Friday, January 29, 2010

Top 10: Hall & Oates Hits

Who cares about album cuts. I'm all about the HITS, man. And here is the undisputable list of the Top 10 H&O songs of all time.

10. Adult Education
It isn't that great a song - it's produced to within an inch of its life. I simply include it to point out that despite pronouncing it two different ways (AH-dult, and uh-DULT), the word "adult" is not...repeat...NOT...a heteronym.

(Sorry. Showing off a bit.)

9. Method of Modern Love

"Damn it, Daryl...I'm sick and tired of doing nothing but 'ooh' this and 'ooh' that. I want to sing!"

(Snickering) "Okay, John. Why don't you stand in the corner and...uhh...just...spell the title of the song over and over again."

8. Kiss On My List
So the other day I sat down at the Starbucks, took out my moleskine notebook - you know, the one where I jot down my favorite Taking Back Sunday lyrics - and on the page opposite my ranking of favorite skinny jean manufacturers (THANK GOD for Hot Topic! Am I right?), I sketched out a list of the best things in life. You know what's on that list? If you insist on knowing my bliss...I tell you this.


7. Sara Smile
It's you. And me. FOREVER.

I would probably put this higher, but one of my least favorite people in the world is named Sara, and just hearing the name sometimes makes me throat vomit.

6. Maneater
The snare just hits. What you think? You get it for free? HA! YOU DON'T KNOW THIS MANEATER, MY FRIEND!

In putting together this list, I realize that almost every H&O song has some derivation of "ooooooooh" in it. This is no exception. I guess they had to give Oates something to do.

5. Rich Girl
Classic old-school. Funky keyboard sound and guitar sound.

It is SO easy to hurt others when you can't feel pain. And you know what else? Right is right: You ARE a bitch, girl! Oates is at the top of his game! Just listen to his "ooooooooohs." Delicious.

4. Everytime You Go Away
Sure, the Paul Young version was the hit, but this remains one of my all time faves. Truth be told, the PY version is a lot better, but I have to give H&O props for writing it...and the gospel-style backing vocals. A much slower burn.

And the Paul Young version...TAKE IT!

3. Private Eyes
You can't read a reflection on 80's pop without suffering through some exhausting masturbatory take on the claustrophobic tension of The Police's "Every Breath You Take." Yawn. You want creepy? Hows about DARYL FREAKING HALL happily chirping about how HE IS WATCHING YOU?

But don't panic. He's a spy...but on your side, you see!

2. She's Gone
The funky intro. The slinky vocals that slide along the groove...until they ERUPT IN A PLAINTIVE WAIL. You know why he's sad? Because SHE'S GONE. OH I! OH I!
Believe it, mister.

1. You Make My Dreams
Let the word go forth from this time and place...this is an absolute pop classic. "Like a flame burns a candle...the candle feeds the flame." It's like Keats! Except Keats never had transcendant "ooh you...ooh ooh"s. So, to summarize, suck it John Keats. Cause make-a my dreams come true!

I couldn't in good conscience include this as a H&O hit, since it's not their work, but one of the most underrated albums of the 1980s was their "Live At The Apollo." It features an 11-minute medley with Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin:

Apollo Medley: Get Ready/Ain't Too Proud To Beg/The Way You Do the Things You Do/My Girl

Can't embed it, but you HAVE to hear this one. Classic Motown, plus Oates "ooooh"-ing it up! We can all sing this one!

I'm all about the Top 10 lists. Name a band - or whatever - and I will drop science with defiance because I HAVE NO ALLIANCE.

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