Hall & Oates have been elected into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Here’s what Hall of Fame has to say about the Philly duo:
Daryl Hall and John Oates created an original mix of soul and rock that made them the most successful pop duo in history. As songwriters, singers and producers, they embraced the pop mainstream, bringing passion and creativity back to the 3-minute single. Over the course of their career, they have recorded six Number One hits and put 34 songs in the Billboard Top 100. Deeply rooted in lush Philly soul, Hall and Oates mixed smooth vocal harmonies and the romantic vulnerability of soul with edgy hard rock and new wave riffs to create some of the finest pop music of the 1980s. They teamed up in the early 1970s in Philadelphia, and landed a deal with Atlantic. On their first three albums they searched for the right style for their talents as they experimented with soul, folk and hard rock. They finally hit with “Sara Smile” in 1976, an irresistible sexy soul ballad that showcased their vocals, songwriting and guitar playing. After their subsequent string of hits (“Rich Girl,” “She’s Gone,” “Wait For Me”), they were energized by new wave and dance music. The result was an incredible run of original songs that topped the pop and R&B charts throughout the 1980s: “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” “You Make My Dreams” and “I Can’t Go For That” combined the best of both rock and R&B, setting the stage for the important crossover work of Madonna and Prince. They continue to record and attract new young audiences, and their influence can be felt in the work of contemporary artists like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.
Is this something that you ever felt would happen?
I didn’t think it would happen as long as the people who were in power stayed in power. I’ve always been sort of on the other side of the fence with the old guard and the powers-that-be. So it was a bit of a surprise to me. This turn of events and the way things are changing is very pleasant. I think it’s the right thing and I think it validates something that needs to have a reason to be serious.
Why do you think the old guard was so opposed to you back in the day?
I haven’t a clue. It’s probably because they had their own opinions about what constituted exceptional music in that period of time and it was based on a lot of things that I wasn’t really interested in. I have slightly different roots than most of the writers.
There really has been a reappraisal of your work in recent years, though.
I do believe so and that’s a nice thing. All things change. Times move on and things get validated. The whole new generation of people are looking at me and John in a different way
Obviously, we’ve spent a fair amount of time at Philly Mag this fall promoting the candidacy of the our hometown boys—not just because we’re homers (we are, though, we really are) but because to be alive and a fan of pop music at a certain point in our lives was to be a fan of Hall & Oates. Yes, that means we’re old. But here’s the thing: The Hall of Fame campaign has prompted us to go back and re-listen to a lot of their music we hadn’t quite heard in years. And you know what? It’s good! It stands the test of time! And that’s what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognizes.
Congrats to the duo. We’ll have more coverage and commentary on this throughout the day.