Archive for June, 2008

Silver Album

June 20, 2008

The album-rich legacy of Hall & Oates has rapidly grown as aficionados like yours truly have combined our knowledge through the facilities of Web 2.0. In regards to their fourth album…

Side one is patchy, with “Out of Me, Out of You” and “Sara Smile” being the only songs I really like from that half. But side two is one of my favorite Hall & Oates album sides of all. Every song – the proto-New Wave choppiness of “Gino”, the snapshot sentimentality of “(You Know) It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, the ’50s stroll of “Ennui on the Mountain”, the psychedelic music hall ride of “Grounds for Separation” (replete with the “oxygen=high/die” refrain which Sweet later aped) and the Jamaican folk pop of “Soldering” – is an exquisite art pop creation. The reissue also contains some mighty fine bonus tracks from that era.

Hall & Oates – Hall & Oates [The Silver Album] (1975).

Oreb said: “You also need a good compilation that includes the wonderful “Adult Education””.

An even better compilation is No Goodbyes, which Atlantic (who foolishly dumped Hall & Oates after War Babies) released in 1977 to cash in on the act’s newfound success over at RCA. That compilation of 1972-1974 material includes three leftovers from the Abandoned Luncheonette sessions, of which “Love You Like a Brother” – one of the most poignant and revelatory songs to deal with the awkward woes of being a third wheel (in fact, one of the only songs from that era to address the topic of being confined to the “friend zone”) – ranks as one of my top 15 cuts by Hall & Oates.

“Love You Like a Brother” is included on the Abandoned Luncheonette page so it can be more widely heard, as I’m not sure it was ever re-released in any format.

Hall & Oates – Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)

Initiation

June 14, 2008

Us Todd-heads are notorious for analyzing every nuance of the Todd Rundgren/Utopia canon, as we were doing today with a thread in which I wrote:

I love how “Real Man” reprises at the end of “Fair Warning”. In fact, just the other day while listening to Initiation I was struck by the cohesion between several songs, which indicated the presence of a dispersed epic, like Genesis would later incorporate through Duke. I was trying to pinpoint where and how certain songs would link – “Real Man” > “Born to Synthesize” > “Eastern Intrigue” > “Fair Warning” – and I thought about fading them into one another. Trouble is, the incredible title track would get cut, and I’m so used to hearing that before “Fair Warning”. On the other hand, I’d get to lose the disruptive “Death of Rock n’ Roll”.