And if you wanna make our dreams come true, all you have to do is play along! After you ease in with the editors' selections in blurb and YouTube form, give the Spotify playlist a spin and share your favorite Hall-centric songs by adding to the list. Hall & Oates originals and covers, Hall solo album tracks, and even other bands' versions of Hall & Oates tunes are all fair game.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Daryl Hall & John Oates – "Beanie G & The Rose Tattoo"
Daryl Hall's ease with pop and soul sometimes obscures his sense of adventure. And the first time he really got wild was on 1974's War Babies, a pseudo-concept album produced by Todd Rundgren and highlighted by "Beanie G & The Rose Tattoo," a futuristic funk tale that elegantly swerves between tense verses and psychedelic choruses, all underpinned pulsing blue-eyed soul.
Daryl Hall – "Something In 4/4 Time"
When Daryl Hall went solo, he teamed up with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp for the angular, arty Sacred Songs. Throughout the album – and especially on this self-referential "Something In 4/4 Time" – the clean keyboards and processed guitars point toward the ultra-modernistic new wave hits Hall would have with John Oates in the early '80s... which may be the reason why it was released in 1980, three years after its recording. The world just wasn't ready for it back in '77.
Daryl Hall & John Oates – "Wait For Me"
Arriving just before Hall & Oates’ golden period, 1979’s X-Static provided the blueprint of Voices and, in particular, the gorgeous ballad "Wait For Me" suggests the kind of shimmering, soulful pop that became their calling card. It also sounds a bit of a kindred spirit to the AOR adult contemporary their Philly cohort Todd Rundgren was doing back in the late '70s.
Daryl Hall & John Oates – "Looking For A Good Sign"
Hall & Oates had so many classic singles in the '80s that it's easy to forget that they had some killer album tracks on Voices, Private Eyes and H2O, too. My favorite of these is "Looking For A Good Sign," the second cut on 1981's Private Eyes and an absolute barn-burner that splices the rhythm of Motown with the blaring horns of Stax.
Daryl Hall & John Oates – "When the Morning Comes"
One time I was watching an online clip from Eli Roth's comedy-horror film Cabin Fever where Cerina Vincent's skin starts coming off while she's shaving her legs in the bath. I forgot to turn down the volume on iTunes, so Hall & Oates' dreamily romantic '70s soft-country jam "When the Morning Comes" became the background score to that scene. It was awesome! Needless to say, when I finally saw the whole film, I was disappointed to realize that Hall & Oates had nothing to do with Roth's grotesque vision of backwoods gore.
Daryl Hall & John Oates – "Gino (The Manager)"
This little jammer about their (then) manager, Tommy Mottola, is like a sampler platter of everything Hall & Oates did. There's a little funk, a little rock (soft and otherwise), and some straight-up pop. To top it all off, it was also the subject of a documentary hosted by former AllMusic editor Steve Huey.
Daryl Hall w/ Chromeo – "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)"
Written by Hall while he was tinkering with the built-in setting on his drum machine (which, as it turns out, was a bit of a trend for Hall during the '80s), the pairing with electro-throwback Chromeo is a natural, with the two bands finding an easy interplay on this smooth classic.
The Bird and the Bee – "Heard it on the Radio"
The only original song on The Bird and the Bee's album of Hall & Oates covers, "Heard it on the Radio" easily feels like it could be a lost entry in the Daryl Hall songbook, copying his style with a loving reverence that you just can't get from a regular cover song.
Daryl Hall & John Oates – "She's Gone"
I like Hall & Oates about as much as anyone. So many hits and so much style, it's kinda common knowledge at this point. What did blow my mind about this omnipresent duo, however, was an early low-budget video for "She's Gone". Our boys look more depressed/medicated than at any other point as they lackadaisically throw money at the devil and deliver the lines of this relatively "up" song in a manner so deadpan it makes the whole experience psychedelic.
Check out these musical Hall-marks in Spotify playlist form, and keep 'em coming by adding your favorites to the list! We're talking Hall & Oates originals and covers, Hall solo album tracks, and even other bands' versions of Hall & Oates tunes. Not a Spotify user? Share your track picks on the AllMusic Facebook page or the AllMusic Twitter stream with hashtag #hallyeah.