Daryl Hall’s surprising choice for favorite Hall and Oates cover: ‘It belongs to the world’

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Asked about his favorite Hall and Oates cover, Daryl Hall selects one that’s to be expected — and another from a few years ago that you probably never saw coming.

Paul Young, of course, had a charttopping 1985 hit with his take on “Everytime You Go Away,” a deep cut off 1980’s Voices — so it’s little surprise Hall makes that choice. But he’s also a fan of the Bird and the Bee’s electronica-inflected take on “Rich Girl,” from a 2010 album titled Interpreting the Masters Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates that came complete with a cover image referencing the duo’s 1981 smash Private Eyes.

In the intervening years, Hall and Oates have seen their music morph in all sorts of ways, becoming some of the most sampled in music. It’s something, as Hall tells Songfacts’ Roger Catlin, that rarely bothers him.

“Once it leaves me, it belongs to the world,” Hall says. “As long as you pay me, do whatever you want, you know? I mean, playing around with songs is an interesting idea. I’m all for it. As long as you don’t denigrate it or change the meaning to something that is inconsistent with the point of the song. I don’t agree to that. I usually reject that, if that’s thrown at me. But you know, anything else is sort of OK with me.”

The Bird and the Bee were on the bill, by the way, at Oates’ first-ever Aspen Songwriters Festival. Oates also sat in with the duo on March 5, 2010, in his initial public appearance after the sad passing of long-time Hall and Oates sideman T-Bone Wolk.

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