To say that anyone who frequents this website doesn't have some heartfelt memory of a Darryl Hall & John Oates song would only prove that you've either been living in a cave for the past 30 years or that you were literally born yesterday. Their influence has touched upon most popular music genres (click here to see what I mean). But heartfelt memories are what this soulful duo from the City of Brotherly Love provided, several times over. To commemorate Do What You Want, Be What You Are:The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates, the "definitive" four disc anthology of their work, we here at SoulBounce felt it would only be apropos to run down our favorite tracks by these indisputable bastions of Blue-Eyed Soul.
Harlem -- "Everytime You Go Away" To me, this was the ultimate Yeah-you-left-me-and-see-what-you've-done-to-me song back in the 80s. True story. Being a teenager and experiencing so many "true loves" kept this ballad on repeat on my cassette player. Who couldn't relate to the angst that was "you take a piece of me with you"? And in the intro when Hall, who was always on point, said "picking up the pieces..." Yeah. I was hooked. This was like my anthem.
Butta -- "One On One" I adore everything about this song. Even someone who isn't into sports can appreciate the lyrical content and want to seek out someone for a little one-on-one on the court of love. Daryl Hall's voice hits the highs and lows with ease. And the sax solo bridge? Short and sweet. It's not a game when this one comes on. (Sidebar: They totally should have included this in the movie Love & Basketball.)
Ro -- "Rich Girl" When I think about it this is probably the only Hall & Oates song that matters to me. I really enjoy the syncopated breeziness of the rhythm and how appropriately cutting and germane it is when Hall says "it's a bitch, girl." Because it is. I won't pretend like I grew up knowing what the hell they were singing about but I knew that I dug the chorus and that it don't matter anyway.
huny -- "Maneater" This is one of those quintessential '80s songs. The saxophone, that dry kick, the casio keyboard - it's effing cheesy. And amazing. As a little girl, pre-destined for bad assness, I never wanted to be the "Lady in Red" or even a "P.Y.T". Rather I enjoyed the idea of being that irresistible girl that eats boys for breakfast. Don't get me started on the dominant female archetype I grew up idolizing. Plus, it has one of the most instantly recognizable melodies of any 80's song. You cannot NOT bop to it or resist singing along. Watch out boy!
Fave -- "I Can't Go for That" I cannot listen to this song and NOT sing-a-long...ESPECIALLY during the bridge. This song held its own during my
discovery of Hip Hop and when De La Soul sampled it in "Say No Go," I
realized Hip Hop had re-discovered it. More importantly (to me), this
song was my anthem for days I was being "twice as nice" while love
continued to lodge its foot in my...oh wait, what were we talking
ill Mami -- "Private Eyes" Trying to choose a favorite Hall & Oates track is like asking me to pick a favorite child of mine. Since I'm in more of a mood for song with an upbeat tempo from the songs mentioned above, right now I'll pick "Private Eyes". So much of this song and its video remind me of watching MTV back when it wanted you to want it so badly. Great harmonies and a damn-near-perfect Pop song.
Let us know what your favorite Hall & Oates songs are in the comments.
Hall & Oates Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates [Amazon][iTunes]