Friday, November 5, 2021

"Downtown Life" by Daryl Hall & John Oates

Song#:  3666
Date:  10/01/1988
Debut:  76
Peak:  31
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:   After three Pop Top 10 album that went platinum or multi-platinum, the famed duo hit a slight bump in the road with their thirteenth studio album Ooh Yeah! It was their first release after moving from their longtime home of RCA to Arista and their first studio effort in four years. While its first single "Everything Your Heart Desires" would perform well reaching #3 Pop#2 AC, the album stalled at #24 becoming the lowest peaking effort of their 80s career. Still, it was able to turn platinum (most likely based on shipping numbers rather than actual sales). After a second single "Missed Opportunity" stopped at #29 Pop (#8 AC), the album fell off the chart. Hoping to turn things around, this third single was pushed out. It didn't do much to help the situation halting just outside of the Pop Top 30 while missing all other charts. That result brought a close to the 80s for the duo. The decade saw them score thirteen Pop Top 10 hits with five of those hitting #1. The success pushed them above the Everly Brothers as the most successful duo of the rock era.

ReduxReview:  Although they would have one more near Top 10 hit in '90 (see below), this ended Hall & Oates' amazing 80s run. It would have been nice if they could have closed out the decade with a Top 10 hit, but a Top 40 effort wasn't too bad. This was one of the better songs from an album that didn't rank among their best. I like that it has a bit more of a rock edge that some of their previous chart entries. The chorus is nice too, but overall as a single it wasn't all that memorable. However, there's no denying that the duo put out some of the best singles of the decade and those far outshine mediocre performing tunes like this one.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The duo would make one more album for Arista. In 1990, they would release Change of Seasons. Its first single, "So Close" (co-written and produced by Jon Bon Jovi), would become their final Pop Top 40 single reaching #11 (#6 AC). The album would manage to go gold although it only peaked at #60. After an extended break, the duo would return in '97 with the indie release Marigold Sky (#95). It would spawn the #6 AC entry "Promise Ain't Enough." Their next LP, 2002's Do It for Love would do slightly better (#77) thanks to the title track reaching #1 at AC. Their final Pop chart entry came in 2004 when their remake of The Spinners' 1972 #1 R&B/#3 Pop hit "I'll Be Around" would eke out a #97 showing (#6 AC). It was from their soul covers album Our Kind of Soul (#69). As of this posting date, the duo's last studio effort has been the holiday-themed Home for Christmas. Both Daryl Hall and John Oates would release solo albums after their 80s heydays. Hall's 1993 Soul Alone would include his last solo Pop chart entry with the #82 "I'm in a Philly Mood." Two of his later solo efforts would generate a few AC Top 30 entries. Oates would release his first solo album Phunk Shui in 2002 and he would follow it up with a few more although none would chart. In 2014, the duo would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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