We can imagine the set of a Daryl Hall and John Oates video in pristine detail: rows of fog machines, stacks of top-of-the-line keyboards, racks of blazers, an entire bin of hair spray and perhaps a saxophonist waiting in the curtains. The pioneering pop rock duo defined the sights and sounds of the '70s and '80s with their clever song craft, stylish duds and overall conceptual creativity. This summer, the guys will light up New York's Forest Hills Stadium with their ecstatic hits alongside Tears for Fears and Allen Stone. Grab tickets for the June 16 show here and check out some of Hall and Oates' finest cinematic creations below.
"She's Gone" (1973)
Oates' personal favorite video depicts the pair lounging languorously in armchairs, smoking cigarettes and sporadically lip-syncing as a woman (actually Oates' sister Sara) walks by. Things really heat up when the devil appears, offering Oates a blazer to wear over his sleeveless button down and bow-tie so he can rock out in high fashion.
Oates finally explained the mind-boggling video in a 2009 interview with Losanjealous. "We were asked to lip sync "She's Gone" for a teenage TV dance show broadcast out of Atlantic City, New Jersey. And we really didn't want to do that; we didn't want to pretend to sing the song...We showed up at the television studio with a chair from our living room...The devil who comes through was our road manager at the time. And we brought Monopoly money, and those weird instruments, and they thought we were nuts." We won't argue with him there.
Men, beware: both a sexily-dressed woman and an actual predatory cat may be out to get you ("The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar"). With hazy lighting, longing stares and an epic Charles DeChant saxophone solo, the video depicts the ethos of the time. “It’s about greed, avarice and spoiled riches, but we have it in the setting of a girl because it’s more relatable," Oates told Ultimate Classic Rock . Social criticicism aside, the guys were A-OK dropping “probably $10,000" on the jaguar actor.
"Adult Education" (1985)
Disclaimer: Oates once called this video a "Big mistake. That was a mistake from the beginning. That was stupid." The Tim Pope-directed conceptual piece depicts the band in some sort of torch-lit stone temple, in which a chanting, middle-aged man in a baseball cap oversees a sacrificial ritual between two teenagers. Although arty in concept, the execution was...imperfect. "Videos began to attract wannabe Cecil B. Demilles, directors who had almost unlimited budgets and did whatever they felt like," said in the book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. "'Adult Education' is a perfect example. We brought in a director I didn't know [Pope], who was newly hot. He didn't have a clue what to do with the song. The plot? I couldn't tell you."
"Family Man" (1982)
The guys rock out in a pink-painted living room as tiny animated women, men and lipstick kisses (aka O.G. emojis) move across the screen. Later, the room is occupied by stern children and eventually a happily rockin' family as the guys warn all approaching women: "Leave me alone, I'm a family man/And my bark is much worse than my bite."
"Out of Touch" (1984)
Like any good adventure narrative, this video opens with the pair trapped inside a giant bass drum. As for how they came to be in there? Blame director Jeff Stein. “He had penchant for overly large scenic objects,” Oates explained. He later described the period as their "Baroque era, the Rococo era of music videos...We were spending way too much money for no reason at all."