We’ve got a new Think Again column called “CBS and Dan Rather–Doing theRight’s Dirty Work,” and it’s here.
My Nation column, “Where have you gone, William Safire?” is here.
Sal’s got an interview with Hall & Oates and Pierce follows below, whichis followed by more mail. Now here’s Sal:
Alter-reviews: New H & O Box Set.
Do What You Want, Be What You Are, is the new 4 CD boxed set from thebiggest selling duo of all time, the oft misunderstood Daryl Hall & JohnOates. For almost 40 years, Hall & Oates have been recording together,topping the charts with hit after hit, while getting hit for theirstring of unfortunate MTV videos during the eighties. As a longtime,pre-MTV fan of the band, I’ve made a second career out of trying toconvince the non-believers, that Daryl & John are so much more than”Maneater” & “No Can Do.” This wonderful boxed set covers it all, fromthe pre-H&O material of Daryl & John’s first bands, The Temptones andThe Masters, to the early folk material found on their first two albums,to the middle 70s where they were finding themselves as rock ‘n’ soulartists, through their most successful period in the 80s, right on up totheir most current achievements.
I had the pleasure of talking to both Daryl Hall and John Oates,(separately) and here’s what they had to say.
So let’s talk about the box. How difficult was it for you guys to decideon the final track list for this set?
Well, I did most of it, which is not unusual, and I had to listen. Thatwas the only way to do it…to sit down, take every song, analyze it andlisten to it in a big giant gulp. I’m not a nostalgic person, I don’t goback and listen to my stuff. I don’t think most artists do. But I had toand it was a real eye-opening experience, like getting a perspective onyour whole life.
It was difficult. There were a lot of choices. How do you do it? How doyou distill 450 songs into 74, or whatever it is? Obviously the hits hadto be included, and they are. But we wanted to create a package for thehardcore fan who really knows us, give them some surprises…createsomething that maybe they never had, which we did with the unreleasedselections. But for the casual fan who may only know us because of thehits, we wanted to show the depth of the material, the songwriting, andthe production, the uniqueness of some of the things that we did thatwere above and beyond those songs that were so famous.
As I look at every Daryl Hall & John Oates record, each subsequentrelease seems so diverse from the one prior. It seems so natural foryou, like you guys never experimented and failed. But as the biggestselling duo of all time, do you feel that your hits truly represent whatyou and Daryl originally set out to do?