Daryl Hall & John Oates

She's Gone

Song Review by

This elegant blue-eyed soul classic is fondly remembered as one of Hall & Oates’ best songs but it took a while for this song’s excellence to be recognized. The duo penned this ballad for Abandoned Luncheonette while commiserating over their personal heartbreaks - Hall had broken up with a girlfriend and Oates was stood up by his New Year’s Eve date. Together, they crafted a love lament that expressed cynicism and heartache via some stunning imagery: “Think I'll spend eternity in the city/let the carbon and monoxide choke my thoughts away/and pretty bodies help dissolve the memories/but they can never be what she was to me/She’s gone.” The personalized touch of this narrative inspired Hall & Oates to create an elegant yet heart-tugging melody that built from mellow, gently grooving verses into a heartfelt chorus that combines meteoric high notes with doo-wop frills. Hall & Oates made “She’s Gone” the centerpiece of their Abandoned Luncheonette album, wrapping in an arrangement that represented a state-of-the-art soul sound circa 1973: it starts with a gentle electric piano pulse underscored with wah-wah guitar shadings and synth drones, gradually adding jazzy horns and lush strings to create a gorgeous widescreen soundscape. Hall & Oates lived up to the grandeur of this sound with a vocal performance that cuts right to the listener’s heart: Oates takes the baritone part and Hall takes the tenor, blending their voices to create a seamless performance that affects a soulful croon on the verses but builds into scorching passion on the chorus. The end result was a stunner and the undisputed highlight of Abandoned Luncheonette but it took a while for the song to earn its rightful success. The single passed with little notice in 1974 and Hall & Oates had to settle for success through Tavares, who topped the r&b charts with their cover of the song. It was revived by Atlantic in 1976 - a few years after Hall & Oates had moved to RCA - to capitalize on the success they had enjoyed with “Rich Girl.” The gambit worked and the song earned its long-overdue hit status by sailing into the top ten. “She’s Gone” remains a favorite amongst fans of blue-eyed soul and remains a staple on oldies stations today.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Abandoned Luncheonette 1973 Atlantic 5:15
Max Weinberg Presents: Let There Be Drums, Vol. 3 197?
Various Artists
Rhino 5:16
No Image 1983 Sony Music 3:27
Sounds of the Seventies: 1976 - Take Two 1991
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:28
Masterpieces 1993
Various Artists
WEA 5:15
The Atlantic Collection 1996 Atlantic & Atco Remasters / Rhino 5:16
WCBS FM 101.1 25th Anniversary, Vol. 3: The 70's - Silver Anniversary Edition 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 3:24
Can't Stop Dreaming 1997 BMG International 5:16
Starting All over Again: The Best of Hall and Oates 1997 BMG / RCA 5:15
She's Gone 1998 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 5:19
Looking Back: The Best of Daryl Hall + John Oates 1998 BMG 5:15
Collection [DJ Specialist] 1998 DJ Specialist 4:31
Soul Train: The Dance Years 1976 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 5:15
Love Songs [1999 Polygram International] 1999
Various Artists
Polygram 5:12
Perfect Love, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Global TV 4:31
Music Men 2000
Various Artists
WEA
The Essential Collection 2001 RCA / BMG
Ecstasy on the Edge 2001 Pilot 5:33
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:15
The Complete Best 2002 BMG 3:27
Cherish [Original Soundtrack] 2002
Original Soundtrack
New Line Records 3:28
All the 70's 2003
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 5:16
The '70s Sound, Vol. 2 2003
Various Artists
Flashback Records 5:20
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Realm Records 3:28
Ultimate Daryl Hall + John Oates 2004 BMG Heritage 5:16
Retro '70s 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 3:27
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy 2004
Original Soundtrack
Republic 5:16
WNUA 95.5: Smooth Jazz Sampler, Vol. 17 2004
Various Artists
WNUA 4:01
Deep Groove, Vol. 1 2005
Various Artists
Calvin Records 5:14
The Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates 2005 BMG Heritage / RCA 5:16
Ultimate 16: Lite FM Best of the '70s 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 3:27
'70s: Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:14
Platinum Collection 2006 Rhino 5:16
Best of the 70s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 5:20
Absolute Love 2006
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Atlantic Soul: 1959-1975 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 3:28
The Singles 2008 Camden / Camden International 5:16
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 5:19
Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates 2009 Legacy / RCA 5:16
Atlantic Records: The Time Capsule 2009
Various Artists
Atlantic 5:15
3/60: Love 2011
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 5:15
70s: The Collection 2012
Various Artists
Rhino 5:13
Playlist: The Best of the Atlantic Years 2016 Rhino / Rhino Atlantic 3:26
An Introduction To 2018 Atlantic / Flashback Records 5:15
100 Greatest Heartbreak
Various Artists
Rhino 5:14
70 Hits of the '70s [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino
American Classics [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino
Born and Raised in the 70s
Various Artists
Rhino 5:14
Happy Mother's Day
Various Artists
Rhino 5:16
Oh What a Night: 70s Classics
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 5:13
Power Ballads: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino
Rhino Hi-Five: Hall & Oates Atlantic / Rhino 5:16
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:28
WCBS FM 101.1: The Anniversary Album - The 70s
Various Artists
Collectables 3:28