Daryl Hall and John Oates: Their songs were earworms, their videos cheap and goofy. John Oates’s mustache and Daryl Hall’s mullet are relics of their time. And…for about five years, their crazy streak on the pop charts was comparable to Elvis, the Beatles and the Bee Gees.
They were also more cutting-edge than you may realize, essentially inventing their own form of cross-racial new wave after spending the ’70s trying everything: rock, R&B, folk, funk, even disco. At their Imperial peak in the early ’80s, Hall and Oates commanded the pop, soul and dance charts while still getting played on rock stations. And decades later, when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ignored them, it was Black artists—rappers and soul fans—who pushed them in.
Join Chris Molanphy for a dissection of the Philly duo who invented “rock ’n soul” and made their dreams come true.
Podcast production by Asha Saluja.