This list of songs is inspired by lists published by radio station KEXP-FM from Seattle in 2010, as well as the latest poll taken in 2021 by Rolling Stone Magazine. For the most part I will faithfully countdown from their lists, starting at Song #500 and going until I reach Song #1. When you see the song title listed as something like: Song #XXX (KEXP)….it means that I am working off of the official KEXP list. Song XXX (RS) means the song is coming from the Rolling Stone list. If I post the song title as being: Song #xxx (KTOM), it means I have gone rogue and am inserting a song choice from my own personal list of tunes I really like. In any case, you are going to get to hear a great song and learn the story behind it. Finally, just so everyone is aware, I am not a music critic nor a musician. I am a music fan and an armchair storyteller. Here is the story behind today’s song. Enjoy.
RS: The Top 500 Songs in Modern Music History.
Song #166: She’s Gone by Hall & Oates.
Darryl Hall and John Oates have been friends and musical partners for close to half a century now. Any reference to their career by any music critic or fan inevitably uses the term “Blue-eyed Soul” to describe their singing style. Both men could sing soulful songs really well. They had a unique way of singing together which, instead of two-part harmony, saw Darryl Hall sing just slightly higher than John Oates which gave the effect of having parallel notes in differing scales, travelling along together as one. Such a technique gave the duo a broader sound. But, regardless of the technique that they used, the fact remained that these two gentlemen could really sing. There was no need for autotune or any form of synthesized, digitized assistance required for their voices to soar.
Over the course of a career that has seen them sell over twenty million albums worldwide, their list of hits is legendary and includes such classics as, “Rich Girl”, “Sara Smile”, “Kiss on my List”, “Maneater”, “You Make My Dreams Come True”….which the Toronto Maple Leafs play whenever they score a goal at home, “Private Eyes”, “I Can’t Go For That”, “One on One”, “Out of Touch”, “Method of Modern Love” and their first (of six) #! songs, “She’s Gone”. I saw Hall & Oates play at Maple Leaf Gardens way back in the early 1980s. They put on a tremendous show and are consummate performers.
The song, “She’s Gone” comes from a wonderful album called, “Abandoned Luncheonette”. It is based upon a true story of the impending end of Darryl Hall’s first marriage, as well as, John Oates being rejected by a woman he desired on New Year’s Eve. As with most writers, the pair mined their own misery for inspiration; with John Oates coming up with the line, “Everybody’s high on consolation” as a starting point, along with the chorus, right off of the bat. Both men filled in the rest of the lyrics quickly and developed the musical structure shortly thereafter. As mentioned above, “She’s Gone” was the first song of theirs to hit #1 and helped solidify their standing in the music world as up-and-coming stars.
In the video that I will share with you, the two men sing live. As you watch and listen to the song, you will think it is not unlike hundreds and thousands of other songs sung live. You would be correct in making that assumption. However, in the whole history of making music videos, Hall & Oates have earned a special place of honour or infamy, if you will, for another version of a video they recorded for this song. The story is that they were invited to perform on a local music show in Philadelphia (near where they are from). The show was modelled after “American Bandstand”. However, because the duo were relatively new, the producers of the show insisted that they lip sync the song so that they could ensure the quality of the performance would match the quality of the published record album. Hall & Oates, being terrific singers, were highly offended at their talent and integrity being questioned. So, they agreed to lip sync their song but, the video that ensued has gone down as being one of the campiest and thoroughly sabotaged videos of all-time. The producers of the show swore that they would ruin the careers of the two singers but, as time has shown, Hall & Oates are the ones who have ended up being respected and honoured while that small town show has faded into an oblivion it so richly deserved.
So, with out further delay, here are two videos for “She’s Gone”; one legit and one where the band has gone rogue. Enjoy them both.
The link to the “good” video for the song, “She’s Gone” by Hall and Oates, can be found here.
The link to the “infamous” video for the song, “She’s Gone” by hall and Oates, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Hall and Oates, can be found here.
The link to the official website for Rolling Stone Magazine, can be found here.