Since we opened our doors over two years ago, music has played a vital role in the shop. The fantastic duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates have graced our hi-fi more than any other artist or group. Hall and Oates have at least one album in their catalog to cover any type of mood we are feeling. I was a bit skeptical at first. Hall and Oates? Seriously? I knew the hits, heard them a million times on the radio or at parties, but really- Hall and Oates? We were more of an 80's heavy shop in the earlier days. What I once thought of as goofy and tongue in cheek, now sounded fresh Â and exciting. The burgeoning electronic element in pop music was an earnest exercise by the musicians involved, and I came to appreciate the forward looking mindset.
Hall and Oates encapsulated that weltanschaaung. They changed with the times. Always looking ahead, while not losing grasp of what made them successful in the first place. They had a sense of humor fit for the 80's, and as you will see below, they had it in spades.
Hall and Oates started off as a funky, blue-eyed soul group out of the mid-Atlantic. The music could be smooth as silk at one moment- bass and drums locked in place, acoustic guitars and synthesizers shimmering on top. Funky, fuzzy wah-wah guitar lines enter and the music at once becomes frenetic and excitable. Â Early Hall and Oates, personified on the classicÂ Abandoned Luncheonette album, was very much a product of the 70's. Who knew the group would be able to evolve into the 80's juggernaut they ended up becoming.
Here are two videos from 70's era Hall and Oates. When asked to lip sync on TV, the duo instead decided to create a performance art piece. A music video in its infantile stage, "She's Gone," showed the group's sense of humor and creativity.
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZZngTkp54I[/embed]
For educational purposes, here is how the band could totally blow minds live when offered the ability to sing and play instruments on TV.
Unfortunately this amazing video of the band performing "Lady Rain" doesn't allow embedding, so you'll have to click on this link.
With the 80's came a slicker sound. The group perfected the craft of the danceable, upbeat radio hit. Starting withÂ Private Eyes,Â I am struck by how easy they make it sound. The harmonies sound so perfect. The transitions so textbook. At first I was a little put off by the effortlessness of the sound, but after repeated listens I came to appreciate that the group had a sound that was paradoxically generic, yet absolutely their own. 80's Hall and Oates also provided us with a wealth of incredible music videos. Let us look at a few gems from the era. Keep in mind there are many, many more out there.
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmIORSHC2oY[/embed]
(Sucker for a high-slung bass)
This next one may be my favorite tune from Hall and Oates (so what if its's a cover). The video delves into the serious issue of infidelity in our newly realized digital age.
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKvJ7bvNxfY[/embed]
Last but certainly not least:
[embed width="500" height="400"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cggi9STVWDs[/embed]