Best Hall & Oates Album

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I suspect one of their comps or Abandoned Luncheonette will do best instead of H20 or Private Eyes, but I've been wrong before.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
1981 Private Eyes 6
1980 Voices 17 5
1982 H2O 4
1988 Ooh Yeah! 3
1997 Marigold Sky 2
2005 The Essential Daryl Hall & John Oates2
1978 Livetime 2
1973 Abandoned Luncheonette 2
1976 Bigger Than Both of Us 2
1974 War Babies 2
1977 Beauty on a Back Street 1
2004 Our Kind of Soul 1
1990 Change of Season 1
1984 Big Bam Boom 1
1975 Daryl Hall & John Oates 1
1983 Rock 'n Soul Part 1 0
1977 No Goodbyes 0
1979 X-Static 33 0
2003 Do It For Love 0
1978 Along the Red Ledge 0
1972 Whole Oats 0


Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 8 June 2007 22:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Out of the ones I've heard, "Voices" is the one.

Geir Hongro, Friday, 8 June 2007 23:06 (fourteen years ago) link

dude, it's totally "Private Eyes." The A-side of that LP might just be one of the best A-sides of the 80s.

the table is the table, Friday, 8 June 2007 23:39 (fourteen years ago) link

Geir hast the knowledge. Voices is correct.

Joe, Saturday, 9 June 2007 01:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, *SIGH* I'm still in the investigation phase...I've never even met anyone who would know all the Hall & Oates albums. Anyway, latest development was I tried some of X-Static, didn't like it much.

Bimble, Saturday, 9 June 2007 03:46 (fourteen years ago) link

Their imperial phase -- between Voices and Big Bam Boom --is just about flawless.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 9 June 2007 03:48 (fourteen years ago) link

went with "war babies" although it has been many years since i had or heard it.

drone/a/sore, Saturday, 9 June 2007 03:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Abandoned Luncheonette or Voices.

I remember my mom blasting a cassette of Voices in her car years ago and being embarrassed by it. It later proved to be just another example of my mother's music tastes being so far superior to mine that's it's not funny.

Cunga, Saturday, 9 June 2007 06:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Abandoned Luncheonette or the silver album (Hall & Oates). Hall really had a tremendous voice.

ellaguru, Saturday, 9 June 2007 15:36 (fourteen years ago) link

i still say yall are insane, and the choice is obviously 'private eyes'

the table is the table, Sunday, 10 June 2007 00:22 (fourteen years ago) link

I wish I could vote for Daryl Hall's Sacred Songs.

filthy dylan, Sunday, 10 June 2007 17:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

ILX System, Monday, 11 June 2007 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I decided the best way for me to handle this is get a bunch of their vinyl LP's.

Bimble, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Relistening to Voices yesterday, I was struck by how rough and tumble the guitars are -- this isn't punk, but punk-influenced pop, better than Joe Jackson and Billy Joel, and definitely weirder. "Big Kids," "Gotta Lotta Nerve," and "Africa" are tougher than anything those guys released that year.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:40 (fourteen years ago) link

That may have to do with Robert Fripp's contribution to Hall's Sacred Songs.

talrose, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:45 (fourteen years ago) link

I finally heard that album last summer...and, apart from "Babs & Babs," was rather unmoved. I mean, it's not much better than the big bam boom of 3 Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:47 (fourteen years ago) link

Private Eyes was my vote... in fact, I was recommending it to someone on ILE the other day. Voices is #2, tho.

kenan, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:54 (fourteen years ago) link

And I am listening to it right now. I'm going through a little Hall and Oates phase right now.

kenan, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I would love someone to vote for Big Bam Boom, which has some weird unexpected shit.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Putting Rock 'n Soul Part 1 on there isn't quite fair.

kenan, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 01:57 (fourteen years ago) link

This reminds me I need to own a copy of Luncheonette. I have War Babies (love it) Big Bam Boom (it's been a long time, but isn't the drum sound just annoyingly HUGE?) and Voices. My vote goes to the latter, H&O reinventing themselves in the dawn of the new wave.

Dan Peterson, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 15:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, with Dan Peterson also recommending it, I'd be a fool to miss Voices.

Bimble, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 15:40 (fourteen years ago) link

Aw, shucks...

I'm off to the used record store to look for Luncheonette and maybe the silver LP this afternoon!

Dan Peterson, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 16:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm an all-time sucker for Abandoned Luncheonette, largely due to it being one of the albums my uncles and my mom had on constant rotation when I was little. Side one is really great, side two not so much, but that first half is quite amazing; if you're any kind of fan you owe it to yourself to hear it.

Matos W.K., Tuesday, 12 June 2007 17:06 (fourteen years ago) link

H2-whoa!

billstevejim, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 19:16 (fourteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

ILX System, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

YES YES YES thanks for validating my love for private eyes, ilm.

the table is the table, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 23:03 (fourteen years ago) link

yr wlcm

The Macallan 18 Year, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 23:26 (fourteen years ago) link

4th place showing for Ooh Yeah! is surprising, as I was sure I'd be its only supporter.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 23:29 (fourteen years ago) link

THREE votes for ooh yeah!!??

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 23:30 (fourteen years ago) link

(xpost)

why'd you vote for it, Johnny? (I love "Everything Your Heart Desires," btw).

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 12 June 2007 23:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Why? For my money, it's the tightest collection of original H&O songs in one place barring hits compilations, etc. Some albums may have higher highs, but this one's delightfully steady.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 13 June 2007 00:01 (fourteen years ago) link

I've gotta get my hands on Abandoned Luncehonette. But yeah, this was basically how I predicted this was going turn out.

talrose, Wednesday, 13 June 2007 04:54 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...

i can't believe i overlooked this poll! ;__;

over the weekend, i picked up whole oats -- it's quite good, if a little folkier than classic h&o.

Eisbaer, Sunday, 5 August 2007 14:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Will the one voter for Change of Season please stand up?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Sunday, 5 August 2007 15:58 (thirteen years ago) link

three months pass...

I've been slowly on a mission to hear every single Hall & Oates studio album at least once. So far I have collected a lot of cherry-picked songs I like from several albums, but until I heard Abandoned Luncheonette & Private Eyes I had not heard any albums where I liked all the songs. Both seemed to me to be transcendent, monumental acheivements for them. The production on Private Eyes is just heavenly. The silver album from '75 bored me completely, except for maybe the first track. With Voices it seemed they had finally settled into the right style, but lacked inspiration. X-Static was nothing but embarassingly tacky cheeseville aside from Wait For Me.

I've still got a few real hardcore fave tracks from War Babies, Beauty On A Back Street and Along The Red Ledge. I fear Bigger Than The Both of Us, but I'm very much looking forward to Ooh Yeah! It will be interesting to see what else turns up. Even when they bore me or outright suck, I always seem to root for them until I find the next good song.

Bimble, Friday, 16 November 2007 07:24 (thirteen years ago) link

I would have voted for one of these, damn!

1983 Rock 'n Soul Part 1 0
1978 Along the Red Ledge 0

And I've always been curious about this one -- how new wave is it??

1979 X-Static 33 0

xhuxk, Friday, 16 November 2007 13:05 (thirteen years ago) link

(And I probably don't really believe Along the Red Ledge is their best album -- no real hits, ha! -- but it's always been the one that seemed worth owning if you already have Rock 'n Soul Part 1, thanks to "It's a Laugh," "Alley Katz," and "Pleasure Beach." So it's the only actual LP-as-such by them still on my LP shelf.) (Though Sacred Songs is there too; should thatt count?)

xhuxk, Friday, 16 November 2007 13:10 (thirteen years ago) link

(Oh wait, I still have H20 too I guess -- "Italian Girls"! -- but who cares about that one.)

xhuxk, Friday, 16 November 2007 13:12 (thirteen years ago) link

"It's a Laugh" should be on every comp assembled by every artist.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 16 November 2007 13:43 (thirteen years ago) link

Only 2 votes for War Babies? Please.

Rundgren on a roll...

eh, who's going to the Hall & Oates Home For Christmas tour?

henry s, Friday, 16 November 2007 17:58 (thirteen years ago) link

Now wouldn't you know it was Bigger Than The Both Of Us which killed me to the core and Ooh Yeah! which made me wanna die it was so bad?

Everything I craved out of the '77-'78 albums, I get from '76's Bigger Than The Both Of Us. That song at the end, especially, what is that crazy synthesizer shit they do at the end? "Falling" oh god yeah that kills me. That whole song kills me. But all the same I applaud their efforts on the last song on Abandoned Luncheonette when they just went all out FUNK...

It's called "Everytime I Look At You" but it still isn't as good as half of Bigger Than The Both Of Us, though it tries.

Bimble, Monday, 19 November 2007 16:57 (thirteen years ago) link

;_;

1975 Daryl Hall & John Oates 1

deej, Monday, 19 November 2007 16:59 (thirteen years ago) link

I really need to hear oooh yeah!

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 19 November 2007 17:29 (thirteen years ago) link

I tried a little of their first album Whole Oats last night. It sounded pretty cool. Today I bought a CD compilation of their stuff from 68-71 called The Philadelphia Years. Haven't played it yet.

Still have yet to give Big Bam Boom a spin.

My disgust for Ooh Yeah! (aside from "Everything Your Heart Desires" which is one of my fave songs of them ever) has not dimmed my curiosity for Marigold Sky which I believe will be better.

Bimble, Sunday, 25 November 2007 07:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Would you ever want to spend time with someone who has sat down and sympathetically listened to all these albums at least twice?

I wouldn't.

flute_cake, Sunday, 25 November 2007 07:50 (thirteen years ago) link

^^ this fucking guy

chaki, Sunday, 25 November 2007 08:05 (thirteen years ago) link

I like Hall and Oates, but come on.

flute_cake, Sunday, 25 November 2007 08:44 (thirteen years ago) link

Would you listen to a guy who posted stupid rhetorical questions on a Hall & Oates thread?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Sunday, 25 November 2007 15:43 (thirteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Yeah the thing I think most ridiculous about flute cake's post was that it appeared on a Best Hall & Oates Album thread! I mean ideally you would think a person who would vote in such a poll would have heard all the albums, right? *baffled*

Anyway I didn't like Big Bam Boom much either aside from Method Of Modern Love (of course) and "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid". In general, I just don't care for most of their 80's stuff compared to some of what they did in the 70's.

I gotta tell you though I'm convinced the absolute CROWN JEWEL of their career is these early demos that appear on "The Philadelphia Years" CD. We're talking '68-'71. They are just devastatingly beautiful. Innocent and childlike sometimes. VERY folky. Not so much soul as folk, although at times they flirt with soul, even country. I like this CD so much I've even neglected their first album Whole Oats in favor of this, which I feel guilty about cause I need to go back to that.

I did buy their 2002 album "Do It For Love" the other day, though. Not sure what I think yet but I remember one Oates song that was quite good.

The last few tracks on the "Philadelphia Years" CD get a bit corny though...just a few tracks they did with some orchestra and there's horns and stuff. Yuck. But the rest is just bliss to my ears.

Also here's two versions of She's Gone that need to be seen/heard to believed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj9JUKqVG_k
(Old Grey Whistle Test 1976)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZZngTkp54I
(no, I don't understand why Hall looked so girly in those days, either)

Bimble, Sunday, 16 December 2007 21:36 (thirteen years ago) link

"Livetime" from 1978 is such a treat!

DO WHAT YOU WANT BE WHAT YOU ARE!

Bimble, Saturday, 29 December 2007 05:38 (thirteen years ago) link

It has "The Emptyness" too which is already one of my faves. I've also had "I'm Just a Kid (Don't Make Me Feel Like A Man)" running through my head for days now.

Bimble, Saturday, 29 December 2007 05:39 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...

'had i known you better then' is such a nice little ditty

it is just like an unknown puzzle till the end of the world (dyao), Friday, 26 March 2010 01:13 (eleven years ago) link

It is -- nice use of space.

big bam boom isn't their best, but it has one of their best songs -- some things (are better left unsaid).

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 26 March 2010 01:20 (eleven years ago) link

Great chords on that one.

Remove "Bank On Your Love" and "Going Thru the Motions" and it's as good as H2O and Private Eyes.

Goddamn I need some quality time with this band.

Davek (davek_00), Friday, 26 March 2010 01:24 (eleven years ago) link

i've only heard abandoned lunchonette once now, but it's an interesting early view of the act in a much more raw form than i'm used to.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 26 March 2010 01:30 (eleven years ago) link

Their videos did them lasting damage. 'stache notwithstanding, Oates was an equal partner -- his songwriting and playing chops are all over their records -- not the goofball who looked jealous that the mulleted Aryan got all the attention.

oates is funny in family man. lots of mugging for the camera.

Daniel, Esq., Friday, 26 March 2010 01:36 (eleven years ago) link

The 12" inch versions of the singles included on the BBB reissue are amazing. Like this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z4zWSNsSkA

nine months pass...

holy shit dudes did you hear their christmas album from 2006? very hall and oates-y

and by that i mean smooth

mmm errm mmfff huh (jdchurchill), Wednesday, 29 December 2010 23:28 (ten years ago) link

seven months pass...

Not enough love for Voices, their first successful stab at New Wave guitar crunch ("Big Kids," "United States"). Unfortunately it also boasts the Righteous Bros cover.

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 30 July 2011 22:07 (nine years ago) link

the sincere hall and oates appreciation is the most charming and righteous thing about ILM, for me.

Matt Armstrong, Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:00 (nine years ago) link

Saw them at the Hollywood Bowl a few weeks ago and it was seriously amazing. All the hits, full orchestra for half the set, sax/flute player str8 funkin out... Their band didn't sound too slick or "modern", just really tight and laid back.

gardener by day, gatekeeper by night (blank), Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:51 (nine years ago) link

Along The Red Ledge wuz robbed!!!!!

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 30 July 2011 23:58 (nine years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccenFp_3kq8&ob=av3e

 (am0n), Sunday, 31 July 2011 04:14 (nine years ago) link

six months pass...

Has anyone read this interview from 2009? It's fantastic! Thorough!

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 February 2012 01:06 (nine years ago) link

certainly thorough! and...laborious

geeta, Monday, 20 February 2012 01:07 (nine years ago) link

Kevin: I guess this question kind of ties in with that, the way that you've been in the industry through so many different changes, just from a production standpoint, from like a studio environment standpoint. When you first started, everything was analog and most of the songs were cut live, and you basically got one or two takes. You were actually there for the advent of things like sequencers and samplers and drum machines and, later on, MIDI and autotuners and Pro Tools and all that stuff. I know that you definitely seem to embrace all the new changes in technology and production methods. I was just wondering if you feel that, in any way, the musical arts have suffered or have benefited from these changes.

Daryl: Well, I've got a lot of feelings about that—mixed feelings. I always used new technology as it came along as a tool. I mean, when the first polyphonic synthesizer came in about 1976, that was an amazing thing because, before that, all you had was a Hammond Organ and a Wurlitzer, a Fender Rhodes or something like that. You were really limited as a keyboard player in what kind of sounds that you could make. So something like that was a great tool to bring in. But you still used it in the old-fashioned way, you know? Even though it was a new tool, it was still used in the same way as a Fender Rhodes would be used.

Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 February 2012 01:25 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

God, Abandoned Luncheonette is so good. You can just see rain inching along a windowpane in kind of grainy 1970s TV color.

Doctor Casino, Monday, 2 September 2013 18:17 (seven years ago) link

Abandoned Luncheonette is my favorite of their albums.

van smack, Tuesday, 3 September 2013 03:40 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

Ha, apparently this is the time of year that I dig back into early, laid-back H&O records. Normally Abandoned Luncheonette does it for me on the autumnal evening wistful front, but I'm totally feeling Whole Oates tonight. "Goodnight and Good Morning" is so lush, and there are some just straight up acoustic cuts from Oates that put them smack in the Byrds/CSNY/John Denver countryfolkpop universe.

Doctor Casino, Sunday, 12 October 2014 03:23 (six years ago) link

Has anyone read this interview from 2009? It's fantastic! Thorough!

chemical aioli (Hunt3r), Sunday, 12 October 2014 13:49 (six years ago) link

eleven months pass...

Ha, apparently this is the time of year that I dig back into early, laid-back H&O records. Normally Abandoned Luncheonette does it for me on the autumnal evening wistful front, but I'm totally feeling Whole Oates tonight. "Goodnight and Good Morning" is so lush, and there are some just straight up acoustic cuts from Oates that put them smack in the Byrds/CSNY/John Denver countryfolkpop universe.

― Doctor Casino, Saturday, October 11, 2014 11:23 PM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

it is happening again. whole oats is like everything i want from this kind of album.

though, i never noticed before how ridiculous the lyrics to "georgie" are. As much as he hated it, the preacher was teachin' him to play the accordion.

Gorefest Frump (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 26 September 2015 15:43 (five years ago) link

Also the way Oates sings

We sat on a wall,
Rest our feet, touch our noses

sounds like

We sat on a walrus
Our feet touch our noses

Gorefest Frump (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 26 September 2015 17:44 (five years ago) link

three years pass...

am always a little baffled by H20 love but I'm also always meaning to give it a little more of a chance. they peak with voices and private eyes for me (the only two i did poll threads for, i think?), H20 feels like that same sound but with weaker songs (should have held onto the new-to-greatest-hits material) whereas BBB is at least its own thing and you can get in the groove.

btw i think you may have the plot of "family man" backwards, apart from the part abt hall coming off as a creep.... she's not being unfaithful but HE'S a protest-too-much family man who clearly WANTS to be unfaithful though in the end he seems to let the chance slip through his sweaty, frustrated fingers.

|Restore| |Restart| |Quit| (Doctor Casino), Monday, 26 November 2018 04:00 (two years ago) link

Ooh! Yeah is not a big drop off, in my opinion. I love "Talking All Night".

brimstead, Monday, 26 November 2018 23:50 (two years ago) link

haulin' oats

meaulnes, Tuesday, 27 November 2018 00:39 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

I got a nice copy of H20 yesterday and on first listen it is very enjoyable, but I didn't like it nearly as much as Voices. The arrangements didn't seem as distinctive and it didn't have as much kick. Maneater still as amazing as it was on the radio as a kid.

One thing I like visiting these albums as albums: I look at the covers and say, "oh, this album had one big single", then I hear three other songs I know but didn't know the title. You spend enough time in doctors' offices, you will here lots of H&O.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Sunday, 6 June 2021 12:12 (two weeks ago) link

oh I love Hall's spacey synthy stuff like "Open All Night" and the Crenshaw-esque power pop of "Delayed Reaction."

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 June 2021 12:21 (two weeks ago) link

I was drinking absinthe and playing rummy with my wife while we listened, so the spacey synthy stuff sort of washed over me. I will listen a couple more times this week and see what sticks.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Sunday, 6 June 2021 12:42 (two weeks ago) link

i definitely like the production more than the songs on that album - versus the two preceding blockbusters, it really feels like single-plus-whatever, and the singles both have this kinda mean-spirited feeling to them which, while totally in line with Hall's lyrical persona generally, just kinda doesn't make me wanna pull the album out. "Delayed Reaction" is the only one that ever really pops into my head, i guess to a lesser extent "Italian Girls" as dopey as it is. Big Bam Boom also feels short on material, but there i can REALLY get into the sound for its own sake.

Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Sunday, 6 June 2021 13:06 (two weeks ago) link

oh "Open All Night" is an asshole's lament for sure; so is "Family Man." But I slot this album over its two predecessors because it's so damn tight: no wasted moments, the band knows each other well, etc.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 June 2021 13:14 (two weeks ago) link

Oates gets a good song on that record with "At Tension".

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 6 June 2021 15:48 (two weeks ago) link

Big Bam Boom also feels short on material, but there i can REALLY get into the sound for its own sake.

― Bobo Honk, real name, no gimmicks (Doctor Casino), Sunday, June 6, 2021 6:06 AM

because i feel like arguing, a counterpoint: side one of that album is the best thing hall + oates ever did.

things repeat forever and there never is a remedy (Austin), Sunday, 6 June 2021 17:03 (two weeks ago) link

"Bank on Your Love" though

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 June 2021 17:11 (two weeks ago) link

I wish I could vote for Daryl Hall's Sacred Songs.

― filthy dylan, Sunday, June 10, 2007

enochroot, Monday, 7 June 2021 02:23 (two weeks ago) link

I listened to H2O again and it's definitely great. The production is fantastic. The outros/fades on One on One and Open All Night are just gorgeous. On my stereo the "leave me alone" backing vocals on Family Man just jump out at you.

I still prefer Voices, which probably means I lean power pop over R&B. Delayed Reaction was my favorite H2O discovery, which seems the song most similar to Voices.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Monday, 7 June 2021 23:11 (two weeks ago) link

Ok, I kind of love Italian Girls now, but they missed an opportunity to have the chorus backing vocals sing the names of pastas instead of the female Italian names.

Fusilli . . . Bucatini . . . capellini . . . fettuccini . . .

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Monday, 14 June 2021 22:52 (one week ago) link


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