‘A classic album that is really timeless’: John Oates picks his favorite Hall and Oates moment

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A career as lengthy and — well, lately, at least — as celebrated as Hall and Oates can boast a number of highlights along the way. That makes picking just one, especially for someone as intimately involved as John Oates, a difficult proposition. Still, in surveying his long collaborative stint with Daryl Hall, Oates says some moments tend stand out — even if they don’t necessarily top the others.

“There is no best,” Oates says. “They’re all different, and they all represent a different moment in time. I’d like to give you a simple answer, but I can’t,” he tells KQCK. “I like some of the more obscure records. I like Along the Red Ledge, which was an album we put out in the late 1970s. It wasn’t really commercially successful, but I really liked that record. I think Voices was a really important album. It started our ’80s run with a bunch of hits — and it really was the first album that we recorded with our own band, our touring band, and that set the tone for what we did in the ’80s. There’s really so much.”

Pressed, Oates goes further back, to Hall and Oates’ 1970s-era breakthrough recording, long before “Say It Isn’t So” and “I Can’t Go For That.”

“If I had to pick, I’d say Abandoned Luncheonette is one of the key moments, because it put us on the map — and it was a really special collaboration between Daryl, me and [Atlantic Records producer] Arif Mardin, and all of the amazing musicians that he surrounded us with [including Hugh McCracken, Bernard Purdie, Rick Marotta and others]. So, he really took us and put us out in the world with a classic album that, to me, is very unique and really timeless.”

Hall and Oates have set another round of dates together, beginning next week and continuing through October; Oates is also touring into November.

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