I discovered the Internet in 1996 and it wasn't long before I stumbled upon
Rock and Soul International. It was a site made up strictly of devoted HO
fans like myself, lead by NoCanDu and Phillymood. I couldn't have been
happier! It was through this site that I found out about the happenings of
the guys, and picked up a copy of Daryl's latest solo effort, Can't Stop
Dreaming, a few weeks before it was set to hit the store shelves.
But it wasn't long before my relationship with RSI soured. By early 1997,
I began to realize their info was sure wrong a lot. The release of CSD had
already changed 3-4 times. But then came the news that I had been waiting
years for. D&J were heading into the studio to record a new album. I was
hoping this development would light a fire underneath our gals and
motivate them to go out and get the timely, accurate, and substantiated
info I craved.
Granted, this album being successful was going to be a long shot. It could
be argued that, for all practical purposes, Hall and Oates careers ended in
1990, when they released the dud Change of Season. It was a critical,
creative, and commercial failure. It was obvious that the guys song tank was running on empty. In fact, Arista boss Clive Davis insisted that the guys make major revisions before he released it. (Or maybe the guys careers ended even earlier, in 1985 when they took time out for Daryl to start a solo career.) The seven years since had
brought only Daryl's solo disaster, Soul Alone, and now the delayed Can't
Stop Dreaming. But at least they were on the hottest label in the world
and with Davis behind them; this potential comeback record would have a
But the stress between RSI and I escalated when they insisted that the
album would be out in June, in time for the guys summer tour, even though
it was already April and DJ were still recording. That left nowhere near
the time that was going to be needed for Clive to carefully set up the
album. When I pointed this out to our gals, I was brushed aside as not knowing
what I was talking about.
A June release became even more doubtful when rumors surfaced of tensions
between HO and Davis. The Arista head rejected the product recorded to
that point, claiming that its release would end the careers, once and for
all, of HO. Instead, he wanted DJ to start recording from scratch, this
time with stud producer Dallas Austin handling the controls, an idea the
guys balked at. Suddenly, DJs comeback was in real jeopardy.
The days turned into weeks and pretty soon it was June with no album in
sight. Then, on June 16, 1997 the worst possible news was reported by RSI.
It was The Day The Music Died. Hall and Oates as we knew them, were dead.
Subject: End to Label Speculation!
Date: 06/16/1997 2:33 PM Mountain Standard Time
OK, I think I can finally put an end to the speculation:
As fate would have it, I got official word on the issue from "on high" today. As of Friday, Daryl and John have officially and legally parted ways with Arista. This was their choice, and they are extremely happy about this development. They have fought hard to escape the constraints of Arista.
The album will be released on Daryl's Untied Records through Brian Doyle's new, soon to be named Record Label/Management/Entertainment Company. It will reportedly be distributed by BMG.
This album will definitely see the light of day... with the single to be released on August, and the album in September. Six weeks of tour dates are being scheduled in the major market areas of the U.S. in Sept/Oct to give the album and single a big promotional push. So we can consider the summer tour as just a warm up to the real "Marigold Sky" tour.
The moral of this story is: "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself!!"
Despite the candy and nuts Promises of NoCanDu of this being the vehicle
that HO were going to use to reboot their careers, artists don't go to a
"new, soon to be named label" to make a comeback. They go to wind down
their final years. They were too young to retire, so this enabled them to
claim in media interviews that they are still active artists, plus it gave them
new product to sell at their concerts, etc. But it definitely wasn’t done
as a way to appeal to the masses, or get back on Top 40 radio. DJ may not
have been coming right out and saying it, but they were throwing in the
towel, admitting their days of being viable recording artists were over.