Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Discuss: Hall & Oates

Doug: Back around the 4th of July, my wife and I were at a festival up in the western suburbs. There was a nice line-up of "garage bands" on one of the stages. One group of youngsters was specializing in music from the 80s and 90s (you know -- oldies) and went through a fun rendition of "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall & Oates. I've had this post on my mind since, so I'm finally getting around to it. Obviously these guys were pop juggernauts in the 1980s, but that's not the sort of sound they started with in the 70s. Nope -- back then they were more soulful. In fact, I'd like to entertain your thoughts on the likes of Al Green singing "Sara Smile", or Al Wilson or Lou Rawls on "She's Gone"? But in the bigger picture, I want your general feelings on this duo and their place in 80s history, music history, whatever. Shoot, if all you want to talk about is the series Live at Daryl's House that airs on Palladia, we can go there, too.

PS: True story -- John Oates married a local girl. I think they reside in Aspen, Colorado now. However, he was in the area about three weeks ago and our local paper ran a couple of pics of him sitting on a corn rack on his in-laws' farm. "Big rock star hits the small town" -- that sort of thing.


Anonymous said...

I liked 'em!
Especially during the 70's. I guess they were a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, as I embarked on a short career as a white young suburban dimwit punk in the early '80's.
I just liked 'em. Solid, well crafted melodic soul music. I also even liked disco (well, some of it, anyway), and it was my dirty little secret.
Thank God we can come forward now and admit we liked pop music in the late '70's and early '80's.
No way I would have admitted to it back then.
I got made fun of because I liked Queen! And Fleetwood Mac.
But the music holds up. It's just good!

david_b said...

Their prime '80s output was a bit past my music-collecting prime, but it was a HUGE relief from hearin' 'Thriller' again.

And again.

And again.


Love their music, I haven't listened to too much deeper than their usual hits, but I've liked their concerts. Great showmanship, pretty solid hits with excellent production and melodic hooks. A bit 'packaged for maximum consumption', but there's nothing wrong with that. Abba did that spendidly in the '70s. No objections, just enjoy.

If you're great at a craft or type of music, you have my blessings and I'll be a huge fan.

(well, ok.., perhaps not Rap.)

Anywho, for a spell, if you heard a new H&O song coming out in the '80s, you knew it would mercilessly ingrain itself in your noggin' for the next few months.

Looking forward to everyone's comments today.

J.A. Morris said...

I still like 'She's Gone' and 'Rich Girl', my wife has a few of their greatest hits on our ipod. I get into anything they did from 'Maneater' onward.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

Well, I know they are a very good source of fiber. I especially like them with some fruit such as strawberries or blueberries, or even raisins. I prefer the regular, but if I'm in a hurry I'll go with the instant, and…

Oh wait, that says HALL and Oates, I thought we were discussing QUAKER Oats.

Never mind.

Anonymous said...

William......hehehehehehehehehe, hehehehehehehe, hehehehehehe



Quaker Oats!!!

When you listen to mid-70s Boz Scaggs, Todd Rundgren, the two guys, never toured......blanking on their name.....STEELY DAN!!! you hear where they came from. What music they were trying to make/play. Then the huge hits of the 80s came and everything just went to Hellinahandbasket. There was nothing wrong with anything they put out in the 80s, per se, just like there was nothing wrong with what Genesis/Phil Collins did in the 80s, but when you look back at what they, and Hall & Oates, were in the 70s, I can't help but feel they lost who they were for what would sell.

But then again, look at the flip side, what they did in the 80s kept them around long enough to make it into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

I just wish they would have inducted Linda Ronstadt and then turned out the lights. Did the stuff for KISS, Hall & Oates and the others earlier in the day. But that's just my two bits.

The Prowler (love, look what you've done to me, I never thought I'd fall in love so easily).

Humanbelly said...

Very random isolated thoughts:

1) First concert I ever went to-- Sophomore year of high school. A girl two years older took me, along w/ a pal of hers. I was FAR too naive and green for that entire evening-! It could almost have worked as one of those nostalgic & melancholy "how great it was back in high school" songs, in fact. . .

2) There was a big craze in my little town for several years where the some of the African-American kids would work out some really sharp dance/lyp-synch routines to popular soul or R&B tunes. Their version of "She's Gone" was pretty darned fun-- but the guys were truly shocked when someone finally told them that Hall & Oats were white fellas. Heck, I was shocked myself. . .

3) The above-mentioned concert was my first major exposure to a celebrity who had made the fashion leap away from bell-bottom/flare-legged pants. This was HUGE. Our assumption, of course, was that straight-legs were gone for-EVER, and that the remainder of humanity's time on this planet would see them clad in boot-flares at the very least. Also, Daryl had gotten his hair cut VERY short in the back and sides for that tour-- another fashion slam that left my hopelessly long-haired buddies and I reeling. . .


Dr. Oyola said...

I love some blue-eyed soul, and Hall & Oates are up there among the best.
Daryl Hall had an amazing voice.

They gave a free concert at Coney Island five years ago and the park was packed! It was hella fun.

I like their 70s stuff, but a bunch of their 80s songs are also good.

I think the use of "You Make My Dream Come True" in the film 500 Days of Summer gave them a little bit of a comeback.

My favorite of theirs though, is "I Can't Go For That"

charlene fish said...

Hall and Oates still rule! If you are Hall and Oates fans, please check out my Hall and Oates Facebook page! There is something there for all true fans, from the latest news on the duo to lots and lots of trivia! Thanks!

Gary said...

Not my kind of music. I listened to Nugent, Sabbath, Zepplin, Hendrix, Rainbow and the like. The mellowist I got was Bob Seger.


Anonymous said...

Re: Prowler
I love Steely Dan, but I'm the only person I ever met who does.
Even my brother, who I share most musical tastes with, regards them as a PLAGUE.
But even I can only take that stuff in limited doses. My brother also expressed contempt for Hall n' Oats, but my copy of their greatest hits MYSTERIOUSLY ended up in his pickup, just like my Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy CD MYSTERIOUSY ended up at my sister's house!
And I'm not even gonna talk about who stole my Abba CD. (Hint: I suspect two female Russian college exchange students).
Actually, that last one was kinda worth it.
I don't know WHO stole my Oingo Boingo stuff, and frankly, at this point, I don't wanna know. A sick mind indeed.
I've long since given up trying to reclaim my lost and once-proud Cd collection!
Nobody's ever stole my Iggy Pop CD's. Huh.

Graham said...

Boy, they had a hot streak, didn't they? For five or six years, everything they tried was a hit. They did have their roots in the Philly-era soul and you can really hear it in their first few releases. They managed to maintain that sound, even when they were at the Top-Ten height. To me, it made perfect sense for them to team up with Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin....they all had the same musical background. Good songwriters, too......"Every Time You Go Away" for one would have been a great fit at Stax or Hi Records back in the day, not necessarily the Rev. Green, but maybe one of his label mates at Hi. They had a real way with a hook, too.

I think John Oates has actually released a few soul and blues recordings on his own over the past few years. He always got lost in the shuffle during the hit-making years, but he was a pretty good talent himself.

Anonymous said...

Maneater always stands out for me somehow, don't know why though.

John Oates definitely had the porn moustache rockin' back then. He looked so odd when he shaved it!

- Mike 'trying to imagine what my ol' buddy William would say if we were discussing Meatloaf today!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

Sadly I had to learn to appreciate their work as it so dominated radio play in my heyday that it caused me to utterly hate them. The songs played over and over and over until I was properly sick of them.

Now I can hear the virtues.

A little bit.

Rip Off

Edo Bosnar said...

My experience of H&O sort of mirrors Rip's. I was never much of a fan, and quite frankly didn't understand why so many of my peers in high school were ape-wild over them. So, like William, I prefer Quaker Oats.

And mp, I'm with you on Steely Dan (so between you, me and Prowler, that's three). And for what it's worth, given the opportunity I'd steal your Iggy Pop CDs... ;)

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