Share this site - Email/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

Abandoned Luncheonette
Hall and Oates

Atlantic SC 7269
Released: October 1973
Chart Peak: #33
Weeks Charted: 38
Certified Gold: 10/5/76

John OatesDaryl HallDaryl Hall and John Oates, two young white Philadelphians, have recycled the essence of that city's good R&B music while retaining their white sound.

Hall and Oates - Abandoned Luncheonette
Original album advertising art.
Click image for larger view.
Their arrangement of "When the Morning Comes" has turned this basically three-chord song into AM chart material. The rhythm guitar pervades the chords of all the verses, playing in a constant open-G tuning (instead of letting the acoustic guitar dominate the track, as so many soft-rock groups do). The bass and drum syncopation lies at the center of the track, an arranging technique common to many soul records. And the melody is more adventurous that the typical handiwork of contemporary singer-songwriters.

Two other songs are potential hits: "She's Gone" (a song with a super-hook), and "Las Vegas Turnaround" (about a man who doesn't want everyone to "come on and fly" his stewardess girlfriend). On the former, Hall and Oates show off the wide range of their vocal technique, and their arranging skill, which creates an intriguing cresscendo that (surprisingly) leads back to the verse instead of the hook.

Further reading on
Super Seventies RockSite!:

Single Review: "Rich Girl"

Article: 'Stupid Questions
with Hall & Oates'

Article: 'Daryl Hall - My 5 Greatest Songs'

Hall & Oates Lyrics

Hall & Oates Videos

Daryl Hall Mugshots

John Oates Mugshots

Through overdubbing, the vocal sound has been rendered prudently lush. Daryl Hall's voice, in particular, is a winner. And not since the Rascals' Atlantic days has a white group made such good soul-influenced radio music. In fact, the group has been aided immeasurably by the presence of the Rascals' producer, Arif Mardin, who also contributes string and horn arrangements. Along with fine sessionmen, including drummer Bernard Purdie, they've made a genuine sleeper (it's been out a few months now). Everyone I know who hears it, falls for it instantly.

- Robert Agualio, Rolling Stone, 4/9/74.

Bonus Reviews!

This comes down to a nice equation of folk duo and soul falsetto group, brought together with the best vocal and production pyrotechnics a studio can afford. The music rocks with a smooth sophistication, although it can get sententious as well as popsy cute; the lyrics diagnose romantic malaise with clinical expertise and occasional acuity -- "Everybody's high on consolation," perfect. If not too perfect. B-

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

It very well may be true, as critic Paul Nelson has suggested, that Daryl Hall is so chic that, were he writing Moby Dick, he'd make the whale off-white. But this Philadelphia duo owes more to hard rock and streetcorner soul than any of its disco-based hits indicate; because their albums present such a decorative surface, songs sometimes blend togetherin an unnecessarily mellow mélange. Their early records for Atlantic are erratic (the Chelsea sides include a goodly number of Daryl Hall demos and very little of his work with John Oates). The high point is, of course, the oft-recorded "She's Gone," an upbeat soul ballad worthy of the Spinners; it's included on both Abandoned Luncheonette and No Goodbyes, a collection released by Atlantic to cash in on the greater success the team has enjoyed with RCA. * * *

- Dave Marsh, The New Rolling Stone Record Guide, 1983.

Abandoned Luncheonette, Hall & Oates' second album, was the first indication of the duo's talent for sleek, soul-inflected pop/rock, featuring the single "She's Gone," which would become a big hit in 1975, when it was re-released following the success of "Sara Smile." * * *

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

 Reader's Comments

No comments so far, be the first to comment.

 Buying Options
Read more reviews, listen to song samples,
and buy this album at

CD Universe
Prefer CD Universe?
Click here.

Alibris connects shoppers with thousands of
independent music sellers around the world.

eBay Music
Search for great music deals on
CDs, vinyl and tapes at eBay.

 Main Page | Readers' Favorites | The Classic 500 | Other Seventies Discs | Search The RockSite/The Web