“I know you gave the best that you have.
But one more chance couldn’t be all that hard to bear…”
Daryl Hall and John Oates rose to international fame as the highest selling duo in Rock history in the early 1980s with albums such as Voices and H2O. Many listeners didn’t know at the time that they had been on the cusp of success throughout the 1970s with a few homeruns (‘Sara Smile’, ‘Rich Girl’) and a few missteps (“Whole Oats”, anyone?). In 1979 they released “X Static”, an album produced by Daryl Hall and future music mogal David Foster on RCA. It was met with little fanfare and contained no smash hits, yet was a well written effort and featured some impassioned playing by Hall, Oates and then-new guitarist G.E. Smith.
The song ‘Wait for Me’ has become a staple of Hall’s solo live shows. Less hits driven than the Hall and Oates live sets these days, his solo outings feature some key album tracks forgotten by the multitude of Greatest Hits packages churned out lately. Written by Hall, the song is pleading and gut wrenching, yet soaring in spots. It is a true soul ballad, given the rock treatment by the backing band. Hall is quite an accomplished piano player, and it shows on this track. The way the vocal line matches the keyboards gives the listener a deeper understanding of the singer’s longing.
Hall and Oates took a break after their mid 80s popularity, reuniting often, going solo, and making some more tremendous music together. Their latest album, 2002’s “Do It For Love”, was seen as a return to form for the duo with the title track gaining airplay on VH1 and AOR radio stations. Listening to this track reminds me of why Hall and Oates continually go unheralded and misplaced in an 80s time warp. If the group had risen to fame before the Mtv age, we would be discussing them in an entirely different context of Rock history. While most veteran acts seem to stall at the midway point, Hall and Oates continue to produce well written and expertly performed rock n’ soul for the masses.