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Hall & Oates

Daryl Hall and John Oates (often shortened to Hall & Oates) are an American pop music duo who achieved their greatest fame in the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s. Both sing and are multi-instrumentalists. They specialized in a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues styles, which they dubbed “rock and soul.” Critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and J. Scott McClintock write, “at their best, [Hall & Oates'] songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave and hard rock.” On some tours and dates, established soul and blues artists were known to perform in the duo’s band.

They are best known for their six #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Rich Girl”, “Kiss on My List”, “Private Eyes”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater”, and “Out of Touch”, as well as many other songs which charted in the Top 40. They last reached the pop charts top 40 in 1990 and slowly faded from public view, though they did not formally break up. They have continued to record and tour with some success. In total, the act had 34 singles chart hits on the US Billboard Hot 100. Hall and Oates have seven RIAA platinum albums, along with six RIAA gold albums.

A greatest hits compilation was released in 2001 by RCA/BMG. The BMG collection was expanded in 2004 and reissued the following year, after BMG merged with Sony Music Entertainment. In 2003, Daryl Hall and John Oates were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Background

Daryl Hall (born Daryl Franklin Hohl on October 11, 1946) and John Oates (born John William Oates on April 7, 1949) first met each other at the Adelphi Ballroom in Philadelphia in 1967. At the time they met, each was heading his own musical group, Hall with The Temptones and Oates with The Masters. They were there for a band competition when gunfire rang out between two rival gangs, and in trying to escape, they ran to the same service elevator. On further finding out that they were interested in the same music and that both were attending Philadelphia’s Temple University, they started hanging out together on a regular basis and eventually ended up sharing a number of apartments in the city. It would take them another two years to form a musical duo, and three years after that, they signed to Atlantic Records and released their debut album.

1972–1974: first albums

Early in their recording careers, Hall & Oates had trouble clearly defining their sound, alternating among folk, soul, rock and pop. None of their early albums – Whole Oats, Abandoned Luncheonette and War Babies – were very successful, despite being produced by such big-name producers as Arif Mardin and Todd Rundgren. They had no hit singles during this time period, though Abandoned Luncheonette contained “She’s Gone”. This song would be covered by Lou Rawls and Tavares before Atlantic Records re-released the Hall & Oates version in 1976. “She’s Gone,” as covered by Tavares, did go to Number One on the R&B charts in 1974. It was originally written for Hall’s first wife, Bryna Lublin (Hall) and based on Oates’ being stood up by a date on New Year’s Eve. Another Abandoned Luncheonette single “Las Vegas Turnaround”, was written about (and mentioning by first name) Hall’s girlfriend, flight attendant and future songwriting collaborator Sara Allen.

1975–1977: first hits

Hall & Oates left their first record company, Atlantic Records, after the release of War Babies to join their second label, RCA Records. Their first album for the new label Daryl Hall & John Oates (often referred to by their fans as the silver album because of the silver lamé material on the original album cover) was their first legitimate success. It contained the ballad “Sara Smile,” a song Hall wrote for his aforementioned girlfriend Sara Allen. It also featured an album cover in which Daryl and John are overly made up with make-up to the point where they (especially the then-long-haired Hall) looked like women. Hall would later say in an interview for VH1′s Behind the Music that he looked like “the girl I always wanted to go out with” on that album cover.

“Sara Smile” became their first Top 10 hit, reaching Number 4 on the chart in June 1976. “She’s Gone,” re-released by Atlantic Records after “Sara Smile” also went to the Top 10, reached Number 7 in October 1976. Hall & Oates followed those hits with the more pop-oriented Bigger Than Both of Us later that year. Though the first single from the album—the Philly soul-oriented ballad “Do What You Want, Be What You Are”—barely made the Top 40, their second single was a smash. The song “Rich Girl” was Hall & Oates’ first Number 1 hit, reaching the pinnacle for the week ending March 26, 1977.

1977–1980: Leaner years and Sacred Songs

After this small run of hits, Hall & Oates still encountered difficulty getting radio play. Despite touring constantly and recording albums with efficiency, the duo could not find any pop success for a number of reasons, mainly because of the popularity of the disco genre. By the time they released the rock-oriented albums Beauty on a Back Street in 1977 and Along the Red Ledge in 1978, disco music was trendy and taking most of the spots in popular music. Hall & Oates released X-Static in late 1979, which combined rock with dance music but the album did not fare well although “Wait For Me” did hit the top 20. They did release a few hit singles during this period, the follow-up to “Rich Girl” (“Back Together Again”) hit the Top 40 and “It’s A Laugh” (from “Along The Red Ledge”) hit the top 20 in 1978. In 1977, RCA attempted to push Daryl Hall to the fore with his first solo effort Sacred Songs. However, after being presented with the highly experimental recording (produced by Robert Fripp of King Crimson), RCA became unwilling to release what was, in their view, a non-commercial album. “Sacred Songs” was eventually released in 1980.

Discography

Studio Albums

1972 Whole Oats – http://bopping-elf.co.uk/hall-oates/hall-oates-whole-oates/

1973 Abandoned Luncheonette – Coming soon (07/12/2013)

Compilations

Rock n Soul Part 1 – http://www.bopping-elf.co.uk/hall-oates-rock-n-soul-part-1/

 

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