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Do What You Want, Be What You Are:The Music of Daryl Hall & John Oates Box set

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, October 13, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Hall & Oates have long since topped Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers-they're the best-selling pop duo ever, and this is their first truly comprehensive anthology: 74 tracks from 1966-2009! You get 16 unissued cuts, pre-Hall & Oates stuff and tracks from their Atlantic, RCA, Arista and independent years. And then there's the hits: She's Gone; Sara Smile; Rich Girl; You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling; Kiss on My List; You Make My Dreams; Private Eyes; I Can't Go for That (No Can Do); Did It in a Minute; Maneater; One on One; Family Man; Say It Isn't So; Adult Education; Out of Touch; Method of Modern Love; Everything Your Heart Desires , and on and on!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 13, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • ASIN: B001W63DXW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,138 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Hall & Oates Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I would say this set is almost a definitive career overview of H&O's 40-years plus in music. It covers every era, has most of the hits, choice rarities, fan faves, H&O faves, live tracks from over the years, and great commentary by H&O themselves, their producers and peers in music, old and new, from Smokey and David Foster, Rick Neilsen from Cheap Trick & Todd Rundgren, to Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie and Patrick Stump from Fall Out Boy. The notes are well-written and the remastering is top notch, with release and label details.

The fact that not every chart single is here doesn't matter...for that, buy "The Essential 3.0"...sometimes, the liver versions are better. BUT certain albums and eras are not represented at all...no mention or tracks from Daryl's pre H&O group Gulliver, but there are Temptones and Masters rare singles...and nothing from "Beauty On A Back Street" or "Marigold Sky" or "Livetime" (no pics of those albums in the booklet either), no rare 12" versions or certain soundtrack cuts or Daryl's solo work...although Dave Stewart commented on his fun with Daryl producing that album. I am happy that a fave track "Head Above Water" from "Private Eyes" got its due tho.

All in all, well-done, but if you were to include everything, even with a DVD, it had to be 5 or 6 CDs, but for 4 full discs and the price, you can't beat the value and quality...well-manufactured too. Thumbs up from me, a longtime fan for 30+ years.
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Format: Audio CD
Across the last 3 decades, Hall & Oates fans have had to put up with the occasional half-assed "Best Of" CD with so-so sound and a slew of very expensive Japanese imports for their huge canon of albums and 40-years-plus career. All of that piecemeal approach ends with this superlatively musical and beautiful sounding 4CD retrospective.

There's so much on here, so let's detail the nuts and bolts first - USA released 13 October 2009, RCA/Legacy 88697 36974 2 breaks down as follows:

Disc 1, 1966 to 1977, 20 tracks, 78:12 minutes - features 11 album cuts, 3 rare USA-only 7 singles and 6 Previously Unreleased tracks
Disc 2, 1975 to 1980. 20 tracks, 78:59 minutes - features 16 album cuts, 1 rare 7" Mix and 3 Previously Unreleased tracks
Disc 3, 1980 to 1985, 18 tracks, 80:00 minutes - features 14 album cuts, 2 rare 7" single versions, 1 rare 12" Mix and 1 Previously Unreleased Track
Disc 4, 1988 to 2009, 16 tracks, 78:17 minutes - features 6 album cuts, 1 rare CD single mix, 1 old song reworking and 8 Previously Unreleased versions
(I've provided a full track list breakdown in the 'comment' section attached to this review).

The first thing that hits you (apart from the superlatively annotated booklet with reminiscences on every song by the duo) is the SOUND. I've raved about VIC ANESINI remasters before (The Jayhawks, Stevie Ray Vaughan) and his transfers here are fabulous - warm, clear and never too pushed on the treble front. Every track is a revelation to me. The sonic hit off "She's Gone" is just amazing - it'll put chills on your arms. Then there's the parade of hit-after-hit that is shockingly impressive - "Wait For Me", "Out Of Touch" and "Do It For Love".
Read more ›
7 Comments 20 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
I think this box set is the "Essential" Hall & Oates collection as the tracks were handpicked by them and not the record company. Some people are disappointed at some exclusions, but how can you put a 40 year music career on one box set?

Marigold Sky will be remixed and re-released next year (according to Daryl) and I can't wait to hear the end result as it is one of the most underrated Hall & Oates CDs, but at least I have the original until that happens.

As a fan, I feel privileged to be able to still follow Hall & Oates, through CDs and going to concerts and they never disappoint me, but living in the UK you are a bit out of it. I did buy the Box Set through Amazon UK, but the bonus disc was not included as it with the QVC US release, so had to order one from there as well, although the duty on ordering from the US is rather crippling.

Still, all worth it in them end!

DarylHall4Ever
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I followed Hall & Oates in their early days, long before the big breakthrough in the 1980s. This boxset is for the true devotee. There are clips on the first and second CDs from such early albums as the silver one, Abandoned Luncheonette, War Babies...a lot of great music that came before "Kiss on My List." I think fans from the 80s on may not enjoy this as much, or else they'll get a really good schooling on how deep the talent of these two men runs. It's a joy to hear those earlier songs, and now that I'm much older, I finally appreciate the intricacy of those lyrics! BTW I got my boxset about a week ago and have already played it about a dozen times. I cannot stop listening to it.
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Format: Audio CD
I rarely write reviews unless the product is really bad and I want to shy people away from it, or REALLY GOOD as thankfully it is for this package.

Something I appreciate is good sound quality especially in these compilations. I was unimpressed with the brickwalling in my previous "Essentials" H&O 2CD set from 2004/2005 timeframe. I was quite impressed however with this box set. The sound has been updated without brickwalling and thankfully the mastering has not been a casualty of the "loudness wars". Kudos to Sony Legacy. Please keep it this way for future pop/rock releases!
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Missed Opportunity
Agreed. I've dreamed about what would be on this box set for years. First track I can think of that should have been included is "Love Train". There are many more missing tracks, "Close To You", etc. Also, couldn't agree more that all of their Top 100 singles should be on... Read More
Sep 11, 2009 by Set Free |  See all 13 posts
Albums tracks I'd like to see on an H&O box set...
Excellent list, Set Free. You absolutely nailed a majority of the songs I also would liked to have seen on the boxed set. Getaway Car, Big Kids, Diddy Doo Wop, Someone Like You. How can these be missed!
Oct 12, 2009 by Rebecca |  See all 3 posts
When will we get the big video collection as previously shown on... Be the first to reply
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