Sunday, November 6, 2011

Touring Australia this Summer: Classic Pop Albums of the 80s: "H2O" by Hall and Oates is close to perfection!

Daryl Hall & John Oates will be touring Australia this summer & are supported by Icehouse. They remain one of the most successful pop duo act in the USA pop history with nearly 40 songs in the Billboard Top 100 Pop Singles Chart to their credit. Their fusion of pop & blues/soul which they termed " Rock & Soul" delighted millions of fans around the world during the late 70s to mid 80s (and beyond).

Their unique style is non better demonstrated than in H2O, their most successful release commercially. H2O reached No #3 in Billboard Album Charts & sold 2 million copies in USA alone at a time when Michael Jackson "thrillermania" was still in full force. The album produced three Top 10 hits including the No 1 Hit classic "Maneater" (samples of which were used by Nelly Furtardo in 2008)

One of the way I judge 80s albums contribution to pop music is by listening to them & deciding whether the synthpop drum machine generated beats sound tired & outdated. H20 and almost its entire song list pass this test with flying colours and in doing so earn a deserved "Classic" tag for this album. The songs are far from elaborately produced. In fact many reviewers command Hall & Oates for their "stripped down" production of this album which they suggest in fact is one of the main reason its production still sounds fresh today. The other main reason is of course the "rock/soul" feel of the album.

My favourite songs on the album, "Maneater", "Crime Pays", "Art of Heartbreak", "One on One", "Family Man", "Open all Night" & "Delayed Reaction" "At Tension" are all beautifully structured songs with simple melodies immersed in Daryl Hall's soulful voice. ("Family Man" was a cover of an earlier minor hit by the legendary Mike Oldfield.)

On top of all that, the album is simply fun to listen to! It's a must in any great 80s music collection. I would give it an 8.5/10 due to a few patchy spots in a couple of the songs. Nevertheless, this album is a great introduction to their great pop style & why they were such a phenomenal success.

Even more exiting is their tour will be filled with many classic Top 40 hits of late 70s & early to mid 80s & considering that Iva Davies & Icehouse will be there too, is a must see for all pop fans, old & young!