First off, let me start this by saying I will take no general slagging off of Hall & Oates. Even though you wouldn’t think it from my other musical tastes, I am a fan and feel no shame.
Nor should I because they are the finest of blue eyed soul that the 70′s and 80′s music scene had to offer. Daryl Hall not only has one smoothest voices but is a master lyricist.
Plus, they are from my hometown area and John Oates went do school with my dad (seriously). I have seen them live twice since moving to the UK and each time have fought the urge to shout out ‘North Penn!’ just to see if they react. I haven’t though. I am sure they will thank me for that.
All that said, they made some seriously odd 80′s music videos.
No doubt the dubious nature of their 80′s music videos is largely down to the newness of the medium at the time. I want to be able to accept that excuse but then I see one of these insane Hall & Oates videos and find myself once again baffled.What is worse is they take otherwise top quality songs and just totally go to loony land with the video.
Here are my top three (there are more!) Hall & Oates videos that make no sense:
3 – Method Of Modern Love
This 80′s music video from Hall & Oates is only in at number three because you can sort of allow it a bit of slack under the ‘videos were pretty new’ thing. Only a bit though. Right from the start we are as bewildered as John Oates looks as he tosses his bubbling toxic cocktail to one side when he leaves his cloud based living room to investigate a bit of guitar based vandalism on his roof. Do clouds have roofs?
Then when the pair climb onto the roof they are met with a billboard that is apparently for rent. I have tried but I don’t get what that is suppose to signify in relation to the song. Is this just a cloud based jam session? If so, will somebody tell Daryl Hall not to dance like that!
Yeah, I give up! Thing is though, it isn’t even close to being the Hall & Oates video that makes the least amount of sense.
2 – Adult Education
One of my very favourite Hall & Oates songs ever but man does the video hurt my head. More than likely the video was a product of whoever had the say on their videos being a bit worried about addressing the actual content of the lyrics in the song.
Listen closely and you will hear a steamy songs that evokes warnings about adolescent sex. It holds no shame in mentioning high school time and time again. Really, it is one of the finest example of their quality lyrics. Clearly we should have an edgy 80′s music video about high school aged sex and growing up too fast?
Nope, this is a Hall & Oates video! Instead we get some insane cave based video which is apparently portraying some sort of pagan virgin sacrifice carried out by a guy wearing a New York Yankees visor. We even get loin cloths!
If John Oates commanding you to ‘go back to school’ while waving a weird red axe thing at you doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will! Other than perhaps the way Daryl Hall bugs out his eyes during the ‘there is life after high school’ bit near the start of the video!
1- Family Man
There is no getting around the fact that the Hall & Oates version of Mike Oldfield’s Family Man is a superb song. They improved on the original and gave it even more edge. You have to love what John Oates does with that famous guitar bit.
No, the song itself isn’t the problem at all! Just listen to it with your eyes closed during this video or it just might be ruined for you (sorry!).
The video for Hall & Oates version of Family Man simply has to go down as the number one choice for Hall & Oates videos that make no sense. Why so? Let me count the ways!
Firstly and most importantly, we have the total and utter inappropriateness of the video in relation to the lyrics of the song. So inappropriate that it gets seriously creepy.
For a song which is clearly about a man being tempted into infidelity by a woman (prostitute?) we get a room full of insanely perky kids dancing around. All of this while Hall & Oates are playing a gig in their living room. This isn’t in a ‘don’t cheat or you will have tons of kids running around’ warning sort of message. No, it is just them being weird.
Then, we have the weird computer graphics of men and women that occasionally dance around the screen during this insane 80′s video. Yes, we get that such graphics were cutting edge at the time but weren’t there enough real kids dancing inappropriately in the video to not need digital ones?
Not being baffling enough, this Hall & Oates video moves to making even less sense when suddenly the parents in the video suddenly have Daryl Hall haircuts. Not just them but all the kids too!
My head hurts!