Sunday, 13 November 2011

Abandoned Luncheonette - Hall & Oates

Joe writes: I've never seen Hall & Oates' second album Abandoned Luncheonette in a "best albums of all time" list, and I used to study these things closely. But I really think it's one of the best albums of all time. I guess Hall & Oates are still primarily associated with the bombast and brazen commerciality of their eighties hits (which I also love). This album has none of that - it is impeccably cool and soulful.

It's produced by Arif Mardin. The musicianship is incredible and the songwriting even more so. The first five songs are flawless, including the only one that's really well known, She's Gone. The album came out in 1973 and it took three years for She's Gone to become a US hit (it reached no. 7 in 1976). It was their first UK hit the same year, although it only reached no. 42 here. Opening track When The Morning Comes is my favourite, so simple and concise, with a lyric full of yearning and intrigue.

When I first wrote about this album, it was only available in the UK on import and there was one track missing from iTunes. Fortunately that has now been remedied.

Hall & Oates - When The Morning Comes:

Hall & Oates - Had I Known You Better Then:

(update of post original from 10/06/08)


Wibbs said...

The non availability of Abandoned Luncheonette is a disgrace. Personally I could never really cope with H&O after that album. They just seemed to lose their ‘soul’.

I discovered them on a Paul Gamb: presented programme on Radio One on a Saturday afternoon in the mid / late 70s. It featured the USA Top Ten and the best new stuff out of America. It remains my favourite and most personally influential radio programme. And the quality of what he played was astounding. So many things that are now the perennial classics were then just obscure Americana (Steve Miller, H&O, Eagles, Boz S, EW&F, Andrew Gold, Bill Withers etc)

Anonymous said...

I am stoked to see you add "Abandoned Luncheonette" to your list of the greatest music of all time. I know it's on the top of my list, and it's beyond me that other s could possibly fail to leave it off. Well done!!!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous, fabulous record. You are spot on. It is greatly under appreciated. When the album first came out , we used to play the heck out AL on our college radio station.

Marc Caputo said...

The funny thing about "She's Gone" is that until about 10 years ago, I'd never heard the full AL version. That has to be one of the strangest edits I've ever heard - creating one verse by compressing two halves of two verses. The first time I'd heard that version was 25 after hearing the single - nearly drove off the road!!

The World's Greatest Music said...

I never noticed that Marc - interesting

Marc Caputo said...

Oh yeah, it's wild. Actually, that may be one of the most perfect songs I've ever heard.