Starting out as two devoted disciples of earlier soul greats, Daryl Hall & John Oates are soul survivors in their own right. They have become such musical influences on some of today’s popular artists that the September 2006 cover of Spin Magazine’s headline read: “Why Hall and Oates are the New Velvet Underground.” Their artistic fan base includes Rob Thomas, John Mayer, Brandon Flowers of the Killers, Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie and MTV’s hipsters Gym Class Heroes who dubbed their tour “Daryl Hall for President Tour 2007.” One of the most sampled artists today, their impact can be heard everywhere from boy band harmonies, to neo-soul to rap-rock fusion.
Signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegan in the 1970’s, Daryl Hall & John Oates have sold more albums than any other duo in music history. Their 1973 debut album, Abandoned Luncheonette, produced by Arif Mardin, yielded the Top 10 single, “She’s Gone,” which also went to #1 on the R&B charts when it was covered by Taveras. The duo recorded one more album with Atlantic, War Babies, (produced by Todd Rundgren) before they were dropped and promptly signed to RCA. Their tenure at RCA would catapult the duo to international superstardom.
From the mid-’70s to the mid-’80s, the duo would score six #1 singles, including “Rich Girl” (also #1 R&B), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (also #1 R&B), “Maneater” and “Out of Touch” from their six consecutive multi-platinum albums—’76’s Bigger Than Both of Us, ’80’s Voices, ’81’s Private Eyes, ‘82’s H2O, ‘83’s Rock N Soul, Part I and ‘84’s Big Bam Boom. The era would also produce an additional 5 Top 10 singles, “Sara Smile,” “One on One,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So” and “Method of Modern Love.”
Most recently as a duo, Daryl Hall & John Oates released their first box set, Do What You Want, Be What You Are: The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates. The box set marks the first comprehensive multi-CD, multi-label deluxe box set compilation ever assembled from their entire career's work, four CDs containing 74 (16 of them previuosly released.
With the fortieth anniversary of their first album, Whole Oats, 2012 finds Daryl Hall and John Oates very much at the height of their powers making their own kind of soul, with a new generation of musicians recognizing not only their historic track record of success, but also their continuing influence and achievements.