H2Over my head

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 | musiX

I recently dug up my old copy of 1980′s Voices by Daryl Hall and John Oates, sandwiched deep in the nether region of my record collection next to the E.T. soundtrack and some creepy, bizarro Pacman record. It was a birthday gift … I think I got it the same year man discovered fire.

I’d guess it’s the first time I’ve listened to that record in 25 years—and damnit if it doesn’t hold up. A little doo wop, some new wave, lotsa pop, not to mention Daryl Hall has one of the great rock voices … just ask Sebastian Bach and Robert Fripp. And John Oates has one of rock’s great mustaches … just ask anyone. Revisiting Hall & Oates has been like eating a heaping plate of mashed potatoes and gravy—comfort food for the ears, right up there with Fleetwood Mac and mac & cheese (the homemade kind with 16 different types of cheeses, of course).

Apparently Inara George and Greg Kurstin also like Daryl Hall and John Oates. They make up the The Bird and the Bee, which just released (inhale) Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates. The duo adds their dreamy lounge to songs like “Kiss On My List” and “Private Eyes,” showing that a good pop song can stand the test of time no matter who plays it. The Bird and the Bee aren’t the only group to put their stamp on a Hall & Oates tune. The Fruit Bats recently took on “One On One” for The A.V. Club’s Undercover feature. Hipster cred will surely ensue.

Since finding that old record, I’ve been listening to Side A (the more rocking, new wave-y side) incessantly. Pay special attention to “United State”—a great power pop song right up there with some of Elvis Costello‘s and Joe Jackson‘s early output. Does it sound as if I’m trying to sell you something? Well, it’s probably because I am.

“United State”Daryl Hall & John Oates

“Kiss On My List”Daryl Hall & John Oates

“Kiss On My List”The Bird and the Bee

“Private Eyes”The Bird and the Bee

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