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A good (but flawed and short) pre-1984 H & O intro.
on November 23, 2004
This short collection came out in 1983 at the height of Hall & Oates' popularity. At the time, it was probably very thorough, taking several of their then-current hits, mixed in with a few of their 70's songs. Today, though, I'd recommend it as more of a sampler (with only 12 tracks).
-Wait For Me
Being that I'm really not familiar with their work before the 80's, I can't really say if there are any key songs missing here, but it is a nice inclusion. "Sara Smile" and "She's Gone" (in its shorter version) are slightly folkish, medium tempo pop love songs.
1977's "Rich Girl" is their earliest song I've really gotten into. It's more of a mix between their folk/pop stuff, and the sound of their 80's arena pop/rock hits. Starting out as an accoustic ballad before a ringing electric guitar and steady beat (though sung in a slight folkish tone) elevate it to a medium rock level.
1979's "Wait for Me" is another medium pop hit, not unlike that too, although I wish the studio version had found its way here instead. Chrnonologically speaking, after this, is the gold mine of the collection!:)
-Kiss on My List
-You Make My Dreams
These monster hits obviously should've made the cut, but their R+B pop/rock remake of "You've Lost That Lovely Feeling" and "How Does it Feel to be Back", both sizable hits too, got cheated.
1981's PRIVATE EYES:
-I Can't Go For That
Especially with both these songs representing different styles, it's a nice addition, but it annoys me how the rest of this album always goes relatively unnoticed. "Did It in a Minute" is probably one of their catchiest arena rockers ever, and "Your Imagination" is a great, somewhat unique pop/soul hit.
-One on One
I love both of these songs, but just like the previous two, so much got sadly left out -- the slow and sexy rocker "Open All Night," the chugging arena rock (and big hit) "Family Man" in particular. Even John Oates' semi-well known silly pop "Italian Girls" would've been nice.
1983 NEW SONGS:
-Say it isn't So
Both of these went on to become major hits themselves, and rightfully so. "Say It isn't So" is a semi soul-influenced loud pop hit that easily could've been on the previous couple albums. "Adult Education" - a humorous look at present and post-high school life - is a mid-paced, unique guitar pop/rocker that includes elements of rap(!) and hard rock (great guitar and drum build-up toward the end).
OVERALL: With all of even the 1980-83 songs missing, this is obviously not a comprehensive collection, but it's still a good place for a very casual and/or new H+O fan to start. Espeically with its age, it should be fairly easy to find an inexpensive, used copy. Afterwards, I'd recommend one of their more recent collections -- which would include their 1984 and later hits, such as "Out Of Touch", "So Close," and "Everything Your Heart Desires," which obviously aren't here either.