Monday, September 14, 2015

Daryl Hall & John Oates - How Does It Feel To Be Back

Although they would go on to become the most successful duo of the rock era,  Daryl Hall & John Oates had a choppy career before becoming superstars for most of the first half of the 1980's.

Hall and Oates met in 1967 in Philadelphia, and began working together in 1970.  While their first three albums (for Atlantic) were unsuccessful, 1975's self-titled album (on RCA) made them pop stars.  Between 1975 and 1977, they had three top 10 hits with "Sara Smile," "She's Gone," and "Rich Girl."  This run of success ended with "Rich Girl" and they had no top 10 hits through the end of the 1970's.  In fact, 1979's X-Static was the duo's first non-Gold record on RCA.

Needless to say, this made 1980's Voices album a really important record for the group, and they opted to go with the John Oates track "How Does It Feel To Be Back" as the lead single.   Had the duo not gone on to become hugely successful, this would have become a forgotten track.  Perhaps it still is.  The strong pop song doesn't even really sound like a typical Hall & Oates single, mostly due to Oates' voice (Hall sang most of the big hits of the 1980's).

"How Does It Feel To Be Back" did not become the big hit the the band had hoped for -- it stalled at #30.  However, the next single, a cover of the 1964 Righteous Brothers hit, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" became a surprise success at #12, and "Kiss on My List" became the duo's second #1 hit (after "Rich Girl").  The rest of the story is history, as they say.

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