Friday, September 17, 2010

Top 5 Hall and Oates Songs

In the world of the IPOD and the music industry geared towards singles, its hard for current artists to really gather a long lasting body of work in terms of the pop charts. It still happens today...Beyonce...Rihanna...Nickelback (I just threw up the chowder I had for lunch after that one) but you're probably not going to see too many "Greatest Hits" CD's from most of today's popular artists.

Alright, I'm getting off my soapbox. I want to talk about the all time best selling duo in the history of records...yes they've sold more than such duos like Simon and Garfunkel, Seals and Croft, Tears For Fears, and Coverdale/Page...alright, maybe that wasn't too hard for them to do. But still, you cannot deny the power and back catalog of Daryl Hall and John Oates.

I've already talked about how Hall and Oates was the very first tape I ever bought (Big Bam BOOM). It was recently that I stumbled across a few of their songs I had on my IPOD and before I knew it, I was transported back to 1985 all over again.

Hall and Oates DOMINATED the 80's...they were the Mike Tyson of the Billboard Charts. I won't name them all but from 1980-1990 they pretty much had hit singles every year (including six #1 hits). I seem to gravitate towards the early 1980's Hall and Oates versus the later part of the 80's with this list of their top 5 songs. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be...

#5. "Kiss On My List"

Not the first song when somebody thinks of Hall and Oates but god DAMN if this song doesn't include the recipe for a textbook H&O classic. Uptempo beat, perfect harmony background vocals, great melodies, and an awesome bridge. I'm a huge fan of the Rock Band video game series and I think this would be an excellent song to add. Very underrated guitar solo here too.

#4. I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

Probably one of the most famous and sampled bass lines from the 1980's, this is a MONSTER song. Again, it has another great bridge (the "I'll do anything, that you want me to" part) and amazing harmony vocals. If you like this song as much as I do, I would check out Simply Red's semi-cover version called "Sunrise".

I never did know what the "that" is in reference to the song title.

I always liked the video for this song too. Some things to look out for... the about bright light and smoke machines...Daryl Hall's hair...John Oates terrible attempt at lip syncing is on full display at the 1:21 mark...the saxophone player really having nothing to do with the video but acting like he's part of the band...where's the bass player?!? This video must have taken $1,000 to make.

3.) "Maneater"

This song came out when I was 4 years scared me. That spooky saxophone that plays in the beginning was what did it for me. It sounded like an upbeat dark song if that was possible. Now nearly 30 years later, its full of really ambitious musical ideas. An echoed saxophone solo? How brilliantly simple. Another iconic bass line. Daryl Hall's ad lib singing at the end is great including my favorite ad lib of all time "the woman is wild Oooooooohhhh!!!" at the 4:05 mark of the below video.

Speaking the video, things to look out for. The band "frozen" at the beginning as the camera zooms in on Hall...Hall dancing with only his shoulders at the :48 mark...Oates iconic mullet and mustache never looked better...its the former bandleader of Saturday Night Live at the 1:42 and 2:30 mark, G.E. Smith!..the bass player finger snap at the 2:10 mark...the echoed sax solo. The best moment is Oates miming the "OOOOOoooo!!!" part that Hall sings at the 3:28 mark. Good stuff!

2.) "Private Eyes"

Sing it now..."private eyes are watching you , they see your every moooove". This was probably the hardest Hall and Oates ever got and probably the most guitar they ever used in a song, and damn, do I like that! Another song full of just flat out perfect melodies.

The video always put this one over the top for me. See below and check out the following...the magnifying glass at the 0:18 second mark...the entire band posing for the camera but the bass player just stands there motionless in the middle...the Private investigator outfits at the :47 mark...Oates brief moment at the forefront and mugging for the camera at the 1:28 mark...the "mirroresque" guitar solo at the 1:59 mark that Prince would use to much better use in his "When Doves Cry" video a FULL TWO YEARS LATER...the last minute is just blissed out 1980's.

1.) "One On One"

Yes, its a ballad...but I am huge sucker for ballads. I am also a sucker for great bass playing and this song has one of the most underrated playing in a pop song. I am also a sucker for falsettos (high voices) and Daryl Hall has one of the better ones around. The final minute and a half is a master class in singing. This is almost the perfect pop ballad song and if you can't get a woman's heart to melt over this song...then you're in a seriously troubled relationship.

Just soak the song and video in...the only comment I'll make is that the 1:00 to 1:22 and 1:42 to 2:00 mark shows just how awesomely cheesy the 1980's were.

Honorable mentions:
"You Make My Dreams"
"Out Of Touch"
"Everything Your Heart Desires"
"Say It Ain't So"
"Family Man"
"She's Gone"

There's too many!!!

No comments: