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Rock 'N Soul, Pt. 1

Daryl Hall & John Oates

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Album Review

Released at the peak of Hall & Oates' popularity in the early '80s, 1983's Rock 'n Soul, Pt. 1: Greatest Hits effectively chronicles the time when the duo could do no wrong — namely, the period between 1980's Voices and 1982's H2O, which includes only one other album, 1981's excellent Private Eyes. While this reaches back to their early-'70s work for Atlantic for "She's Gone," the only big hit they had at the label, and also has their two other big hits from that decade, "Sara Smile" and "Rich Girl," the bulk of Rock 'n Soul, Pt. 1 derives from those three albums: "Kiss on My List," "You Make My Dreams," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)," "Maneater," and "One on One." That's a long list of singles, but it still misses some terrific singles from this era, including "How Does It Feel to Be Back," "Did It in a Minute," "Family Man," and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" (the latter two were included as bonus tracks on RCA/Legacy's 2006 reissue). As good as those songs may be, Rock 'n Soul, Pt. 1 doesn't necessarily miss them: with the exception of a live version of "Wait for Me" (good, but not essential), this is the cream of the crop of Hall & Oates' best period, and it makes for a tight, excellent listen, and it's bolstered by the sublime "Say It Isn't So" and the good rocker "Adult Education." Latter-day compilations like 2001's Very Best of Daryl Hall & John Oates and 2004's Ultimate (which was reissued a year later under the title Essential) may cover their entire career in more detail — and the duo certainly made great music before and after this era — but as a snapshot of Hall & Oates at their finest, Rock 'n Soul, Pt. 1: Greatest Hits can't be beat. [Rock 'n Soul, Pt. 1: Greatest Hits was reissued by RCA/Legacy in 2006 with the aforementioned bonus tracks ("Family Man," "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling"), along with excellent new liner notes from the duo's bassist, T-Bone Wolk, a replica of the album-cover calendar insert that came with the initial LP, plus replications of the four variations of the album's artwork.]

Biography

Formed: 1972 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

From their first hit in 1974 through their heyday in the '80s, Daryl Hall and John Oates' smooth, catchy take on Philly soul brought them enormous commercial success — including six number one singles and six platinum albums. Hall & Oates' music was remarkably well constructed and produced; at their best, their songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies...
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Rock 'N Soul, Pt. 1, Daryl Hall & John Oates
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