, topped off by Home for Christmas in 2006. « hide


LPs
Big Bam Boom
1984

3.4
17 Votes
H2O
1982

3.5
13 Votes
Private Eyes
1981

3.9
19 Votes
Voices
1980

3.8
2 Votes
X-Static
1979

2.5
1 Votes
Along the Red Ledge
1978

Bigger Than Both of Us
1976

2.8
6 Votes
Daryl Hall & John Oates
1975

3.7
9 Votes
Abandoned Luncheonette
1973

3.9
19 Votes
Whole Oats
1972

1.7
5 Votes
Compilations
The Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates
2001

4
1 Votes
Rock 'n Soul Part 1
1983

3.1
5 Votes

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