A hefty chunk of those sales belong to the string of hit singles that kept Daryl Hall and John Oates at the top of the pop, R&B, AC, Dance, and album rock charts during the 1970s, '80s and '90s. There were six timeless #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 - "Rich Girl," "Kiss On My List," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," "Maneater," and "Out Of Touch." Another two dozen reached the Top 40, ten of which made it into the Top 10, among them "She's Gone," "Sara Smile," "You Make My Dreams" (soundtrack centerpiece of the new hit movie (500) Days of Summer), "Did It In A Minute," "One On One," "Family Man," "Say It Isn't So," "Adult Education," "Method Of Modern Love," and "Everything Your Heart Desires."
The lion's share of those singles helped send more than a dozen Daryl Hall and John Oates albums to RIAA gold, platinum and multi-platinum certification, starting with 1973's Abandoned Luncheonette, and most notably encompassing their career-defining output of the '80s: Voices, Private Eyes, H2O, Rock 'N Soul Part 1, Big Bam Boom, and the highly praised Live At The Apollo With David Ruffin & Eddie Kendrick.
Taking its title from one of their earliest singles, a song that has always summed up the duo's individual and collective philosophy of being true to themselves, DO WHAT YOU WANT, BE WHAT YOU ARE: THE MUSIC OF DARYL HALL AND JOHN OATES marks the first comprehensive multi-CD, multi-label deluxe box set compilation ever assembled from their entire career's work, four CDs containing 74 tracks (16 of them previously unreleased ). One of the most long-awaited box sets in pop music history will be available at physical and digital retail outlets starting October 6th through RCA/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.
Of special interest will be the 16 previously unreleased tracks, which can be roughly divided between studio material and live performances. Highlights of the live performances include:
- "Lady Rain," "Beanie G," "Better Watch Your Back," "Abandoned Luncheonette," and "When The Morning Comes," five tunes [all drawn from their Abandoned Luncheonette (1973) and War Babies (1974) LPs] recorded at the New Victoria Theatre in London on October 3, 1975, the first Daryl Hall and John Oates show in England, where their popularity would rival the U.S.;
- "I Want Someone," from 2008, the first audio ever released from the popular LiveFromDarylsHouse.com web series - one of the songs that bonded Daryl Hall and John Oates together back in the '60s, when they realized that they both loved the tune, as first done by Detroit R&B vocal group the Mad Lads on Stax-Volt in 1966;
- "Everytime You Go Away," recorded 1996 in Tokyo, an explosive 10-minute version of the song that was introduced on 1980's Voices, and became a massive #1 U.S. hit for England's Paul Young in 1985;
- "Starting All Over Again," recorded at Tokyo's Budokan in 1995, an evocative take on Mel & Tim's 1973 soul standard (originally covered by Daryl Hall and John Oates in 1990, on Change Of Season);
- "Do What You Want, Be What You Are," live in 2007 (the song that gives this box set its title), originally from 1976's Bigger Than Both Of Us;
- "So Close," a song from 1990's Change Of Season, is heard live in 2006 in Portland, Oregon.
Along with these, it is appropriate to highlight the two tracks that are drawn from Live At The Apollo With David Ruffin & Eddie Kendrick. The album celebrated Daryl Hall and John Oates' headlining show with the two late former Temptations, at the re-opening night of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, May 1985. "Possession Obsession" was all about excess in the '80s, from their Big Bam Boom LP the year before; and the Temps' medley of "The Way You Do The Things You Do/My Girl" speaks for itself.
Among the highlights of the previously unreleased studio material are the following gems:
- The original demo version of "Have You Ever Been In Love," written by Daryl Hall, recorded by Celine Dion on A New Day Has Come (2002);
- A brand new (July 2009) recording of "Dreamer," first demo'd in 1972 (for the Whole Oats LP) but not recorded at the time, and then the demo was lost;
- "Gino (The Manager) 2009 Remix," homage to their indefatigable manager of the '70s and '80s, Tommy Mottola, first heard on their self-titled 1975 LP, Daryl Hall & John Oates;
- Also, three outtakes from original recording sessions: "Don't Go Out," full of New York street life darkness and paranoia in the '80s, from Private Eyes; "Storm Warning," a cover of the vintage R&B song by the Volcanoes (their '66 label-mates on Arctic Records), from 1990's Change Of Season; and "All The Way From Philadelphia," from 2003's Do It For Love.
Over the course of its four CDs, DO WHAT YOU WANT spans the Daryl Hall and John Oates story from their earliest sides recorded as teenagers on Philadelphia's indie Arctic and Crimson labels (1966-67), through their Atlantic years (1972-75), a decade at RCA (1975-85), and their final major label association with Arista (1988-90), before launching their self-owned U-Watch label in 2002. Putting it all in perspective is a full-color 60-page booklet with never-before-seen photographs and rare memorabilia, including a new 2,300-word biographical liner notes essay written by veteran music journalist Roy Trakin.
Also supplied are thoroughly extensive track-by-track annotations written by native Philly journalist and author Ken Sharp, based on in-depth interviews with Daryl Hall and John Oates. In addition to his many other credits (Elvis Presley, KISS, Cheap Trick, Rick Springfield, more) Sharp has penned liner notes for the expanded edition reissues of the Daryl Hall and John Oates albums Daryl Hall & John Oates, X-Static, Voices, Private Eyes, H2O, and Big Bam Boom.
Throughout the 60-page booklet, an impressive world-class roster of artists and producers have contributed testimonials to the talent and influence of Daryl Hall and John Oates, including: Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, Carly Simon, Travis McCoy (Gym Class Heroes), Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones), Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), David Foster (producer), Dave Stewart, Pos (De La Soul), Todd Rundgren, August Darnell (Kid Creole & The Coconuts), Otis Williams (the Temptations), Dave One (Chromeo), Nile Rodgers, Rob Thomas (matchbox twenty), Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), and Smokey Robinson.
Heralding the release of DO WHAT YOU WANT, the duo will debut the box set when QVC Presents the Daryl Hall & John Oates QSessions Live broadcast on Monday, September 21st at 6:00 p.m. (ET). During the one-hour interview and live performance special, cable shoppers will be able to pre-order the box set. Daryl Hall and John Oates are scheduled to perform a selection of songs on QVC, including "Rich Girl," "Kiss On My List," "Maneater," "Private Eyes," "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)," "Sara Smile," "She's Gone," and more. (Please check local listings.)
On October 23, Daryl Hall and John Oates will be among the final few concert acts to play farewell dates at South Philadelphia's beloved [Wachovia] Spectrum, prior to its being demolished to make way for the new Philly Live! Complex. As always, the duo will be in the most prestigious company, with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band booked for October 13-14th and 19-20th; and Leonard Cohen on October 22nd; with Pearl Jam set as the official final act, with shows on October 27-28th and 30-31st.
Indicative of Daryl Hall and John Oates' '80s status was the landmark year, 1984-85. Their double-platinum album Big Bam Boom was spinning off four Top 40 hits, including the #1 "Out of Touch." Elsewhere on the charts, Hall had collaborations going with Diana Ross ("Swept Away") and Elvis Costello ("The Only Flame In Town"), while Paul Young was headed to #1 with "Everytime You Go Away." Daryl Hall and John Oates were on the cover of Rolling Stone and were headlining the re-opening of the Apollo Theatre with their childhood heroes David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick of the Temptations. Daryl Hall and John Oates were spotlighted on the recordings and videos of "We Are The World" and "Sun City," and headlined their own July 4th concert at the Statue of Liberty, drawing over 100,000 fans. A week later at the Live Aid concert at Philly's JFK Stadium, they performed their own set (accompanied by Ruffin and Kendrick) and provided backup for Mick Jagger and Tina Turner.
The QVC and Spectrum events are just two of the high honors that continue to come Daryl Hall and John Oates' way. In June, on the final night of the annual NARM (National Association of Recording Merchandisers) convention in San Diego, Daryl Hall and John Oates received the chairman's award for sustained creative achievement. NARM president Jim Donio congratulated them "for their remarkable talents as singers, songwriters and musicians and for their inspiring creativity. Their soulful melodies have transcended four decades and crossed all demographics, and they have allowed multiple generations to enjoy their signature Rock and Soul music and appreciate their influence."
Previous recipients of the NARM chairman's award include B.B. King, Chicago, Carlos Santana, Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli and Fleetwood Mac. Clearly, Daryl Hall and John Oates are in the pantheon of popular music royalty.
DO WHAT YOU WANT, BE WHAT YOU ARE was produced by Rob Santos and Jeremy Holiday. Daryl Hall and John Oates served as executive producers.