Rock and Soul International: Daryl Hall and John OatesRock and Soul International: Daryl Hall and John Oates
Daryl Hall and John Oates PageDaryl Hall and John Oates Page

From their first hit in 1974 through their heyday in the '80s, Daryl Hall and John Oates' smooth, catchy take on Philly soul brought them enormous commercial success -- including six number one singles and six platinum albums -- yet little critical success. Hall & Oates' music was remarkably well-constructed and produced; at their best, their 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.

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

After Gulliver's breakup, Hall concentrated on session work again, appearing as a backup vocalist for the Stylistics, the Delfonics, 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 their manager, securing the duo a contract with Atlantic Records. On their first records -- Whole Oates (1972), Abandoned Luncheonette (1973), War Babies (1974) -- the duo were establishing their sound, working with producers like Arif Mardin and Todd Rundgren and removing much of their folk influences. At the beginning of 1974, the duo relocated from Philadelphia to New 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 single with "Sara Smile." The success of "Sara Smile" prompted the re-release of "She's Gone," which rocketed into the Top Ten as well. Released in the summer of 1976, Bigger than the Both of Us was only moderately successful upon its release. The record took 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 decade were not as successful as their mid-'70s records. Nevertheless, they were more adventurous, incorporating more rock elements 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 first single from Voices, a cover of the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," reached number 12, yet it was the second 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 record featured 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 a Minute." "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 a White act. H20 followed in 1982 and it proved more successful than their two previous albums, selling over two million copies and launching their biggest hit single, "Maneater," as well as the Top Ten hits "One on One" and "Family Man." The following year, the duo released a greatest-hits compilation, Rock 'N Soul, Part 1, that featured two new Top Ten hits -- the number two "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 Everly Brothers as the most successful duo in rock history, earning a total of 19 gold and platinum awards. Released in October of 1984, Big Bam Boom expanded their number of gold and platinum awards, selling over two million copies and launching four Top 40 singles, including the number one "Out of Touch." Following their contract-fulfilling gold album Live at the Apollo with David 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. The first 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. Change of Season, released in 1990, confirmed that fact. Although the record went gold, it only featured one Top 40 hit -- the number 11 single, "So Close." -- Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Rich Girl


Whole Oats1972
Abandoned Luncheonette1973
War Babies1974
Daryl Hall/John Oates1976
Bigger Than Both Of Us1977
Beauty On a Back Street1977
Past Time Behind1977
Along the Red Ledge1978
Private Eyes1981
Rock & Soul Part 11983
Big Bam Boom1984
Live At The Apollo1985
Ooh Yeah!1988
Change Of Season1990
Marigold Sky1997


1972 Whole Oats

01. I'm Sorry
02. All Our Love
03. Georgie
04. Fall in Philadelphia
05. Waterwheel
06. Lazyman
07. Goodnight and Goodmorning
08. They Needed Each Other
09. Southeast City Window
10. Thank You For...
11. Lilly (Are You Happy)

1973 Abandoned Luncheonette

01. When the Morning Comes
02. Had I Known You Better Then
03. Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song)
04. She's Gone
05. I'm Just a Kid (Don't Make Me Feel Like a...
06. Abandoned Luncheonette
07. Lady Rain
08. Laughing Boy
09. Everytime I Look at You

1974 War Babies

01. Can't Stop The Music
02. Is it a Star?
03. Beanie G and the Rose Tattoo
04. You're Much Too Soon
05. 70's Scenario
06. War Baby, Son of Zorro
07. I'm Watching You (A Mutant Romance)
08. Better Watch Your Back
09. Screaming Thru December
10. Johnny Gore and the 'C' Eaters


1976 Daryl Hall/John Oates

01. Camellia
02. Sara Smile
03. Alone Too Long
04. Out of Me, out of You
05. Nothing at All
06. Gino (The Manager)
07. (You Know) It Doesn't Matter Anymore
08. Ennui on the Mountain
09. Grounds for Separation
10. Soldering

1977 Bigger Than Both Of Us

01. Back Together Again
02. Rich Girl
03. Crazy Eyes
04. Do What You Want, Be What You Are
05. Kerry
06. London Luck & Love
07. Room to Breathe
08. You'll Never Learn
09. Falling

1977 Beauty On a Back Street

01. Don't Change
02. Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Heart?
03. You Must Be Good for Something
04. Emptiness
05. Love Hurts
06. Bigger Than Both of Us
07. Bad Habits and Infections
08. Winged Bull
09. Girl Who Used to Be Me


1977 Past Time Behind

01. Deep River Blues
02. Fall in Philadelphia
03. If That's What Makes You Happy
04. Lot of Changes Comin'
05. Back in Love Again
06. Goodnight and Goodmorning
07. In Honor of a Lady
08. Months Weeks and Days
09. They Need Each other
10. Angelina
11. I'll Be By
12. Per Kiomem
13. Provider
14. Dry in the Sun

1977 Livetime

01. Rich Girl
02. Emptyness
03. Do What You Want, Be What You Are
04. I'm Just a Kid (Don't Make Me Feel Like a Man]
05. Sara Smile
06. Abandoned Luncheonette
07. Room to Breathe

1978 Along the Red Ledge

01. It's a Laugh
02. Melody for a Memory
03. Last Time
04. I Don't Wanna Lose You
05. Have I Been Away Too Long
06. Alley Katz
07. Don't Blame It on Love
08. Serious Music
09. Pleasure Beach
10. August Day


1979 X-Static

01. Woman Comes and Goes
02. Wait for Me
03. Portable Radio
04. All You Want Is Heaven
05. Who Said the World Was Fair
06. Running from Paradise
07. Number One
08. Bebop Drop
09. Hallofon
10. Intravino

1980 Voices

01. How Does It Feel to Be Back
02. Big Kids
03. United State
04. Hard to Be in Love with You
05. Kiss on My List
06. Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect)
07. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
08. You Make My Dreams
09. Everytime You Go Away
10. Africa
11. Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)

1981 Private Eyes

01. Private Eyes
02. Looking for a Good Sign
03. I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)
04. Mano a Mano
05. Did It in a Minute
06. Head Above Water
07. Tell Me What You Want
08. Friday Let Me Down
09. Unguarded Minute
10. Your Imagination
11. Some Men


1982 H2O

01. Maneater
02. Crime Pays
03. Art of Heartbreak
04. One on One
05. Open All Night
06. Family Man
07. Italian Girls
08. Guessing Games
09. Delayed Reaction
10. At Tension
11. Go Solo

1983 Rock & Soul Part 1

01. Say It Isn't So
02. Sara Smile
03. She's Gone
04. Rich Girl
05. Kiss on My List
06. You Make My Dreams
07. Private Eyes
08. Adult Education
09. I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)
10. Maneater
11. One on One
12. Wait for Me

1984 Big Bam Boom

1. Dance on Your Knees
2. Out of Touch
3. Method of Modern Love
4. Bank on Your Love
5. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
6. Going Thru the Motions
7. Cold Dark and Yesterday
8. All American Girl
9. Possession Obsession


1985 Live At The Apollo

1. Everytime You Go Away
2. I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)
3. One on One
4. Possession Obsession
5. Adult Education
6. Apollo Medley: Get Ready...My Girl
7. When Something Is Wrong with My Baby

1988 Ooh Yeah!

01. Downtown Life
02. Everything Your Heart Desires
03. I'm in Pieces
04. Missed Opportunity
05. Talking All Night
06. Rockability
07. Rocket to God
08. Soul Love
09. Realove
10. Keep on Pushin' Love


1990 Change Of Season

01. So Close
02. Starting All over Again
03. Sometimes a Mind Changes
04. Change of Season
05. I Ain't Gonna Take It This Time
06. Everywhere I Look
07. Give It up (Old Habits)
08. Don't Hold Back Your Love
09. Halfway There
10. Only Love
11. Heavy Rain
12. So Close

1997 Marigold Sky

01. Rome Is Bleeding
02. Marigold Sky
03. Sky Is Falling
04. Out of the Blue
05. Want To
06. Love out Loud
07. Throw the Roses Away
08. I Don't Think So
09. Promise Ain't Enough
10. Time Won't Pass Me By
11. Hold on to Yourself
12. War of Words



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