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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

CD Review: Rock 'N Soul Part I (Reissued) 

Hall&Oates With the 2006 re-release of Hall & Oates Rock 'N Soul Part I, (RCA/Legacy), a new generation will have the opportunity to experience what so many of us already know: "blue-eyed soul" captured a definite segment of '70s & '80s music.

In September of 1983, Daryl Hall, John Oates, G. E. Smith, Tom (T-Bone) Wolk, Mickey Curry, and Charlie DeChant came together with producer/engineer Bob Clearmountain and assistant engineer Bruce Buchhalter on 8th Street, Greenwich Village, NYC to record two new tracks for the greatest hits compilation that would become Rock 'N Soul Part I.    Included on Hall & Oates Rock 'N Soul Part I:

1.    Say It Isn't So (Pop #2 / chart debut 10/29/83; R&B #45 / chart debut 11/12/83);
2.    Sara Smile (Pop #4 / chart debut 01/31/76; R&B #23 / chart debut 04/03/76);
3.    She's Gone (Pop #7 / chart debut 07/24/76; R&B #93 / chart debut 10/02/76);
4.    Rich Girl (Pop #1 / chart debut 01/22/77; R&B #64 / chart debut 02/12/77);
5.    Kiss On My List (Pop #1 / chart debut 01/24//81);
6.    You Make My Dreams (Pop #5 / chart debut 05/02/81);
7.    Private Eyes (Pop #1 / chart debut 06/29/81);
8.    Adult Education (Pop #8 / chart debut 02/18/84; R&B #50 / chart debut 03/03/84);
9.    I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) (Pop #1 / chart debut 11/14/81; R&B #1 / chart debut 11/28/81);
10.   Maneater (Pop #1 / chart debut 10/16/82; R&B #78 / chart debut 11/20/82);
11.   One On One (Pop #7 / chart debut 01/29/83; R&B #8 / chart debut 02/12/83);
12.   Wait For Me (Live Version)
13.   Family Man (BONUS TRACK - Pop #6 / chart debut 04/30/83; R&B #81 / chart debut 06/11/83)
14.   You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (BONUS TRACK - Pop #12 / chart debut 09/27/80)

For the re-release of these recordings (written in November 2005), Tom (T-Bone) Wolk provided impassioned recollections of the sessions from September 1983 when Daryl & John and the band assembled at Electric Ladyland Studio A to put together their greatest hits compilation with two new tracks.    In one memorable recollection, T-Bone writes:

"Daryl had played one of the new songs for me, the one which was written on guitar, which he was playing more and more of in our shows ... it had a very cool chord structure that went from A maj 7th to C maj 7th and resolved in the chorus around D maj 7th ... a tremendous climax so when the chorus hit ... "say it isn't so ... it isn't sooooo" you really felt like you'd been on a wild major 7th ride ... a great "payoff" ... a very unique chord structure it floated along so easily ... something a little sideways about it, but still with that same recognizable Hall & Oates soul/pop "thang" that radio and fans alike seemed to be really digging."

T-Bone further related so many of the minute details surrounding the background of the songs and the enthusiam of the musicians as they meshed their talents to create together.    In another segment, he recounts:

"In addition, digital sampling had come on the scene in 1984 and was put to the test on "Adult Education" ... It was decided that a "cheerleading" kind of girl group was needed for the chant "oh yeah, oh yeah" ... so off John and drum tech Anthony Aquiltao went to our favorite 8th St. pizza joint, the Be Bop Cafe, and a group of waitresses was brought in to party up the track ... they were then "sampled" into the "Fairlight" keyboard and manipulated and performed by Daryl one night after the track was complete ... The "uh" "uh" BV part in the second verse is actually Daryl playing the first syllable of the "oh yeah" on the Fairlight ... you could take a vocal part or guitar part, or ANY musical phrase and "play" it wherever in the song you wanted it, anywhere in the bar, across the bar, WHATEVER sounded great to you ... It was the beginning of a whole new approach to recording ... no longer were you restricted to what was performed to tape ... in FACT the entire BV outro for "Adult" was RE-constructed using this technique, a real revolution as it were and of course Daryl & John embraced it immediately."

T-Bone also said, "Looking back, it's obvious that the creative forces present at these sessions allowed Daryl & John to forge a new musical path, merging the technology of drum programming with the live performances of our band ..."    They must be doing something right; they're still performing after all these years!

As a lifelong Hall & Oates fan, and an owner of the original releases of Rock 'N Soul Part I in several formats, this re-release brings back a flood of memories with each and every song.     Although the songs had memorable lyrics and snappy tunes, they were never "bubblegum" in nature, but went straight to the heart and soul.

With the exception of the bonus tracks, Daryl Hall wrote every song, either solo, or with the help of John Oates, Sara Allen, Warren Pash, and/or Janna Allen.     Daryl's words and music captured emotion in a way that has become timeless.     The songs are just as relevant today as when they were written.

Review written for and published
on:, February 18, 2006

Category::   Reviews - "Music"

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