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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Review: Darryl Hall and John Oates - Live At The Troubador

Darryl Hall & John Oates - Live At The Troubador
2008, Shout! Factory

Darryl Hall & John Oates at one time were the hottest act in America. In the early 1980's basically anything they put out turned into pop gold. Mixing rock, soul and R&B in the self-styled genre "rock and soul", Hall & Oates amassed thirty-four charting singles (six in the top ten), seven platinum albums, six gold albums, and entry into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003. Their songs have been covered or sampled ad-nauseum, most notably Every Time I Go Away, which Paul Young turned into a #1 hit with his cover in 1985. Countless greatest hit packages have been released over the years, but 2008's Live At The Troubador may be the best collection to date. It marks a return to the first venue Hall & Oates ever played in Los Angeles (then as an opening act), and covers a career full of hits and classic songs. The 3-disc set includes 2-CDs and a DVD of the performance.

Darryl Hall & John Oates aren't spring chickens anymore. Some of the high notes are gone from their repertoire, but they can still harmonize with the best, and their songs still have a magical feel to them. All the hits are here in somewhat stripped down form from the original pop radio versions. Hall & Oates went primarily with acoustic arrangements for this show that display the beauty and craft of the songs that is destined to outlast any fame or glory the band may have once been subject to. Sara Smile is a real treat, although Maneater loses a little of its sharpness in this setting. Out Of Touch is just as viable pop song today as it was twenty-five years ago, and I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) is still a fun romp even in its re-worked form.

Other highlights are Rich Girl, One On One, Say It Isn't So, Family Man and Private Eyes, but two performances in particular stand out. You Make My Dreams is vibrant, classic rock and roll. Private Eyes also carries with it the same sort of energy and edgy rebellious nature that marked the best music of the late 1970's and early 1980's. You Make My Dreams in particular is worth purchasing the set for.

Hall & Oates were synonymous with popular music success in the early 1980's. They faded quickly from view in the late-1980's but have continued over the years in on-and-off fashion to make music and tour. This set feels a bit Vegas at times, in that the songs are stripped down and don't always have the urgency that propelled them to the top of the charts the first time around, but you won't find a pair of more consummate performers anywhere. Live At The Troubadour is a great encapsulation of a brilliant career.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Darryl Hall and John Oates at You can purchase a copy of Live At The Troubador at or wherever music is sold.

1 comment:

muebles alcala de henares said...

It won't succeed as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I think.