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DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES are the number-one selling duo in music history!
Starting out as two devoted disciples of earlier soul greats, Daryl Hall & John 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 and 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 Gym Class Heroes, who dubbed their tour “Daryl Hall for President Tour 2007.” Among the most sampled artists today, their impact can be heard everywhere from boy-band harmonies to neo-soul to rap-rock fusion.
Signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegun in the 1970s, Daryl Hall & John Oates have sold more albums than any other duo in music history. Their 1973 debut album, Abandoned Luncheonette, produced by Arif Mardin, yielded the Top-10 single, “She’s Gone,” which also went to No. 1 on the R&B charts when it was covered by Taveras. The duo recorded one more album with Atlantic, War Babies, (produced by Todd Rundgren) before they were dropped and promptly signed to RCA. Their tenure at RCA would catapult the duo to international superstardom.
From the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, the duo would score six No. 1 singles, including “Rich Girl” (also No. 1 R&B), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (also No. 1 R&B), “Maneater” and “Out of Touch” from their six consecutive multi-platinum albums – 1976’s Bigger Than Both of Us, 1980’s Voices, 1981’s Private Eyes, 1982’s H2O, 1983’s Rock N Soul, Part I, and 1984’s Big Bam Boom. The era would also produce an additional five Top-10 singles: “Sara Smile,” “One on One,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So,” and “Method of Modern Love.”
Daryl also wrote the H&O single “Everytime You Go Away,” with which singer Paul Young scored a number-one hit when he covered the song in 1985.
That same year, Daryl and John participated in the historic “We Are the World” session as well as closing the Live Aid show in Philadelphia.
By 1987, the R.I.A.A. recognized Daryl Hall and John Oates as the number-one selling duo in music history, a record they still hold today.
On May 20, 2008, the duo was honored with the Icon Award during BMI’s 56th annual Pop Awards. The award has previously gone to the Bee Gees; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Paul Simon; Brian Wilson; Willie Nelson; James Brown; Ray Davies; Carlos Santana; and Dolly Parton.
Daryl Hall’s latest project is an award-winning monthly web series, Live from Daryl’s House (livefromdarylshouse.com). “It was a light-bulb moment,” he says of the show’s genesis. “I’ve had this idea about just sitting on the porch or in my living room, playing music with my friends and putting it up on the Internet.”
Past episodes of Live from Daryl’s House have featured a mix of well-known performers like Rob Thomas, Train’s Pat Monahan, Jose Feliciano, Smokey Robinson, The Doors’ Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, Toots Hibbert, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, Travie McCoy, and Patrick Stump, along with newcomers such Eric Hutchinson, Cash Money rocker Kevin Rudolf, Matt Nathanson, Parachute, Chromeo, Plain White T’s, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, soul diva Sharon Jones, Diane Birch, Fitz & the Tantrums, alternative band Neon Trees, and veteran alternative mainstays Guster.
In the fall of 2008, John Oates released his critically acclaimed solo album, 1000 Miles of Life.
Oates dedicated the album to three inspired individuals who had recently passed away, but were major influences in his career: producer Arif Mardin (who produced Hall & Oates’ first two albums on Atlantic Records), Jerry Lynn Williams (a writer who contributed songs to Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, and B.B. King, among others), and his original guitar mentor Jerry Ricks, who introduced him to the roots blues/folk scene in Philadelphia in the late 1960s.
Most recently, Daryl Hall & John Oates released their first box set, Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates. The box set marks the first comprehensive multi-CD, multi-label deluxe box set compilation ever assembled from their entire career’s work, four CDs containing 74 tracks (16 of them previously unreleased).
The 40th anniversary of their first meeting finds Daryl Hall and 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.