14 Sep Album of the Day: Darryl Hall & John Oates (9/15/75)
Temple University students Darryl Hall & John Oates were knocking around the Philadelphia-area music scene separately in the mid-60s. They met by chance and formed a short lived collaboration in several area R&B bands before splitting in 1968. Rejoining in 1969 as a mostly blue-eyed R&B/soul songwriting duet, they accumulated enough material by 1972 to start anew and managed to sign a contract with Atlantic Records. Three mediocre albums followed: Whole Oats (1972), Abandoned Luncheonette (1973) and War Babies (1974). Switching to RCA Records, their big break came on September 15, 1975 with the album Darryl Hal & John Oates. It was straight forward pop-rock with a strong Philly-soul influence and lots of production in lush MOR ballads, including the #4 single, “Sara Smile.” Except for one other hit (“Rich Girl,” #1, 1977), Hall & Oates slipped back into the second tier of pop acts in the late 1970s. The duo perseverved and not surprisingly rebounded in the early 80s with twelve Top 10 singles (five of them #1s) and four platinum-selling albums between 1981 and 1985.