Bigger Than Both of Us
The Philly duo’s 1975 self-titled album featured the commercial breakthrough “Sara Smile”—which prompted their previous label to rerelease “She’s Gone,” giving Hall & Oates two top 10 hits. For their follow-up album, 1976’s Bigger Than Both of Us, Daryl Hall wrote the new song they needed, “Rich Girl.” It became their first of six No. 1 hit singles and one of the most popular songs of the '70s and onward. John Oates handled lead vocals on “Back Together Again,” “Crazy Eyes," and “You’ll Never Learn,” giving the duo a sense of artistic balance. “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” would be covered by The Dramatics in 1979, but the Hall & Oates version shows how perfectly formed was the blue-eyed soul of these R&B fans from Philadelphia. With top session men like Leland Sklar and Scotty Edwards on bass and Jim Gordon and Ed Greene on drums, and with Tom Scott adding flute, saxophone, and lyricon where necessary, Hall & Oates were poised to have a big future. But they were still several albums away from mastering the formula for their greatest successes.