Get this crazy baby off my head!


Daryl Hall And John Oates

Daryl Hall And John Oates - Beauty On A Back Street - 1977 - RCA

Beauty on a Back Street isn't quite as accomplished as its two predecessors, yet it is more ambitious and diverse, as Hall & Oates begin to add some arena-rock conventions to their sound, particularly distorted guitars and anthemic choruses. On War Babies they had tried a similar attack, but on Beauty on a Back Street, the duo's songwriting was stronger, which meant that the instrumental approach didn't overwhelm the actual songs. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

Hall & Oates "Beauty On A Back Street" received many mixed reviews on it's release in 1977. It was not the typical "blue eyed soul" release so characteristic of the duo, but was more in the "Rock'n'Soul" vein. If you're looking for a "Sara Smile," you won't find it here, although their famous "Philly-Soul" is not abandoned completely. Hall & Oates, during this "Saturday Night Fever" disco period of the seventies were perfectly capable of releasing an album of catchy, upbeat numbers to suit the musical trends of the time, but on "Beauty On A Back Street," they presented a more rock-oriented album, on the slightly experimental side. The album should be judged on these criteria. It is a very underrated album, and needs to be reassessed. There are some great songs here, with musicians like Tom Scott and Jeff Porcaro helping out. A really good album, and a change from the usual commercial output of Hall & Oates. This post is a 192 vinyl version, but sound quality is ok. Listen to their classic "Abandoned Luncheonette," and "Private Eyes" albums. There is info on Hall & Oates' "War Babies" album @ H&O/WB and the duo's "Ooh Yeah !" album @ H&O/OY


A1 "Don't Change" (Hall, Oates) (3:37)
A2 "Why Do Lovers Break Each Other's Heart?" (Sara Allen, Hall) (3:16)
A3 "You Must Be Good for Something" (Hall, Oates) (3:32)
A4 "The Empytness" (Oates) (3:35)
A5 "Love Hurts (Love Heals)" (Oates) (3:11)

B1 "Bigger Than Both of Us" (Hall, Oates) (4:31)
B2 "Bad Habits and Infections" (Hall) (6:03)
B3 "Winged Bull" (Hall) (4:39) (Covered by Hanoi Rocks in 2004)
B4 "The Girl Who Used to Be" (Marvin Hamlisch, Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman) (4:10)


Daryl Hall - vocals, synthesizer, guitar, vibraphone
John Oates - vocals, dulcimer, synthesizer, guitar, piano
Tom Scott - tenor saxophone
Christopher Bond - synthesizer, guitar, arranger, conductor, string arrangements
Gary Coleman - percussion
Scott Edwards - bass
Jim Hughart - bass
Tommy Mottola - background vocals, direction
Jeff Porcaro - drums
Lee Sklar - bass


A big departure from their trademark blue-eyed Philly Soul sound, BEAUTY finds Hall and Oates edging closer and closer to guitar-driven rock. The one big exception here is the title track, a beautiful soul song in their best "She's Gone" style, with a gorgeous string section coda. "Winged Bull," on the other hand, is a droning, quasi Middle Eastern-sounding folk rocker obviously modeled on Led Zep's "Kashmir." Even further afield, "You Must Be Good For Something" is a dissonant bit of proto-New Wave pop, complete with tick-tock rhythm (a la the Cars), while "Bad Habits and Infections," is a prog-rock mini-suite in a style not too dissimilar from Yes.


Along with “Along The Red Ledge”, this one is one of the most over-looked albums in their catalogue.. As an amazing follow-up to their previous smash albums - Daryl Hall and John Oates (The Silver Album) and Bigger than Both of Us (Friday Music 1976) Beauty had the reputation of a transitional album with more of a harder edged sonic quality, while maintaining the rock and soul approach, making their trademark sound the much emulated style it is to this day. With the punk rock influence hitting the shores with new albums, as well as bombastic soul efforts, plus arena rock achievements from mega superstar bands., this hit-making duo from Philadelphia knew they had to keep the fans satisfied. So, they reached back to the some of their recognizable star formula and created one of the most enduring and artistically pleasing efforts in their large catalog of albums. With clever arrangements and natural players like Scotty Edwards and Leland Sklar on bass, the late great Jeff Porcaro on drums and the jazz legend Tom Scott on sax, this album hits its stride with the first hit single Why Do Lovers Break Each Other s Heart? With the correct balance of Philly soul, 50 s doo-wop, and crunchy almost Mick Ronson style guitar riffs, this tune was just the beginning of what was happening in the studio as the album was being caught on tape. A little departure from their previous hit singles, Hall s lead vocal truly captures the lyric with a tonal quality that is reserved only for pros. As another successful follow-up at radio, Don t Change again relies on some heavier guitar patterns in just the right places, while Daryl belts out another incredible vocal performance. Truly, this was one of the most memorable tunes on this project. To gravitate towards a more familiar space, their rock n soul trademark sound comes home once more with Bigger Than Both Of Us. The beat of the string arrangement, the horns, the mighty drum sound, the strong vocals.... it just worked out to be another high-point track and album clincher for the duo. © Not Lame Recordings


From their first hit in 1974 through their heyday in the '80s, Daryl Hall and John Oates' smooth, catchy take on Philly soul brought them enormous commercial success — including six number one singles and six platinum albums — yet little critical success. Hall & Oates' music was remarkably well constructed and produced; at their best, their songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave and hard rock. Daryl Hall began performing professionally while he was a student at Temple University. In 1966, he recorded a single with Kenny Gamble and the Romeos; the group featured Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, who would all become the architects of Philly soul. During this time, Hall frequently appeared on sessions for Gamble and Huff. In 1967, Hall met John Oates, a fellow Temple University student. Oates was leading his own soul band at the time. The two students realized they had similar tastes and began performing together in an array of R&B and doo wop groups. By 1968, the duo had parted ways, as Oates transferred schools and Hall formed the soft rock band Gulliver; the group released one album on Elektra in the late '60s before disbanding. After Gulliver's breakup, Hall concentrated on session work again, appearing as a backup vocalist for the Stylistics, the Delfonics, and the Intruders, among others. Oates returned to Philadelphia in 1969, and he and Hall began writing folk-oriented songs and performing together. Eventually they came to the attention of Tommy Mottola, who quickly became their manager, securing the duo a contract with Atlantic Records. On their first records — Whole Oates (1972), Abandoned Luncheonette (1973), War Babies (1974) — the duo were establishing their sound, working with producers like Arif Mardin and Todd Rundgren and removing much of their folk influences. At the beginning of 1974, the duo relocated from Philadelphia to New York. During this period, they only managed one hit — the number 60 "She's Gone" in the spring of 1974. After they moved to RCA in 1975, the duo landed on its successful mixture of soul, pop, and rock, scoring a Top Ten single with "Sara Smile." The success of "Sara Smile" prompted the re-release of "She's Gone," which rocketed into the Top Ten as well. Released in the summer of 1976, Bigger than the Both of Us was only moderately successful upon its release. The record took off in early 1977, when "Rich Girl" became the duo's first number one single. Although they had several minor hits between 1977 and 1980, the albums Hall & Oates released at the end of the decade were not as successful as their mid-'70s records. Nevertheless, they were more adventurous, incorporating more rock elements into their blue-eyed soul. The combination would finally pay off in late 1980, when the duo released the self-produced Voices, the album that marked the beginning of Hall & Oates' greatest commercial and artistic success. The first single from Voices, a cover of the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," reached number 12, yet it was the second single, "Kiss on My List" that confirmed their commercial potential by becoming the duo's second number one single; its follow-up, "You Make My Dreams" hit number five. They quickly released Private Eyes in the summer of 1981; the record featured two number one hits, "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," as well as the Top Ten hit "Did It in a Minute." "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" also spent a week at the top of the R&B charts — a rare accomplishment for a White act. H20 followed in 1982 and it proved more successful than their two previous albums, selling over two million copies and launching their biggest hit single, "Maneater," as well as the Top Ten hits "One on One" and "Family Man." The following year, the duo released a greatest-hits compilation, Rock 'N Soul, Pt. 1, that featured two new Top Ten hits — the number two "Say It Isn't So" and "Adult Education." In April of 1984, the Recording Industry Association of America announced that Hall & Oates had surpassed the Everly Brothers as the most successful duo in rock history, earning a total of 19 gold and platinum awards. Released in October of 1984, Big Bam Boom expanded their number of gold and platinum awards, selling over two million copies and launching four Top 40 singles, including the number one "Out of Touch." Following their contract-fulfilling gold album Live at the Apollo with David Ruffin & Eddie Kendrick, Hall & Oates went on hiatus. After the lukewarm reception for Daryl Hall's 1986 solo album, Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine, the duo regrouped to release 1988's Ooh Yeah!, their first record for Arista. The first single, "Everything Your Heart Desires," went to number three and helped propel the album to platinum status. However, none of the album's other singles broke the Top 20, indicating that the era of chart dominance had ended. Change of Season, released in 1990, confirmed that fact. Although the record went gold, it only featured one Top 40 hit — the number 11 single, "So Close." The duo mounted a comeback in 1997 with Marigold Sky, but it was only partially successful; far better was 2003's Do It for Love and the following year soul covers record Our Kind of Soul. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Hall & Oates is a popular music duo made up of Daryl Hall & John Oates. The act achieved its greatest fame in the late 1970s and early-to-mid 1980s. They specialized in a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues styles which they dubbed "Rock and Soul". They are best known for their six #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Rich Girl", "Kiss on My List", "Private Eyes", "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)", "Maneater", and "Out of Touch", as well as many other songs which charted in the Top 40. They last reached the pop top forty in 1990 and then slowly faded from public view, though they did not formally break up. They have continued to record and tour with some success. In total, the act had thirty-four singles chart on the US Billboard Hot 100. As of 2006, Hall and Oates have seven RIAA platinum albums along with six RIAA gold albums. A greatest hits compilation was released in 2001 from Bertelsmann Music Group. The BMG collection was expanded in 2004 and reissued the following year, after BMG merged with Sony. In 2003, Daryl Hall and John Oates were voted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. Forty years after they first met in Philadelphia -- and twenty years after they became the single most successful duo of all time -- Daryl Hall & John Oates continue to record and perform together their distinctive and enduring blend of soulful sounds. Starting out as two devoted disciples of earlier soul greats, Hall & Oates are soul survivors in their own right. They have become such musical influences on some of today’s popular artists that the September 2006 cover of Spin Magazine’s headline read: “Why Hall & Oates are the New Velvet Underground”. Their artistic fan base includes Rob Thomas, John Mayer, Brandon Flowers of the Killers, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and MTV’s newest hipsters Gym Class Heroes who dubbed their tour “Daryl Hall for President Tour 2007”. Daryl Hall & John Oates first met back at Philadedelphia's Adelphi Ballroom in 1967. Both were attending Temple University, but they first discovered their shared passion for soul music during a show at which both of their groups -- The Temptones and The Masters, respectively -- were on a record hop bill with a number of then nationally known soul acts like the 5 Stairsteps and Howard Tate. When a gang fight broke out inside the Ballroom, the pair met each other in a service elevator while trying to get out. Hall had already become a fixture in the Philly soul scene, recording a single with Kenny Gamble and the Romeos featuring future Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell. Hall – now considered one of the great soul singers of his generation -- became a protégé of the Temptations at the young age of 17. Oates too had performed with a number of R&B and doo-wop groups on the Philadelphia scene, and recorded a single with famed Philly soul arranger Bobby Martin. In the early 1970’s Hall & Oates began performing as a duo, and a year later -- with the help of manager Tommy Mottola -- they signed to the legendary soul label Atlantic Records. The group’s major label debut Whole Oats -- produced by legendary producer Arif Mardin who had already worked with The Rascals and Dusty Springfield -- combined the group’s soul and folk influences, but failed to make a significant commercial impact. That breakthrough would come with the duo’s following effort, 1973’s Abandoned Luncheonette, still considered one of the group’s finest albums by many of their admirers. Abandoned Luncheonette’s acoustic soul sound was groundbreaking and widely acclaimed, and the album’s stunning standout track “She’s Gone” would become a #1 R&B smash on the Billboard Magazine charts for Tavares in 1974, and eventually become a pop hit for Hall & Oates when it was re-released in 1976. Hall & Oates took a rather dramatic turn with their third album, 1974’s War Babies, a rockier and more experimental song cycle recorded with producer Todd Rundgren. Leaving Atlantic, Hall & Oates signed with RCA Records and in 1975 released the Daryl Hall and John Oates (also unofficially known to fans as The Silver Album) which yielded the duo’s first critical and commercial smash “Sara Smile” .The group’s 1976 follow- up Bigger Than Both Of Us yielded the infectious “Rich Girl,” the group’s first #1 on the Pop Singles chart, and a track that once again artfully combining their rock and soul influences into a cohesive whole. The group continued to experiment and expand their rock n’ soul sound with ambitious albums like 1978’s Along The Red Ledge (with David Foster as producer) and 1979’s X-Static. During that same period, Hall recorded and released on RCA his critically acclaimed first solo album Sacred Songs with experimental guitar innovator Robert Fripp. In 1980, Hall & Oates’ released the Voices album which would prove a true watershed moment in their illustrious career. Producing themselves for the first time, Hall & Oates created the template for a brightly infectious but still soulful sound that would help them become one of the dominant group’s of the Eighties. Voices included the group’s second #1 on the Pop Singles chart, “Kiss On My List,” as well as significant hits in “You Make My Dreams” and a cover of the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.” In addition, “Everytime You Go Away” from the Voices album became a #1 hit in America and around the world when later covered by British soul singer Paul Young in 1985. 1981’s Private Eyes album featured two more #1 hits, the title track and “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) ”and the Top Ten “Did It In A Minute.” This remarkable run continued with 1982’s H2O and more smashes in the form of "Maneater," “Family Man” and “One On One.” Two more hits -- “Say It Isn’t So” and “Adult Education” -- were included on the smash anthology Rock ‘n Soul, Pt. 1 that was released in 1983. Big Bam Boom continued the duo’s momentum with the help of another #1 hit, “Out Of Touch.” Having achieved so much together -- including appearing on the “We Are the World” recording session, at Live Aid and performing and recording at the Apollo Theater along with former Temptations David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick -- Hall & Oates took a hiatus to focus on individual efforts in the mid-Eighties. Hall recorded and released his second solo effort, Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine, produced by his now long time friend, Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. The album would produce another hit for Hall in “Dreamtime”. The pair would then reunited to record their final 2 albums for Arista Ooh Yeah and Change of Season. In the past decade, Hall & Oates have toured consistently and with considerable success around the world, and have continued to record both together and separately with impressive results including Hall’s third solo album, Soul Alone. Sensing the change in the business, they abandoned the major labels and released independently Hall’s fourth solo album, Can’t Stop Dreaming and the duo’s 1997’s Marigold Sky –– with both receiving considerable acclaim. Forming their own label, U-Watch Records, 2003’s Do It For Love rightly marked a major return to form with the album being embraced as the group’s finest in many years. It also had considerable commercial success with the passionate title track reaching #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Charts, while “Forever For You” also hit the Top Ten on the same chart. Most recently, Hall & Oates saluted their deep soul roots with 2004’s Our Kind Of Soul – an album that found them recording inventive re-workings of some of their favorite soul classics like the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around” and the Four Tops’ “Standing in the Shadows of Love,” as well as three new originals with a decidedly classic soul feel, “Let Love Take Control,” and “Don’t Turn Your Back on Me”. 2004 also saw Hall & Oates’ body of work inducted together into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. In 2006, Hall & Oates released their first ever full Christmas album on U-Watch entitled Home For Christmas, a soulful seasonal effort highlighted by a cover of Robbie Robertson's “Christmas Must Be Tonight” and two moving originals-- “No Child Should Ever Cry At Christmas” written by John Oates and the albums title track written by Daryl Hall with Greg Bieck and longtime Hall & Oates player and collaborator T-Bone Wolk. The single “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” became the #1 Holiday song of the 2006 season, The fortieth anniversary of their first meeting finds Daryl Hall & John Oates very much at the height of their powers making their own kind of soul, with a new generation of musicians recognizing not only their historic track record of success, but also their continuing influence and achievements.