Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Say It Isn't So" by Daryl Hall & John Oates

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1676
Date:  10/29/1983
Debut:  30
Peak:  2
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Blue-Eyed Soul, Pop

Pop Bits:  Hall & Oates' eleventh studio album H2O became their second to boast three Top 10 hits and it was also their second consecutive double-platinum seller. They were in top form and at the peak of their powers. With eleven Top 10's in the bank the time seemed right to issue a hits compilation. Rock 'n Soul Part One featured nine of their hits along with a live version of their #18 entry from 1979 "Wait for Me." In addition, the set was rounded out by two brand new songs, one of which was this first single. It crashed onto the Pop chart at a high #30 and then made a beeline for the top. It would spend four weeks at #2 being blocked out of the #1 position by "Say Say Say" by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson (yes, there were a lot of "say say say, say it isn't so!" jokes going on at the time). It would also be a multi-format hit reaching #1 at Dance, #8 AC, and #45 R&B. The hit pushed the album to #7 and it eventually became their third double-platinum disc.

ReduxReview:  I took one listen to this song and sprinted to the record store to buy it. Those warm chords, atmospheric production, and killer verse hooked me and wouldn't let go. It was just the perfect song to issue while being at the top of their game. Although I'd like some of their future singles, none would come close to the quality of this one. I've often felt that this song closed out their best era of songs.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  Around this time, Hall & Oates recorded a single for the Christmas holiday. They did a remake of the 1957 Bobby Helms hit "Jingle Bell Rock." Written by Joe Beale and Jim Boothe, the song became a classic holiday standard that would go on to be remade by many artists. However, Helms' original remains the best known and most played. Hall & Oates' version was issued as a single, but it did not chart. Despite not having any significant sales, their take on the song was quite popular at the time thanks to a humorous video that got a lot of airplay on MTV. What is also interesting about the single and video is that two versions were done - one with Daryl Hall on lead vocals (the a-side of the single) and one with John Oates taking the lead (the b-side).


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