Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hall & Oates Abandoned Lucheonette 1973 and Daryl Hall & John Oates 1975

Hall and Oates. I know a lot of people aren't fond, but guilty pleasure is pleasure just the same. The Philly soul sound mixed with some lite rock is a tempting proposition. And hey kids, I'll bet there's used vinyl aplenty.

Abandoned Luncheonette 1973 was their second outing for Atlantic, and I put it on today ready to write a shining review. The first side is classic. When The Morning Comes, Had I Known You Better Then ("I would have said those three old words"), Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song), which precedes the coming Sara Smile with both a similar melody and a reference to Sara herself, She's Gone (the single, and worthy), and I'm Just A Kid (Don't Make Me Feel Like A Man), a perfect young man's blues with a sweet Philly soul chorus.

But then you come to side two, and things fall apart pretty quick. I could spell it out, but there's little redeaming value to the second half.

Next up was the profound mistake of War Babies 1974, a Todd Rundgren-produced nightmare attempt to make Hall & Oates into Meatloaf. It worked better with Meatloaf, which isn't saying much.

But Darryl Hall & John Oates 1975 was the bomb. Camelia, Sara Smile, Nothing At All, Ennui On The Mountain, It Doesn't Matter Anymore, and Soldering are all killer white Philly soul-pop-rock, with hooks galore and harmony-filled choruses. And that crazy cover, like they wanted to be Ziggy Stardust. It's a wonder they ever found an audience.

They went on to bigger things, but better, I'm not convinced.

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