Doing What They Want, Being What They Are

NOTE: This blog entry originally appeared in November of 2009. Also, Hall and Oates were finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. Click here to ring in the new year with Hall, live from Daryl’s House.

– Andy Kubis, Producer

Despite being the best-selling pop duo of all-time, Daryl Hall and John Oates are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The fact so dismayed the effervescent, ever-present celebrity cook, Rachel Ray, that she started a petition on her website. And the fact so dismays me that I will be adding my name to the list.

“Best-selling pop duo of all-time” sounded at first to me like one of those manufactured monikers publicists come up with. How many other pop duos are they competing with really? So they out-sold Loggins and Messina — makes sense. But then I remembered the Everly Brothers and Simon & Garfunkle. Turns out Daryl Hall & John Oates have out-sold both. Maybe a bit surprising at first, but not once you listen to their new box set.

Do What You Want, Be What You Are spans 4 CDs, 74 tracks and covers 40 years and playing music together. The two met while students at Temple University (alma mater of our own Dan Bloom who also produced today’s piece), a now famous story that involves hiding in an elevator together after a fight broke out in the club their respective bands were playing at.  And it’s amazing that after 4 decades of touring, performing and recording together, there’s no drama. They get along, they share the spotlight, they still sound great together.

Of the 74 tracks in the set, 28 were Top 40 hits. Their first #1 hit was “Rich Girl” which is my personal favorite Daryl Hall & John Oates song.

I hope this box set gives Daryl Hall & John Oates the resurgence they deserve. Their music is much more than pop hits. It’s soulful, it’s fun, the melodies are well-written and both Hall & Oates are stellar performers. They also seem to have a good sense of humor. For proof, I offer Daryl Hall & John Oates performing their homage to former Fox News punching-bag, Alan Colmes:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Hall & Oates Pay Tribute to Alan Colmes
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Also, check out Daryl Hall’s new web-based music show, recorded live at his house and named appropriately, Live From Daryl’s House.

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