Hall and Oates – Daryl Hall & John Oates – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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Daryl Hall & John Oates

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This is a Super Hot Stamper 2 Pack, with one side of each record earning a grade of A++. The reason it takes two separate records to make one excellent sounding album is simple enough: most pressings of this album are just plain AWFUL. Finding a copy with even one good side is difficult, and practically none of the sides we played earned our top grade, so that ought to tell you something right there. Last time around our top listing was a Super Hot Stamper, with two good sides back to back. No such copy came our way this year, so this two pack is the way to go if you want a complete album with good sound.   

Man, this is one tough nut to crack. So many copies sound so wrong you almost can’t figure out how such a poor recording ever got made. (H2O is every bit as bad or worse.) Gritty vocals, thin vocals, recessed vocals, smeary vocals — this music is all about the vocals and the vocals are pretty bad most of the time.

But this copy gets the duo’s voices to be clear and present, breathy and natural like you have never heard before.

Side One (of record one)

A++, with more top end extension which is a big help on this famously dull album. The vocals are not gritty or edgy and that is a big help too! This is the side with Sara Smile so we think you will find much to like here.

Side Two (of record two)

Really sweet vocals and the stage is so spacious and transparent, this copy put most of what we played to shame. A bit midrangy but that’s mostly on the tape it seems. A++!

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Camellia 
Sara Smile 
Alone Too Long 
Out of Me, Out of You
Nothing at All

Side Two

Gino (The Manager) 
It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
Ennui on the Mountain 
Grounds for Separation 
Soldering

AMG  Review

… much of the album is lush and catchy, featuring ballads and midtempo numbers that are nearly as engaging as the duo’s breakthrough single, “Sara Smile.”