Friday, June 23, 2017

Songoftheday 6/23/17 - They met on the dancefloor in the old high school gym, he fell like a rock she kinda liked him...

"So Close" - Daryl Hall and John Oates
from the album Change Of Season (1990)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 9

Today's song of the day comes from the biggest pop duo of the 1980's, Daryl Hall and John Oates, who had dominated the decade with twenty-one top-40 hits in those ten years. Among them were three from their first album with new record label Arista in 1988, "Downtown Life", "Missed Opportunities", and the #3 single "Everything Your Heart Desires". Two years later, the pair released their second record with the imprint, Change Of Season, which marked an evolution from their pop-soul sound to a more rock/adult affair. The first single from the project was produced by Jon Bon Jovi, who added music (along with guitarist Danny Kortchmar) to a song from Hall and George Green called "So Close".  It ended up being their last big hurrah on mainstream pop radio...

"So Close" became Hall and Oates' most recent top-40 pop hit in December of 1990. The song also climbed to #6 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") radio chart. Internationally, the single was one of their biggest in Canada, peaking at #4, and was a minor hit in the UK at #69.

Their next single, "Don't Hold Back Your Love", became their first regular release since the 1970's to miss the top-40, coming one notch from the mark at #41, though it peaked at #4 on the Adult Contemporary list (and #10 in Canada). A third release from the album,  a cover of Mel & Tim's "Starting All Over Again", reached the top-10 Adult Contemporary at #10, while another track, "Everywhere I Look", got to #74 in the UK.

After the death of writing partner Janna Allen, and another solo album from Daryl, they wouldn't re-emerge with another duo album until 1997's Marigold Sky. The lead single "Promise Ain't Enough" got to #6 on the AC chart and stuck around for over seven months there. They took another five years for their Do It For Love record, but were rewarded with four singles that made the AC list, including the #1 title track. They followed shortly after with a covers collection, Our Kind Of Soul, that saw their most recent pop Hot 100 appearance, a version of the Spinners' "I'll Be Around" that popped in at #97 (and #6 AC). They most recently topped the easy-listening list in 2006 for two weeks with a reading of "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" from a holiday album. Daryl became a pioneer of music expression on the internet with his web series Live At Daryl's House, which saw him invite a myriad of different artists veteran and newbies to collaborate with him and his band which remains a must-see to this day. Daryl and John also occasionally collaborate, and are currently on tour with fellow 80s holdbacks Tears For Fears.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)

Here's a sweet acoustic reading of the song from Hall and Oates' tour in 1991...

...and finally, a taste of Hall's stellar Live At Daryl's House series, where he performs "So Close" with Jason Mraz and transcends any version I've heard of the track, where by the end I'm in utter emotional freefall...

Up tomorrow: British trip-pop trio see a flowerchild in the Smiths.

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