Song Of The Day 4/6/2014: Daryl Hall - "Babs and Babs"


I had this silly idea the other night. I'm working on this project for the Treble blog -- who I kind have been slacking with lately -- in which I review all the original studio albums by Hall & Oates for their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame later this week. I've listened to all their albums in sequence and have four left. As you surely know by now, I have been pimping Hall & Oates longer than anybody, and I have the pastel-colored rashes to prove it.

I had another theme planned for this week, which has since been postponed and replaced with another idea that's better anyway. But the other night I was in the full throes of Private Eyes, not really looking forward to working on next week's theme, putting it off until the last possible moment.

Then I thought since I'm doing a decalogue about Hall & Oates for someone else this week, why don't I do a week of obscure Hall & Oates songs on the blog! My defense for loving Hall & Oates as I do has more to do with their deep album tracks, let's do some learnin' on the public! For a whole week!

After sleeping it off I realized that was probably a stupid idea on my part. Not because I don't think I'd make a compelling case for why Hall & Oates deserves respect, but because I've never done a full week of songs by one individual artist and it would set a regrettable precedent. Or something that sounds like a good chunk of legalese as to why people back down from spurious and unfettered ambitions.

But I'll give you half a Hall & Oates. Happily, Spotify has made Daryl Hall's 1980 solo album Sacred Songs available. This is the album he made with Robert Fripp as producer. It was stashed in RCA's vaults for three years after he recorded it because it was, to RCA's minds, a thoroughly un-commercial effort. That's B.S., there are some very accessible moments here. But what'd they expect from a Robert Fripp production? Sacred Songs also supports the valid story line that Hall was way, way, way more experimental as a musician than many would have thought.

"Babs and Babs" shows off Hall's hitmaker/experimentalist dichotomy perfectly. It's a sprightly pop song about a couple in the cul-de-sac part of their relationship. It bounces along lightly until the middle, when Fripp spills a Pepsi on it.

Post a Comment

Popular Recent Posts