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Daryl Hall And John Oates

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Daryl Hall And John Oates - Past Times Behind [Chelsea Records CHL-547] (1976)

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Artist:

Daryl Hall And John Oates

Title:

Past Times Behind

Released: 1976
Label: Chelsea Records
Catalog: CHL-547
Genre: Pop Rock


T R A C K L I S T:
01 A Lot Of Changes Comin'
02 In Honor Of A Lady
03 Deep River Blues
04 The Reason Why
05 If That's What Makes You Happy
06 The Provider
07 They Need Each Other
08 Angelina
09 I'll Be By
10 Perkiomen
11 Past Times Behind
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Hall & Oates - X-Static [RCA AFL1-3494] (1979)

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Artist:

Hall & Oates

Title:

X-Static

Released: 1979
Label: RCA
Catalog: AFL1-3494
Genre: Pop
T R A C K L I S T:
01 The 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
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Daryl Hall And John Oates - Private Eyes [RCA AFL1-4028] (1981)

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Artist:

Daryl Hall And John Oates

Title:

Private Eyes

Released: 1981
Label: RCA
Catalog: AFL1-4028
Genre: Electronic, Funk / Soul, Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
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
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Album Review

Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

Hall & Oates were in the middle of recording Private Eyes when Voices suddenly, unexpectedly broke big, with "Kiss on My List" reaching number one not just on the Billboard charts, but in Cashbox and Record World. As the album's producer, Neil Kernon, admits in Ken Sharp's liner notes to the 2004 reissue of the album, everybody knew that the new record would have to do better than Voices, but even if Hall & Oates were under a lot of pressure, they were in the fortunate position of not just having reintroduced their modernized, new wave-influenced blue-eyed soul on their previous record, but they already had much of the material nailed down. In other words, the sound and songs on Private Eyes were essentially conceived when the group was confident of the artistic breakthrough of Voices but not swaggering with the overconfidence of being the biggest pop act in America, and the result is one of their best albums and one of the great mainstream pop albums of the early '80s. Hall & Oates don't repeat the formula of Voices; they expand it, staying grounded in pop-soul but opening up the stylized production, so it sounds both cinematic and sharp. Lots of subtle effects are layered on the voices, guitars, and pianos as they mingle with synthesized instruments, from the keyboard loops that give "Head Above Water" a restless momentum to the drum machine that lends "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" a sexy, seductive groove.

Though the production is state of the art for 1981, what keeps Private Eyes from sounding robotic is that it never gets in the way of the kinetic energy of Hall & Oates' touring band, who give the music muscle; they are what keeps the album sounding vibrant 20-plus years after its release, since while elements of the production have dated, it still captures a real band working at a peak. These are the elements that make Private Eyes a sterling example of the sound of mainstream pop circa 1981, but the record was a hit, and has aged well, because both Hall & Oates, along with regular songwriting collaborators Sara and Janna Allen, were at a peak as writers. Yes, Oates' "Mano a Mano" is dorky (arguably in an appealing way), but apart from that there are no duds on the record. "Private Eyes," with its sleek surfaces, widescreen hooks, and unforgettable, handclap-propelled chorus, and "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" were the number one hits and the best-known songs here, but the insistent smaller hit "Did It in a Minute" deserved to reach the Top Ten too, as did the album tracks "Head Above Water" and "Looking for a Good Sign," a tribute to the Temptations that is the great forgotten Hall & Oates song. But it isn't just the hits and should-have-been singles; the rest of Private Eyes is filled with strong tunes, such as the reggae-tinged "Tell Me What You Want" and the paranoid vibe of "Some Men," making this a record that improves on Voices in every way, from its sound to its songs. Though they continued their streak of excellent hit singles, Private Eyes was the culmination of the sound they'd been developing since Along the Red Ledge, and it stands as the pinnacle of their time as the biggest pop act in the U.S.A.


Hall & Oates - H2O (RCA AFL1-4383) (1982)

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Artist:

Hall & Oates

Title:

H2O

Released: 1982
Label: RCA
Catalog: AFL1-4383
Genre: Pop Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
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
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Album Review

Stephen Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

Private Eyes solidified Hall & Oates' status as one of the most popular acts in America in the early '80s, and with 1982's H2O, they capitalized on its success, delivering an album that turned out to bigger than its predecessor, as it climbed higher on the charts and launched three Top Ten singles with "Maneater," "One on One," and "Family Man." Bigger isn't necessarily better, though, and in comparison to the glistening pop of Private Eyes, H2O pales somewhat, coming across as a little too serious, with its ambitions just being a little too evident. Take the claustrophobic, paranoid "Family Man" -- covering an art rocker like Mike Oldfield suggests a far different agenda than crafting a tribute to the Temptations, and while "Family Man" isn't as key to the album as "Looking for a Good Sign" was to Private Eyes, it does indicate the relatively somber tone of H2O. Not that the album is a tortured dark night of the soul -- how could it be, when John Oates kicks off the second side with the proudly silly "Italian Girls"? -- but the production and performances are precise and deliberate, effectively muting the pop thrills that spilled over on its predecessor. Even if the album was recorded with Hall & Oates' touring band -- something that the duo and their co-producer Neil Kernon confirm in the excellent liner notes by Ken Sharp in the 2004 reissue -- H2O feels as if most songs were cut to a click track, and are just slightly too polished for their own good; when the productions open up a bit, the band still sounds terrific, but they never are given the opportunity to sound as big and bold as they do on Private Eyes. This, coupled with a few drawn-out duds (such as the vaguely atmospheric "At Tension") means H2O isn't quite as sharp and bracing as anything the duo had released since X-Static, and the fact that two of the best moments are huge hits -- the prowling "Maneater" and "One on One," perhaps the most seductive song Daryl Hall ever wrote -- may suggest that this is closer to singles-plus-filler than it really is. The best of the rest of H2O reveals that Hall & Oates are at a near-peak in their creativity, writing tuneful, soulful fusions of pop, soul, and new wave. "Crime Pays" has an appealing robotic synth pop groove, "Art of Heartbreak" rides a tense guitar line to a great horn line on the chorus, the jealous anthem "Open All Night" slinks by on a stylized late-night groove, "Go Solo" hails back to Hall's arty Sacred Songs, and "Delayed Reaction" is a sterling piece of propulsive near-power pop. Even if they don't gel into an album as strong as Voices or Private Eyes, they're pretty terrific pop in their own right. They're not just evidence that Hall & Oates' popularity in the early '80s was earned and well deserved, they hold up very well decades after H2O ruled the charts.


Daryl Hall & John Oates - Rock 'n Soul Part 1 [RCA CPL1-4858] (18 October 1983)

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Artist:

Daryl Hall & John Oates

Title:

Rock 'n Soul Part 1

Released: 18 October 1983
Label: RCA
Catalog: CPL1-4858
Genre: Rock, Soft Rock
Note: Back cover has some black ink smears on it


T R A C K L I S T:
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 (Live Version)
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Album Review

Rock 'n Soul Part 1 (also titled Greatest Hits Rock 'n Soul Part 1) is a greatest hits album by American musical duo Hall & Oates, credited as ''Daryl Hall John Oates'' on the album cover. Released by RCA Records in October 18, 1983, the album featured mostly hit singles recorded by the duo and released by RCA, along with one single from the duo's period with Atlantic Records and two previously unreleased songs recorded earlier in the year: ''Say It Isn't So'' and ''Adult Education''. [wikipedia.org]


Hall & Oates - Big Bam Boom (RCA AFL1-5309) (1984)

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Artist:

Hall & Oates

Title:

Big Bam Boom

Released: 1984
Label: RCA
Catalog: AFL1-5309
Genre: Pop / Rock
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Dance On Your Knees
02 Out Of Touch
03 Method Of Modern Love
04 Bank On Your Love
05 Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid
06 Going Thru The Motions
07 Cold Dark And Yesterday
08 All American Girl
09 Possession Obsession
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Album Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

Big Bam Boom is the last of the big Hall & Oates albums, the one that closed their period of greatest commercial success and artistic achievement. Parting from Neil Kernon, their engineer/co-producer for Voices, Private Eyes, and H20, the duo hired Bob Clearmountain as a co-producer and engineer, bringing in hip-hop pioneer Arthur Baker for additional mixing and production, and the change behind the boards is evident on the record. As the title none too subtly implies, this is a bigger, noisier record than its predecessors, with its rhythms smacking around in an echo chamber and each track built on layers of synthesizers and studio effects. Hall & Oates' crack touring band are credited in the liner notes as playing on each track, but this is one of the first mainstream records of the '80s records where it sounds as everything was sequenced and run through a computer -- the sound that came to define the latter half of the decade. There's undeniably interesting things going on in the mix on each of the nine tracks -- frankly, there's too much going on, and the production weighs down many of the songs on this sprawling, diffuse album; it also obscures the dark undercurrent to many of the tunes, several of which seem to foreshadow the duo's long hiatus following this record. Some songs cut through on the strength of their craft, and these are usually the singles: the excellent "Out of Touch," which rivals anything on Private Eyes or Voices; the silly yet engaging "Method of Modern Love"; the haunting "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid," easily the best ballad on the record; then, the exception to the rule, the hard-rocking "Bank on Your Love," which is one time the production works in the favor of the song, adding muscle instead of diluting its impact. These songs, matched with the ambition of the rest of the record, makes Big Bam Boom an interesting, worthwhile listen, but coming after a trio of records that had very few flaws, it feels like a disappointment, and it was no great surprise that Hall & Oates took a lengthy break a year or so after its release.


Daryl Hall & John Oates - Ooh Yeah! [Arista AL-8539] (1988)

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Artist:

Daryl Hall & John Oates

Title:

Ooh Yeah!

Released: 1988
Label: Arista
Catalog: AL-8539
Genre: Rock, Pop/Rock


T R A C K L I S T:
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
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Album Review

Ooh Yeah! is the thirteenth studio album by Daryl Hall & John Oates, released on June 10, 1988. Though it went platinum and produced a hit with ''Everything Your Heart Desires'', it charted lower and sold fewer copies than the band's early-to-mid-eighties albums. [wikipedia.org]

Daryl Hall And John Oates' Biography

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

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, Pt. 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." The duo mounted a comeback in 1997 with Marigold Sky, but it was only partially successful; far better 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. Live records were in proliferation as well, with the A&E Live by Request release Live in Concert hitting stores in 2003, a reissue of their Ecstasy on the Edge 1979 concert (titled simply In Concert this time around) in 2006, and the Live at the Troubadour two-CD/one-DVD set in 2008. As far as proper studio albums go, the 2000s were lean, with only three releases -- the aforementioned Do It for Love and Our Kind of Soul, topped off by Home for Christmas in 2006.
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