If you’re looking for the ideal song for your wedding playlist, then you might be considering including some songs by Hall & Oates. But what are the best Hall & Oates songs and which ones are most suitable for a wedding?
Let’s look at the best songs by Hall & Oates and see which tracks are best for your wedding.
About Hall & Oates
Hall and Oates are Daryl Hall and John Oates. They formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1970 and are one of the most successful duos in music history.
In general, Daryl Hall is the lead vocalist while John Oates plays guitar and provides backing vocals. They share songwriting duties and write songs both independently and in collaboration with each other.
They released their first studio album, ‘Whole Oats’ on Atlantic Records in 1972, but this was only mildly successful. ‘Abandoned Luncheonette’ and ‘War Babies’ followed in 1973 and 1974 respectively, but it wasn’t until Hall & Oates moved to RCA and released the album ‘Daryl Hall & John Oates’ that they started to find success. Included on that album was ‘Sara Smile,’ which was the duo’s first Top 10 hit.
Hall & Oates continued to build upon their success and in 1981 released the album, ‘Private Eyes.’ Both the album’s title track and the song ‘I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)’ reached the number-one spot on the singles charts and ‘Private Eyes’ is considered one of the greatest albums of the 80s.
The follow-up album to ‘Private Eyes’ called ‘H20’ became their most successful album and sold nearly four million copies. It also spawned the song ‘Maneater’ which became their most successful single. Their success continued throughout the 1980s and Daryl Hall also had a successful solo career. They continued to release albums throughout the 1990s but they didn’t achieve the same levels of success as their 1980s releases.
Hall & Oates was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class on December 16, 2013. Although the duo has not released a studio album since 2006’s ‘Home for Christmas,’ the pair have continued to tour.
Hall & Oates Songs To Listen To Today
‘Abandoned Luncheonette’ is the title track of Hall & Oates’s second studio album. It was released in 1973 and features both lyrics and music written by Daryl Hall. It was the first album they recorded in New York but the diner of the album cover was actually the former Rosedale Diner in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
According to Hall, the song could have been called ‘Abandoned Lives.’ “It’s about people who gave up and wound up in the same place they started in, only not as good,” he told American Songwriter Magazine.
Written by Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Sara Allen, ‘Adult Education’ was released as a single in 1984. It was one of two new songs that were recorded specifically for the compilation album ‘Rock ‘n Soul Part 1.’
The song tells the story of a teenage girl who is still in high school and is learning about the behavior of adults and that there is more to life than what she is currently experiencing. “The song is a reminder that there is life after high school. That there’s another way of looking at the world, and that another world is a false world and a meaningless world,” Hall told Songfacts.
Did It in a Minute
Released in 1982 from the 1981 album ‘Private Eyes,’ this song was written by Daryl Hall, Sara Allen, and Janna Allen. It broke the top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was also included in the year-end chart.
The song tells the story of suddenly finding a deep and all-encompassing love and this makes it a great song for your wedding. Many married couples will be able to find a connection with the lyrics of the song, especially those that fall in love quickly and deeply. It’s a catchy song that is easy to dance to.
Everything Your Heart Desires
Taken from the album ‘Ooh Yeah!,’ “Everything Your Heart Desires’ reached number 3 in the US charts and was Hall & Oates’s last song to hit the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10. It was released in 1988 and was written in its entirety by Daryl Hall.
Lyrically, the song is about a woman that outwardly has everything her heart desires, but is always looking for more. It talks of a lover that wants someone new despite professing to be happy. “That is about people who are dissatisfied. It’s saying, Why are you dissatisfied? You know you have a really interesting world here,” Hall told Songfacts.
Despite the theme of the song, the mid-tempo beat and sound would make it a good cool-down song for towards the end of your wedding playlist.
Everytime You Go Away
This beautiful ballad was written by Daryl Hall but never released as a single by them. The most well-known and popular version of the song is a cover version released by Paul Young, which reached number 1 on the US charts. It’s also been covered by other artists including Gloria Gaynor, George Benson, and Susan Wong.
The Hall & Oates version was included on the album ‘Voices’ and has been performed on tour by them, also. Although the Paul Young cover is more well-known, the Hall & Oates original is just as beautiful.
The lyrics speak of a troubled relationship and how every argument and separation destroys the narrator of the song. It’s a great song for slow dancing and tells a romantic tale of a couple that despite the arguments, still need each other.
This song serves as a stark contrast to ‘Everytime You Go Away.’ While that song was written by Hall & Oates and became a hit for someone else, ‘Family Man’ was written by someone else and became a hit for Hall & Oates.
Written by Mike Oldfield, Tim Cross, Rick Fenn, Mike Frye, Morris Pert, and Maggie Reilly, the song was originally released by Mike Oldfield in 1982. It was a minor success for Oldfield but a bigger success for Hall & Oates when they released it in 1983. The song tells the story of the titular family man turning down a prostitute because of his family.
I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’ is one of Hall & Oates’ most well-known and popular songs. It was the fourth single of their career to hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and also took the top spot on the R&B charts.
The title comes from a phrase Daryl Hall used when he was pressured to do something he didn’t want to. This idea is reflected in the lyrics of the narrator, who sings that they are willing to do many things but “can’t go for that.”
Although the song doesn’t have the most romantic lyrics, if you want a popular song for people to dance to at your wedding, this is a great choice.
Kiss On My List
The song was originally intended for Janna Allen to release as part of the singing career she was hoping to launch. However, Daryl Hall made a demo version of the song and when the manager of Hall & Oates heard it, he insisted that the duo release it themselves. It was the first song Allen ever wrote and started a long-time writing partnership with Hall & Oates.
This is another Hall & Oates song that is great for filling a dancefloor during a wedding reception. It has a catchy chorus line and outwardly loving lyrics.
Arguably, this is the most well-known song in Hall & Oates’s lengthy back catalog. It not only racked up another number one on the Billboard Hot 100 but remained there for four weeks, making it the longest-running number one of their career.
‘Maneater’ was written by Sara Allen, Daryl Hall, and John Oates and featured on the 1982 album ‘H20.’ Although the lyrics seem to tell the story of a seductive woman that likes to use men to satisfy her rich tastes, Oates has said this isn’t the true meaning of the song. Instead, the song personifies New York and the greed found in the city during the 1980s.
Although the lyrics of the song don’t seem suited to a wedding, it’s still a popular choice due to how well-known and liked it is. If you want an 80s soundtrack for your wedding, you have to include this song.
Method of Modern Love
The song is about how timeless love is and how it never changes, despite how the world has changed and the stresses and strains of the modern world. Even for those who have never heard ‘Method of Modern Love,’ the song may sound familiar as it was sampled on the song ‘Method Man’ by Wu-Tang Clan.
The theme of the song makes it a suitable wedding song and it’s best suited as a come-down song due to the laid-back vibe it has.
One on One
The song uses the basketball term of playing one-on-one against an opponent as a metaphor for love and the lyrics are full of other sports-related terms. Hall said that the song was also an expression of traveling and his desire to stay at home. He told Mix magazine that it “expresses a theme I’ve explored in lots of my songs, the idea that I’ve been traveling all my life but my heart longs to stay in one place; being in one place, but wanting to be somewhere else.”
‘One on One’ is a mid-tempo, smooth song that would fit in nicely towards the end of a wedding playlist.
Out of Touch
The song is about staying in control and not losing your soul. The narrator sings about losing their mind when their love isn’t around to help. It’s an easy song to dance to and has a catchy chorus that your wedding guests are sure to love.
‘Possession Obsession’ was released in 1984 and written by Daryl Hall, Sara Allen, and John Oates. It’s a little unusual compared to other Hall & Oates songs as instead of being sung by Daryl Hall, it was instead sung by John Oates.
As the title suggests, the song is about possession and the jealousy and obsession that can come with it. It has a cool beat and the typical 80s synth sounds that make it easy to dance to.
The lyrics of the song compare romance to being a spy or an undercover detective and get its name from the movie The Private Eyes. The movie was also about detectives and seeing a billboard advertising it inspired songwriter Warren Pash to present the idea to Janna Allen, who later suggested Hall & Oates.
Like several other Hall & Oates songs, ‘Private Eyes’ is sure to get your wedding guests on the dancefloor.
‘Rich Girl’ was the first song by Hall & Oates to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also ranked 23rd on the Billboard chart of the year for 1977. The song was written by Daryl Hall and included on their album ‘Bigger Than Both of Us’.
The song focuses on the titular rich girl who uses her parent’s money to buy whatever she wants. Although the lyrics focus on a spoiled girl, it was actually based on an ex-boyfriend of Hall’s longtime girlfriend and co-writer Sara Allen.
Released in 1975, this was the first Hall & Oates song to break the top 10 on Billboard Hot 100. It was written by both Daryl Hall and John Oates and was written about Hall’s girlfriend at the time, Sara Allen.
Hall and Allen were together for nearly 30 years and the lyrics of the song are a sweet expression of love from a boyfriend to his girlfriend. Hall told Entertainment Weekly that the song “was a postcard to Sara Allen, who was my partner for many, many years, a ‘having a great time, wish you were here,’ kind of thing.”
The sweet sentiment makes this a great wedding song and is especially a must if someone named Sara is getting married!
Say It Isn’t So
The song was inspired by how the fame of Hall & Oates made them feel like they were alienated from the general public. It made them feel like outsiders. As Daryl explained to Songfacts, “You know, that line, “We like to be the strangers at the party, two rebels in a shell,” that had a lot to do with John and I’s relationship to the world.”
The 80s synth beat and Motown influence make this an easy song for wedding guests to dance to.
This song was written by Daryl Hall and John Oates as they were commiserating over the breakdowns of their relationships. The song was originally released in 1973 before being re-released in 1976 and was originally included on the album ‘Abandoned Luncheonette.’
‘She’s Gone’ is a soulful ballad about lost love and has themes that are very universal to anyone that has both loved and lost. As John Oates told Sounds, the song has a “universal intimacy.”
You Make My Dreams
(Song is featured on our list of Wedding Recessional Songs)
Written by Hall, Oates, and regular songwriting partner Sara Allen, ‘You Make My Dreams’ was released as a single in 1981.
The song has a very distinctive and jaunty riff that runs throughout and a swing-style beat. This makes it an ideal song for dancing at any point during your wedding reception. Your guests are sure to enjoy dancing to this song and it should be known by most of your guests.
Hall & Oates Highest Charting Songs – US
- #1 “Rich Girl”, 1977
- #1 “Kiss on My List”, 1981
- #1 “Private Eyes”, 1981
- #1 “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, 1981
- #1 “Maneater”, 1982
- #1 “Out of Touch”, 1984
- #2 “Say It Isn’t So”, 1983
- #3 “Everything Your Heart Desires”, 1988
- #4 “Sara Smile”, 1976
- #5 “You Make My Dreams”, 1981
- #5 “Method of Modern Love”, 1985
- #6 “Family Man”, 1983
- #7 “She’s Gone” (re-release), 1976
- #7 “One on One”, 1983
- #8 “Adult Education”, 1984
- #9 “Did It in a Minute”, 1982
Hall & Oates have a very varied back catalog of songs. Although there aren’t many straightforward love songs that can be considered for a married couple’s first dance, they have many hit songs that can fill a dance floor and get people singing along.
We hope that this article will help you pick the perfect Hall & Oates song for your wedding playlist.
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