#36: Hall & Oates ‘Sara Smile’

Today's countdown entry is "Sara Smile", the single that put Philly blue-eyed soulsters Daryl Hall and John Oates, better known as Hall & Oates, on the rhythm and blues radar. Their first album with RCA, after a less than successful stint with Atlantic, was appropriately titled Daryl Hall & John Oates, and spawned "Sara", an ode to Hall's then-girlfriend Sara Allen. What drew the most buzz on the streets, however, was the album cover itself (see photo to the right), which showed the duo in heavy makeup -- to the point of distraction. Years later, when the album cover came up during an interview with VH1, Hall proudly boasted that, while in the makeup, he looked like "the girl he always wanted to go out with." Insane. The track peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. Some prefer the song's remakes, done quite well by both After 7 and Boyz II Men. While their versions were more than effective, neither strayed too far from the original's flavor, thus serving more as tributes than much else. This serves as our tribute to the multiplatinum, hall of fame artists. Take a listen and I guarantee that you won't need air conditioning, as cool as this woo-ing is. Word to Sara.

Hall & Oates: "Sara Smile"

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12 Responses

  1. Damn! That's the original album cover? Oh my. Love Hall & Oates and have for years. "One On One" is my favorite followed by "Sara Smile". Thanks for taking me back.

  2. Most remakes (save a few of Luther's) don't hold a candle to the original. This is an example of such an original.

  3. Good Song. Good Song.
    On a completely unrelated note, saw Chaka Khan today and seeing Stevie Wonder tomorrow (Saturday). Both completely free. I love the Taste of Chicago.

  4. I was just thinking that I'd love to hear a Maxwell cover of this. He'd kill it!!! Also I know Hall sang most of the lead vocals but I REALLY liked Oates as lead on the few he sang. His voice was very soulful.

  5. Nothin' better than some Hall & Oates; one of my favorite duos of all-time! "One on One," "Say It Isn't So," "Kiss Is On My List," "Private Eyes," "M.E.T.H.O.D of Modern Love," "It's A Laugh," "Sara Smile," "Maneater." *sigh* Good times, man. Good times. Another explanation for the album cover: it was the late 70's/ early 80's, they were trying to find their "look." GLAM rock was in & those years were a time for musical experimentation.

  6. Hall & Oates are pretty much the shyyt! [Excuse my language] but 'Sarah Smile', 'One on One', 'She's Gone' & last but certainly not least....'I Can't Go For That'!!! I'm really diggin' these dudes!

  7. Ah...looking at the comments, I'm glad this was on my list 🙂
    I do like After 7's remake but nothing can hold a candle to the original.

  8. LOVE this song

  9. Avatar

    Hall & Oates = Classic... They look like b&tches on the album cover though. My dad and uncles did'nt look like that in the 80's so you can't blame the time and period

  10. hall & oates have some truly timeless and classic music. sara smile is definitely my favorite song from the group.
    not sure what to make of the album cover.

  11. Well my name is Sara and I was born after this song was made (1984) and this is one of the three "Sara" songs EVERYONE always sang to me (the other two were by Johnathan Butler, and Starship) People always sang this song the WORST, kinda hard note to hit, but its a beautiful song (I'm biased) and I'm glad it made the countdown

  12. I heart Hall and Oates


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