Live In Dublin (CD + DVD) By Hall & Oates

September 3, 2015

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Fresh from their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, Daryl Hall and John Oates performed in Ireland for the first time in their 40 plus year career. Accompanied by their touring band, they performed a 97 minute set at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on July 15, 2014. That concert has been released as a two-CD and DVD Box Set.

The concert is basically the duo revisiting many of their hits from the 1970’s and 1980’s. The CD’s and DVD contain the same track list. Some of the hits are changed a bit, especially in the vocals and allowing the different band members to solo. Daryl Hall’s voice has become more soulful as he has aged, which gives many of the songs a different patina. John Oates is the lead vocalist on “Back Together Again” and “Las Vegas Turnaround,” but otherwise provides the tight harmonies that the duo is known for.

For better or worse, their place in rock and roll history is that of a pop/rock band who dominated singles radio in the 1970’s and 1980’s with a series of catchy hits. Songs such as “Maneater,” “Rich Girl,” “I Can’t Go For That (No One Do),” “You Make My Dreams,” “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” and more may not have been appreciated by hard rock fans but sold millions of records and are considered pop classics today.

The Olympia Theatre is an intimate 1600 seater, so the sound and energy bounces off the walls, which is very apparent on the DVD. Saxophonist Charlie DeChant shines with solos on “She’s Gone” and “I Can’t Go For That,” while guitarist Shane Theriot propels the music along.

Daryl Hall and John Oates have carved out a pop niche for themselves during the past four decades. Live In Dublin updates their career and brings it into the present, proving that they and their music still matter.

 


Dreamtime 45 by Daryl Hall

January 3, 2013

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Daryl Hall will alwys be associated with one of the most commercially successful pop duos in music history, Hall & Oates. There was a time, however, when he released some music that was very different from the smooth pop/rock that they were known for.

During 1977, under the direction of Robert Fripp, he created a solo album that was very experiemental rock music. SACRED SONGS was so different that the RCA label did not release it for three years.

His second solo album, THREE HEARTS IN THE HAPPY ENDING MACHINE, was a little more pop oriented. The lead single, “Dreamtime,” became a huge hit. Released during the summer of 1986, it reached number five on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. It was the most successful solo single of his career.


She’s Gone 45 by Hall & Oates

February 14, 2012

“She’s Gone” by Daryl Hall and John Oates was released during early 1974 and reached number 60 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. It remained on the chart for a total of eight weeks but never could attain hit status.

Two years later found Hall & Oates signed to the RCA label. Their second single to reach the charts, “Sara Smile” became a big hit reaching number four. The Atlantic label decided to cash in on the duo’s new popularity and rereleased “She’s Gone.” It reached the Singles Chart for the second time during the summer of 1976 and climbed to number seven, becoming a big hit on its own.

It was a wonderful soulful performance that was somewhat difference from many of their straight pop hits. It is one of their songs that has aged well.


Laughing Down Crying by Daryl Hall

November 17, 2011

I am always amazed and somewhat intrigued by how different Daryl Hall’s solo music sounds compared to his work with John Oates. Is the true Daryl Hall the consummate pop artist who is half of one of music’s most commercially successful duos of all time, or is he the edgy rocker of his early solo days? His new album, Laughing Down Crying, places him somewhere in the middle.

Now in his mid-60s, Hall has traveled a long and largely successful musical journey, from scoring close to three-dozen hit singles with Oates – including six that reached Number One – to developing his own popular webcast, Live From Daryl’s House.

Laughing Down Crying, Hall’s first solo effort since 2004’s Live In Philadelphia, reflects the many styles that have influenced and been a part of his career, as elements of rock, pop, soul, and even a little gospel combine to form a somewhat eclectic but ultimately satisfying album.

The title track gets it off to a good start as an acoustic approach and tight harmonies create a folk/rock vibe. “Talking To You (Is Like Talking To Myself)” is more uptempo and hook-laden in contrast, while “Message To You” sounds like it could have been plucked right out of the Hall & Oates catalogue.
There are also some twists and turns along the way. With some deep bass lines laying its foundation, “Eyes For You (Ain’t No Doubt About It)” allows Hall to explore a funk sound. “Get Out Of The Way” assumes more of a modernized approach as programmed drums and layers of guitars combine with impeccable production.

“Save Me” contains one of Hall’s better vocals on the album, as the track is almost a straight gospel tune backed by a chorus. And yet despite the various production and musical directions throughout, the album’s best track is the simple acoustic-pop ballad, “Crash & Burn.”

Laughing Down Crying is a fine effort from the fertile mind of Daryl Hall. His voice is still a formidable instrument, one which allows him to roam over the musical landscape. Consider this one a worthwhile addition to any music collection.

Article first published as Music Review: Daryl Hall – Laughing Down Crying on Blogcritics.