Daryl Hall and John Oates are the best-selling pop duo of all time. In the 1970s and '80s, they recorded several Number One singles and 16 Top 10 hits. Exhausted by the pressures of fame, Hall and Oates decided to go their separate ways. After marginal success with their solo careers, the duo has begun recording and performing together again. VOA's Bernie Bernard tell us about the brand new Hall and Oates album, Do It For Love.
Since the early-1970s, Daryl Hall and John Oates have been known for their multi-million-selling albums and hit tunes such as Rich Girl, Kiss On My List and I Can't Go For That. Their music is rooted in Philadelphia soul with a mixture of catchy pop melodies. Daryl Hall worked as a back-up vocalist for classic Philadelphia groups such as the Stylistics, Delfonics and The Intruders.
Meeting as college students in the late 1960s, Hall and Oates started performing together, and were signed to Atlantic Records. Their producer in the early years, singer and songwriter Todd Rundgren, helped to establish their polished brand of pop and soul.
By 1984, the duo decided to take a break and pursue solo projects, but had little activity on the charts. Daryl Hall comments, "I didn't know where to go or if I wanted to go anymore. I felt like it was the end of an era." However, Hall and Oates stayed in close contact, playing a series of shows once a year.
Daryl Hall and John Oates decided it was time to get back into "the big game," as they say. The duo decided to release their 1997 album Marigold Sky on their own, small label, U-Watch Records. Three years ago, they signed a contract with Columbia Records, who encouraged them to work with a few different songwriters, and record in London. John Oates recalls, "They wanted us to do an 'N Sync-type song. We knew this wasn't going to be us. We wouldn't be cutting a Hall and Oates record." So, the duo parted ways with Columbia, and returned to the U.S. and their U-Watch label.
Their latest effort, Do It For Love, reunites them with original producer Todd Rundgren. After touring with Todd last year, Hall and Oates asked him to play and sing on the song written by New Radicals' member Gregg Alexander, Someday We'll Know.
The duo's John Oates says, "We tried to make a really organic album that brought our band into the proceedings, and captured the energy we out into our shows. Daryl and I have this common musical vocabulary, which comes from our similar upbringing - growing up together in Philadelphia, going to the same schools and listening to the same music when we were kids."
Do It For Love is reminiscent of the Hall and Oates of the 1970s and '80s, with smooth, soulful vocals and melodic guitars.
Billboard magazine just honored Hall and Oates with a special section highlighting their 30-year career and multiple Grammy Award-winning success. The duo has just embarked on a tour of the U.S. east coast, with dates in Japan scheduled for May and June.