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John Oates teamed up with fellow musician Daryl Hall to form the mega-hit duo Hall & Oates, known for songs like "Kiss on My List," "One on One" and "Out of Touch."
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Born on April 7, 1949, in New York City, John Oates eventually began collaborating with a fellow singer-songwriter to form the act Daryl Hall & John Oates. The two would be lauded as pop music's most successful duo, with hits including "Sara Smile," "Kiss on My List," "Private Eyes" and "Out of Touch." Oates has also worked with other artists and released his own solo projects, including 2013's Good Road to Follow.
"There's all sorts of soul. There's Irish soul and Native American soul. If it touches you and moves you, it's soul."
"When my song came on the radio for the first time, that was one of the heaviest things I remember."
"There isn't one album that says Hall & Oates. It's always Daryl Hall and John Oates. From the very beginning. People never note that. The idea of 'Hall & Oates,' this two-headed monster, this thing, is not anything we've ever wanted or liked."
John William Oates was born on April 7, 1949, in New York City. He began singing and playing the guitar during childhood, and as a toddler, he and his family moved to a town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Oates soon developed a deep affinity for both R&B and folk music, which would find voice in his own projects. In the mid-1960s, he co-wrote and recorded the soul song "I Need Your Love," garnering radio airplay.
After high school, Oates attended Temple University, where fellow musician Daryl Hall was also enrolled. The two met after running out of a record hop that turned violent, and performed together and separately in other projects for a time thereafter before forming the duo Daryl Hall & John Oates. They signed with Atlantic Records in 1972.
The two released their debut album, Whole Oats, in 1972, followed by 1974's War Babies. In 1976, they moved to New York, where they signed with RCA and produced such popular singles as "Sara Smile" and "Rich Girl," which went to No. 4 and No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts, respectively.
Though viewed as purveyors of Philly and blue-eyed soul (belying that term, Oates actually has Mediterranean features and a distinctive, trademark mustache), the duo's sound evolved to incorporate pop-rock as well; Daryl Hall & John Oates would eventually be lauded as the most successful hit-making duo in popular music history, earning a plethora of gold and platinum sales certifications.
Having a smaller charter presence as the 1970s ended, Hall & Oates re-emerged with 1980's Voices, which they produced and which featured the chart topper "Kiss on My List" and the Top 5 track "You Make My Dreams"—both bouncy, cheery odes to romance.
They continued to release top-selling records throughout the early and mid-'80s: The title track of Private Eyes (1981) became another No. 1 pop hit for the act, while the album's funk-driven, ethereal "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)" landed atop both the pop and R&B charts. H20 (1982) featured No. 1 "Maneater" as well as the Top 10 entrants "One on One" and "Family Man." Hall & Oates' 1983 greatest-hits set, Rock 'n Soul, Part 1, featured such new tunes as "Adult Education" and "Say It Isn't So," while their double-platinum Big Bam Boom (1984) offered up "Method of Modern Love" and yet another No. 1 single, "Out of Touch."
Taking a break from performing together after a 1985 live album at the Apollo, the duo reunited with the platinum 1988 album Ooh Yeah!, featuring the Top 5 song "Everything Your Heart Desires." Over the ensuing years, they would release a few more albums, including Marigold Sky (1997) and Our Kind of Soul (2004).
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Daryl Hall and John Oates met while both were studying music in Philadelphia, and soon formed the popular musical duo Hall & Oates. Blending genres of soul, rock and pop to create a uniquely catchy brand of sound, the two quickly became lauded as pop music's most successful duo, known for hits like "Sara Smile," "Private Eyes," "Out of Touch," "Kiss on My List," "Maneater," "One on One" and "Family Man."
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