Beauty On a Back Street

Beauty On a Back Street

Hall & Oates’ sixth studio album finds the duo relying more on electric guitars and the tight rhythm section of drummer Jeff Porcaro and bassists Leland Sklar, Scott Edwards, and Jim Hughart. Producer Christopher Bond also makes his presence known with synthesizer and guitar, as well as an arranger and conductor of the album’s string arrangements. Due to its rock sound, this album occasionally receives comparisons to the duo’s third album, War Babies, but Beauty on a Back Street is nowhere near that album’s progressive-psych weirdness; it's much closer in spirit to the new wave and FM radio rock of the era. “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?” shows glimpses into their R&B/soul roots, while “Don’t Change” and “You Must Be Good for Something” lean new wave. “Bad Habits and Infections” and “Winged Bull” imagine what Hall & Oates would be like had they gone for an AOR sound. It’s said that neither Hall nor Oates likes this album very much; fans rank it much higher.

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