Sunday, 19 June 2011

In Appreciation of.... Daryl Hall And John Oates in the 70s

The first time I heard these guys was when UK radio picked up on "She's Gone" in 1973.  I'm a soul fan so I was hooked.  Investigation of the "Abandoned Luncheonette" Album was a joy.  Produced by Arif Mardin for Atlantic - they delivered a classic which has not been given the credit it deserves.  I love "Laughing Boy" and Everytime I Look At You" which ends with an instrumental run through America - from bluegrass violins and banjos to rock guitar.

They moved forward using Todd Rundgren for "War Babies" resulting in more great songs ("Beanie G and The Rose Tattoo"; "Can't Stop The Music") with a little less smooth production - more pop rock than rock n soul.  "No Goodbyes" was their third and last for Atlantic and included some out takes from the earlier sessions - it was seen as a contract filler by the critics.

Their first album "Whole Oats" is also worth finding - it includes "I'm Sorry" which was later covered by Justin Heyward of the Moody Blues and, "Fall In Philadelphia" again good songs all round. 

A move to RCA followed and the self titled (but known as "the silver album") lp was issued showing a progression of the rock n soul sound.  "Back Together Again" an uptempo opener is a great start but the killer for all was "Sara Smile" a number 1 in the USA; prompting Atlantic to re-issue "She's Gone" which made no 7 in 1976.  "Bigger Than Both Of Us" followed that year with "Rich Girl" being their new signature song.  This was really popular in the UK.  My favourite duo were at last breaking ground here.  Thank goodness as that brought them to the UK and I was able to see a blinding show at the Hammersmith Odeon.  They issued "Beauty On A Back Street" in '77 and this was less immediately accessible but they had grown and tracks like "Winged Bull" showed their development.  I particularly love "Bad Habits And Infections" a grower but worth the investment. 
These two have entries on the Lost Record Covers Club.

Same for "AlongThe Red Ledge" which followed, more rock oriented but delivers.
A continuation of the sound followed but with a nod to disco-dance which was king at the that time was included in "X-Static" which also includes a much lost and forgotten "Running From Paradise" and the hit " Wait For Me" - this track is a brilliant song but the live performance on "Rock n Soul part 1" is better in my opinion.  "Portable Radio" was a turntable hit here in Britain but not released as a single in the US - a mistake.

More about the 80's another time - they are seen as eighties hit makers but their career has a legacy in the 70s which deserves attention.
All these albums are available on CD except "No GoodByes" which is listed on Amazon but rarely in stock - if you see a vinyl copy, it's worth a try.

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