What’s John Oates’ favorite Daryl Hall song?: ‘It’s so interesting musically’

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Daryl Hall and John Oates have collaborated on some of the duo’s best-known songs. But which of Hall’s individually written tracks does Oates wished he’d penned?

Oates dug deep to select “It’s a Laugh, a flinty breakup song that opened Hall and Oates’ Along the Red Ledge, released on August 21, 1978. “That’s one of my favorite songs Daryl has written,” John Oates tells Ken Sharp of Rock Cellar. “It’s so interesting musically. That song has this tinge of anger to it, which I really like.”

Along the Red Ledge was, in many ways, a watershed moment for Daryl Hall and John Oates. They switched producers, shifting from long-time collaborator Christopher Bond to David Foster — and, for the first time, Hall and Oates began incorporating members of their regular working band into studio sessions. But the project certainly had more notable tracks, including “The Last Time,” which featured George Harrison on guitar. Todd Rundgren, Robert Fripp and Rick Nielson of Cheap Trick also appear elsewhere.

And yet Daryl Hall’s “It’s A Laugh” stuck with Oates, and with Hall and Oates — who still perform the song live. Beyond its hard-eyed subject matter, “It’s A Laugh” is also a conceptual triumph. “The chords are so unusual,” John Oates adds. “The song is in two different keys; the verse is in a different key than the chorus, which is very very unusual.”

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