It's hard to think of the music of the '70s and '80s and not think about Hall & Oates. Their six #1 hits and over 40 million albums sold make them the most successful musical duo of all time. So it makes sense that artists from later generations, who grew up listening to songs like “Maneater” and “Rich Girl” on their, or their parents' stereos, would line up to pay tribute by covering them. Here are seven of the best.
7. Koffin Kats- Maneater
Hall & Oates was known for their gentle blue-eyed soul, but their 1982 hit “Maneater” was one of their more guitar heavy tracks. In fact, it made the perfect cover song for the psychobilly band Koffin Kats on the compilation album Rockabilly and Psychobilly Madness. Their punk approach to “Maneater” is one of the more unique Hall & Oates covers ever attempted.
6. Fruit Bats- One on One
You know you're a successful band when a song that climbed to #7 on the charts is considered one of your “minor hits.” But “One on One” has its fans and indie rockers Fruit Bats are among them. They recorded a fairly straightforward cover of “One on One” as part of A.V. Club's Undercover web series.
5. Lake Street Dive- Rich Girl
Hall & Oates' first #1 single, released in 1977, is also one of their most covered songs. Everyone from Nina Simone to Everclear has taken a stab at it, but Americana group Lake Street Dive, who inject plenty of Hall & Oates-style soul into all their songs, released one of the most energetic renditions on their 2012 covers EP Fun Machine.
4. Hanoi Rocks- Winged Bull
Finnish hard rockers Hanoi Rocks' influence always outpaced their commercial success, but they've been name-checked by the likes of Guns N' Roses and Poison as a formative band for them. So when Michael Monroe reformed the band in 2002 for the album Twelve Shots on the Rocks, they paid their own tribute to Hall & Oates by recording a cover of their 1977 deep album cut “Winged Bull” for their comeback album. For “Winged Bull,” Hanoi Rocks ditched the glam rock sound for a theatrical progressive take.
3. Rumer- Sara Smile
As soon as British traditional pop singer Rumer hit the scene she drew comparisons to one-half of another very successful duo, Karen Carpenter. For her second album, 2012's Boys Don't Cry, Rumer embraced those influences, filling it with '70s songwriters including Hall & Oates' 1976 breakthrough single “Sara Smile.” It was released as a single from the album and got a music video to accompany it.
2. Chromeo with Daryl Hall- I Can't Go for That
You could reasonably do an entire list of great Hall & Oates covers pulled from the long-running web series Live from Daryl's House, where Hall invites in guests to play with him. But if you're only going to pull one, it has to be electro-funk group Chromeo, who made an appearance on the show in 2008 that was so well enjoyed by both parties that Hall joined the duo for a performance at Bonnaroo in 2010.
1. Paul Young- Every Time You Go Away
It's not often that a cover is so successful that many don't even know it's a cover. But that's what Paul Young managed in 1985, taking a deep cut from Hall & Oates' 1980 album Voices and making it his own, scoring a Gold record and a Billboard #1 with it. Backed by a piano and the subtle fretless work of bass wizard Pino Palladino, Young scored his biggest single with this cover.