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Abandoned Luncheonette
Hall and Oates

Atlantic SC 7269
Released: October 1973
Chart Peak: #33
Weeks Charted: 38
Certified Gold: 10/5/76

John OatesDaryl HallDaryl Hall and John Oates, two young white Philadelphians, have recycled the essence of that city's good R&B music while retaining their white sound.

Hall and Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette
Original album advertising art.
Click image for larger view.
Their arrangement of "When the Morning Comes" has turned this basically three-chord song into AM chart material. The rhythm guitar pervades the chords of all the verses, playing in a constant open-G tuning (instead of letting the acoustic guitar dominate the track, as so many soft-rock groups do). The bass and drum syncopation lies at the center of the track, an arranging technique common to many soul records. And the melody is more adventurous that the typical handiwork of contemporary singer-songwriters.

Two other songs are potential hits: "She's Gone" (a song with a super-hook), and "Las Vegas Turnaround" (about a man who doesn't want everyone to "come on and fly" his stewardess girlfriend). On the former, Hall and Oates show off the wide range of their vocal technique, and their arranging skill, which creates an intriguing cresscendo that (surprisingly) leads back to the verse instead of the hook.



Further reading on
Super Seventies RockSite!:

Single Review:
"Rich Girl"

Article: 'Stupid Questions
with Hall & Oates'

Article: 'Daryl Hall - My 5 Greatest Songs'

Hall & Oates Lyrics

Hall & Oates Videos

Daryl Hall Mugshots

John Oates Mugshots

Through overdubbing, the vocal sound has been rendered prudently lush. Daryl Hall's voice, in particular, is a winner. And not since the Rascals' Atlantic days has a white group made such good soul-influenced radio music. In fact, the group has been aided immeasurably by the presence of the Rascals' producer, Arif Mardin, who also contributes string and horn arrangements. Along with fine sessionmen, including drummer Bernard Purdie, they've made a genuine sleeper (it's been out a few months now). Everyone I know who hears it, falls for it instantly.

- Robert Agualio, Rolling Stone, 4/9/74.

Bonus Reviews!

This comes down to a nice equation of folk duo and soul falsetto group, brought together with the best vocal and production pyrotechnics a studio can afford. The music rocks with a smooth sophistication, although it can get sententious as well as popsy cute; the lyrics diagnose romantic malaise with clinical expertise and occasional acuity -- "Everybody's high on consolation," perfect. If not too perfect. B-

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Abandoned Luncheonette, Hall & Oates' second album, was the first indication of the duo's talent for sleek, soul-inflected pop/rock, featuring the single "She's Gone," which would become a big hit in 1975, when it was re-released following the success of "Sara Smile." * * *

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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