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  • Writer's pictureSteven Pluto

My Record Collection: Daryl Hall & John Oates - Big Bam Boom (1984)

Updated: Nov 30, 2022


Daryl Hall – lead vocals (1-6, 8), backing vocals, synthesizers, electric guitar, arrangements John Oates – lead vocals (7, 9), backing vocals, synthesizers, electric guitar, synth guitar, arrangements G.E. Smith – lead electric guitar Tom "T-Bone" Wolk – synthesizer, bass guitar, electric guitar, arrangements Robbie Kilgore – keyboards, synthesizer programming Wells Christy – Synclavier programming Clive Smith – Fairlight CMI Mickey Curry – drums Jay Burnett – additional percussion Bashiri Johnson – percussion, timbales Jimmy Bralower – LinnDrum programming Charles DeChant – saxophone Coati Mundi – Spanish vocals

Track listing Big Bam Boom – Standard edition 1. "Dance on Your Knees" Arthur Baker, Daryl Hall 1:25 2. "Out of Touch" Daryl Hall, John Oates 4:21 3. "Method of Modern Love" Daryl Hall, Janna Allen 5:32 4. "Bank on Your Love" Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen 4:17 5. "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid" Daryl Hall 5:27 6. "Going Thru The Motions" Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen 5:39 7. "Cold Dark and Yesterday" John Oates 4:41 8. "All American Girl" Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen 4:28 9. "Possession Obsession" Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen 4:36

My very first Hall and Oates album was Big Bam Boom or BBB as I like to refer to it. BBB was released on October 12, 1984 and was produced by Bob Clearmountain and Hall and Oates. The album spawned four hit singles and sold three million units around the world.

Daryl Hall and John Oates were a hit making machine during the 80's, with numerous hit singles like; Maneater, Private Eyes, Kiss On My List, I Can't Go For That and You Make My Dreams. They were in super heavy rotation on radio and video stations alike. BBB marked the end of arguably their most successful album runs by a duo .

By the time BBB was released, I think Hall and Oates were getting tired of being pigeon holed as bubblegum hit makers. With BBB, the duo parted with Neil Kernon, their engineer/co-producer for Voices, Private Eyes, and H20 and hired Bob Clearmountain as a co-producer and engineer who brought in hip-hop pioneer Arthur Baker to update their sound.

BBB in my opinion is a mixed bag. As adventurous as the album is, it does surfer from the abundance/overindulgence of the 80' s state of the art technology. It looked like everything at the duo's disposal was put on the album; which at times takes away the sentiment of the songs. When you read some of the song titles; Out of Touch, Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid, Cold, Dark and Yesterday, there is a dark undercurrent to the material that unfortunately gets buried under all the layers of synthesizers, echo chambers and studio effects.

Still, BBB has some great moments, like the debut single Out of Touch or the slightly silly yet engaging Method of Modern Love. The haunting Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid. Along with those before mentioned, the soulful Possession Obsession and the hard-rocking Bank on Your Love are also inspiring.

Hall and Oates still gets high marks from me simply for the fact that the duo tried to the push the boundaries of their sound. Perhaps if Neil Kermon co-produced the album, BBB would have become the duos quintessential album because I believe he would have better captured the sentiment of the songs.

In either case though, I still get a lot of joy while listening to BBB. It definitely deserves another listen.

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