Better known simply as Hall & Oates, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, a fitting coda to a remarkable career.
They recorded seven platinum albums, several gold albums and a string of hit singles, including six No 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Their live set, recorded at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, July 15, shows the band in top form and presents what may well be their best lineup ever, including long-time horn player Mr. Casual, aka Charlie DeChant.
I have a funny history with Hall & Oates; I’ve known them for about 25 years and have nothing but the up most admiration for them. I first saw them at the legendary My Father’s Place. The Long Island club launched so many bands that went on to change the face of music.
I was in college when they released masterpieces, “She’s Gone” and “Las Vegas Turnaround” from the brilliant Abandoned Luncheonette album on Atlantic.
I adored their War Babies album produced by Todd Rundgren. Their music was so strikingly brilliant and so unique, that it was often hard for radio to program their songs. Back in those days, progressive radio was the true beginning of any new hit or trend.
Both from Philadelphia by way of Temple University, their alchemy was simply astonishing.
Hall has perfect pitch and one of the most soulful voices I ever heard. His vocal work of “Do Want You Want, Be Who You Are” and “She’s Gone” is just brilliant.
The two also had the uncanny ability to pick some of the best musicians around for their band. Their line ups included GE Smith, Todd Sharp, TB Wolk and DeChant, who played all those pivotal horn riffs.
Legendary music mogul Tommy Motolla and his Champion Entertainment outfit shepherded the duo in their early days. Randy Hoffman and Jeb Brien were close associates in those days.
Hall and Oates enjoyed massive success with songs like “Maneater,” “Out Of Touch” and “Rich Girl,” and then it all fell apart.
The reasons are varied; Mottola split and legal maneuverings ensued. It all got real quiet, real fast. Then songwriter Sara Allen, Hall’s companion for nearly 30 years passed away and sent him into a tailspin.
She was the inspiration for song “Sara Smile,” the duo’s first American hit.
Hall and Oates bounced back with a new manager, the indefatigable Jonathan Wolfson. In 2009, they released a four CD set entitled “Do What You Want, Be Who You Are: The Music of Hall & Oates.”
It’s a complete compilation of all their music and was a massive worldwide success, reminding everyone who Hall and Oates were and what they had done.
Now, seven years later, they’re back with their new Eagle Rock Entertainment release, formally entitled: “Daryl Hall & John Oates: Live in Dublin.”
The set list for the show, the first-ever in Dublin includes, all their top hits from their four-decade career. “Sara Smile,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” “Out Of Touch,” “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” “Rich Girl,” and “Maneater, are just some of the highlights.
It’s certainly the meatiest oeuvre in Hall & Oates history.
Personally, I’d love to see Rundgren return and produce a new album for them. What can I say, I’m a fan.
NAMES IN THE NEWS
Randy Alexander, Mark Bego, Frank Shiner, Jonathan Wolfson, Ken Levy, Clive Davis, Joe Franklin, James Edstrom, Brad LeBeau, Howard Bloom, Tom & Lisa Cuddy, Kenny Kerner, Danny Tedesco, Glenn Friscia, Anthony Lopez, Steve Leeds, Bruce Morrow, Wayne Avers, Judy Libow, Jacqueline Boyd, Tony Towers, cfs.