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As the 1980's came in Daryl Hall & John Oates seemed to be perceived by RCA as a duo that had a handful of commercially and creatively strong "blue eyed soul" hits in the mid/late 70's. The type of artists you get a hit on and once that hit's over,its over. I don't know if a serious artists development plan was considered for them. Their late 70's producer David Foster apparently inspired them with a new idea: to produce their next album themselves. Todd Rundgren had done it before them so if one man could do it, surely two could and with vigor. The duo were entering into a curious time. Punk had absorbed more or less into new wave. Disco-dance music was thought to be dead but retreated into the underground. It was not only to be an easy time for them to just make something new from a then popular trend as had been their approach. They were not only on the cutting edge of self production but also in the position to reinvent "pop" music for the new decade entirely. Thankfully on that level,this album was a complete life saver.

"How Does It Feel To Be Back" has a strong jangle pop/Heartland rock influence-of course with a strong melody and many nods to both Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. "United State" and "How To Be In Love With You" are both similarly guitar oriented rock/pop songs (rock being the priority),yet the flavor is slick and highly melodic. That comes out strongly in "Big Kids",almost the perfect rock and soul hybrid on both levels. But we haven't heard anything yet. Built around electronic drums and electric piano "Kiss On My List",a dolled up Daryl Hall demo,essentially maps out the signature Hall & Oates sound of the 80's with its harmony rich,heavily crafted writing and in the pocket instrumentation. It of course along with the more rocked up "You Make My Dreams" are the albums biggest hits and two mini pop masterpieces through and through. "Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect)" is a rather edgy yet exciting new wave/doo-wop combo beginning with some traded off soul scatting. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" is the "other" hit here-a modernized update of the Leiber & Stoller classic.

"Everytime You Go Away",later a big hit for Paul Young,is a straight up gospel inflected organ based retro 60's soul ballad as presented here-one of the duo's very strongest compositions and one of the highlights of an album..consisting of all highlights really. "Africa" is a very interesting song musically as the beats are new wave rock-with a dollop of percussive effects, but the interwoven bass/keyboard interactions are closer to funky jazz fusion to a degree. "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear Voices)" ends the album with a dynamic soul/rock production with a very live band flavor. Aside from the wallop it packed with its blockbuster singles, what makes this recording so wonderful in hindsight is how fantastic an album it is. With a sound that perfectly spreads out rocking,guitar based power pop with new wave,contemporary soul and classic doo-wop this album managed to present their sound in a way that could never offend "disco haters" and maintain a strong rock audience. As the saying goes they earned their "honorary pop pass" with this. And they did it all by recreating the entire concept of rock n soul-basically the cornerstone of R&B in the first place, for a new decade that presented new musical challenges.
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on January 17, 2012
"YOU MAKE MY DREAMS" is the first hit off of this album by Daryl Hall and John Oates and promises great things to come for the duo. In my humble opinion, VOICES was the beginning of the hit-making success for H&O during the 1980's and propelled them to be the number one selling duo in pop-rock history. This album,along with PRIVATE EYES and H2O made Hall and Oates into a household name and their videos #1 on MTV in the decade of excess. I highly recommend all three of these CDs to real fans of the rock and soul legends, Hall and Oates!!!
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on December 26, 2010
Daryl Hall and John Oates' "Voices" was the first album on RCA that they were allowed to self-produce. It was a make-or-break album, for if it did nothing, Hall believed it would be their last. It turned out to be the one that made them household names, on the way to becoming the biggest charting duo of all time.

The album is their strongest, track for track, than any other. Any and all previous influences and ideas coalesce to make a scintillating listen.

The album included no less than four top 30 hits, with at least three other tracks ("Big Kids", "Hard to Be in Love With You", and "Africa") which could have been mined for singles once the flood gates had been opened.

One of the highlights of this gorgeous album is the original version of "Every Time You Go Away". Paul Young took a more pop-oriented cover to Number One on the charts, but the stately, churchy arrangement here puts the commercial version to shame. Daryl Hall gives the tune a gospelish feel that is sublime in its understatement. No wasted notes or flourishes here, he simply sings THE HELL out of the song, and thirty years later it still gives me shivers.

The smart update of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" pays homage to the original, at the same time bringing the song up-to-date for a new audience, and does not disappoint. As the second single released, it became a number 12 hit.

"How Does It Feel to be Back", the first single released, should have been a much bigger hit than its Number Thirty showing, this perhaps owing to the fact that John Oates sings the tune, and his vocals were unfamiliar to the pop audience at the time.

The other hits from the album, the number 5 "You Make My Dreams" and the Number One "Kiss On My List" (singles four and three released, respectively) are two of the best 45s of the decade. I don't believe further comment on them is necessary.

Another (for me) highlight of the album is the final song, the "title" track "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)". Daryl Hall had read in a book on Son of Sam that the murderer was inspired to kill by Hall's song "Rich Girl". This inspired Hall to write a song in which there is a murderer loose, chopping off people's arms whenever he hears "Duke of Earl". Hall even references this in the lyrics: "Charlie liked the Beatles" (Manson's love for "Helter Skelter"), "Sam he liked Rich Girl, but I'm still hung up on the Duke of Earl". Lest you think this is a mess that no one would want to listen to again and again, Hall & Oates couch these lyrics in an upbeat, neo-Doo Wop arrangement. The result is a stunning tune, a joyful noise to behold for sure.

All of this adds up to the most consistent, best album ever released by the duo, which rightly exploded to finally make the duo the superstars they deserved to be.
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on July 5, 2013
This is the album that took H&O from the fringes of R&B and Folk to the stratosphere of Pop recognition. My absolute favorite song is Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices). A reviewer once wrote of Suzanne Vega's song Luca "...a nice little ditty about child abuse...", well Diddy Do Wop is a nice little ditty about a serial killer. However, Luca didn't make me want to get up and dance. Daryl Hall's POWERFUL vocals and the charged simplicity of the music blended together to form IMHO a masterpiece that could have been recorded today. That's the beauty of this album, the music doesn't sound dated. I guess that's the greatest compliment for an artist - great music that's not dated. If you heard Rich Girl for the first time today, could you tell that it was recorded in the 70's? Maybe it's just me.
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on June 16, 2013
THIS LP ALBUM WAS MY VERY FIRST TASTE OF HALL & OATES THAT I EVER OWNED. I WAS 16 AT THE DENTIST'S OFFICE WHEN I HEARD "RICH GIRL" OVER THE P.A. SYSTEM (OFFICE MUSIC SPEAKERS IN THE CEILING) AND COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EARS! I ASKED MYSELF, "DID HE JUST CURSE IN THAT SONG?" I WAS TAKEN ABACK THAT THE RADIO STATION PLAYED IT DURING A TIME WHEN ALL RADIO AIRINGS WERE BEING SCRUTINIZED WITH SENSORSHIP, SO IMAGINE MY SHOCK. I HAD TO KNOW WHO THIS BRAVE, BOLD SINGER WAS THAT DEFIED THE POWERS THAT BE. AT THE END OF THE SONG, THE DJ ANNOUNCED THEIR NAME (WHICH I HAD HEARD OF MANY TIMES BEFORE OVER THE YEARS) AND I WAS HOOKED. I WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THEM. I'VE BEEN A FAN EVER SINCE. THAT WAS 40 YEARS AGO. AND MY LOVE FOR THESE GUYS IS STRONGER THAN EVER TODAY! I EVEN WATCH "DARYL's HOUSE" (HIS OWN TV SHOW) ON SAT. MORNINGS AND AIRINGS ON "YOU TUBE" EVERY CHANCE I GET. NEEDLESS TO SAY, HE'S MY FAVE BUT THEIR UNIQUELY, AWESOME AND CREATIVE SOUND WOULD BE INCOMPLETE WITHOUT JOHN. NOW THAT I HAVE MOST OF THEIR BEST WORKS ON CD, I COULDN'T BE MORE THRILLED. HALL & OATES "ULTIMATE" (2 CD SET) IS KILLER! "H2O" IS GREAT TOO! I LOVE ALL 3! YOU WILL TOO!
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on November 29, 2011
The songs are great. This album is much more than monster-hits-and-filler, and the sound takes one right back to what was happening at the turn of the Eighties. The bright, soulful pop of H&O provided a necessary outlet for radio at the time, having been swamped by disco.

But this remaster is a bit patchy. I know albums from this period were pretty trebly-- probably a reaction to disco-- and cheaper vinyl issues circa early-1980s are hard to listen to these days.

It seems H&O remasters are a bit all over the place (if they've happened). Maybe with some careful equalization you can make this CD work for you.

It still remains the best option for one of the classic H&O LPs.
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on October 5, 2013
Great song makers, superb hooks in the lyrics; a must have for any Hall and Oates fan. Packed with subtle yet catchy tines that we all loved in the 80's.
Check it out. You won't be disappointed...
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on March 1, 2012
The talent has never been lost from day one hearing them..I listen to them daily...all cd's I have!And Darryl just turned 65 and has a new fantastic CD out!!
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on May 12, 2015
What can I say! Hall & Oates Great duo! Nice Album!
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on July 23, 2015
Brings me right back to high school. Love it.
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