Pioneers of the Philly sound that incorporated funk, R&B, and soul music (which, for better or worse, eventually birthed smooth jazz and quiet storm) as well as new wave and rock, Hall & Oates were and are songwriting geniuses. Both graduates of Temple University, Daryl
Success wasn't immediate, however, and it wasn't until the pair took over the producing side in addition to writing that they began to see dividends. Eventually the duo scored seven platinum albums, six gold albums, and had over 34 songs chart on the Billboard Hot 100. By 1984, the RIAA declared that they were the most successful duo of all time. It took another twenty years for the pair to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but that's by no means the end of the group.
Having inspired a generation of musicians and fans alike, it's not surprising many artists have attempted that sincerest form of flattery, imitation, with a number of Hall & Oates tunes. We present our five favorite Hall & Oates covers ever (with one very special bonus).
The Family Crest – “Kiss Is on My List”
The original “Kiss Is on My List” is a shiny, corny, and synth-happy classic that summarily exemplifies the technological glossiness of '80s music. In the hands of the Family Crest, an orchestral indie-rock collective, “Kiss Is On My List” is a passionate and tender number elevated by choppy acoustic guitar playing and dramatic violin strings, sailing along on a tropical, bossa nova groove.
Fruit Bats – “One on One”
When it comes to cover songs, the A.V. Club "Undercover" series provides some of the coolest moments in cross-genre lovemaking out there. Each year, a list of popular old-school songs is created and, one by
Grace Mitchell – “Maneater”
Featuring the likes of Jose Gonzales, Of Monsters and Men, and Rogue Wave, the soundtrack to the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a far better effort than the movie that inspired it. However, one of the true gems from the album was Grace Mitchell's gorgeous and dreamy interpretation of “Maneater.” The 18-year-old newcomer is currently making a name for herself with her Raceday EP and the single “Jitter,” a track Zane Lowe called “the song of the year so far.”
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – “Rich Girl”
Call it a gimmick or a schtick, but San Francisco punks Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have carved out a cozy career as one of the preeminent rock ’n’ roll cover bands of the past 20 years. They've passed dozens of classic pop songs, from Billy Joel to Elton John, through their noisy, sped-up filter. “Rich Girl,” a song about a materialistic socialite who can't see past the shiny toys and “the old man's money,” is prime fodder for a fuzzed-out punk band that loves to play it fast and loud.
Rumer – “Sara Smile”
The Bird and the Bee – Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates
Like so many others, L.A. indie-pop duo the Bird and the Bee owe quite a bit of their style to Mr. Hall and Mr.
Hall & Oates
8 p.m. Saturday, November 28, at Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $50 to $80 plus fees. Call 954-797-5531, or visit ticketmaster.com.
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