BY JAKE KRZECZOWSKI | Contributor August 29, 2012 2:28PM
Updated: August 29, 2012 2:30PM
Darryl Hall and John Oates, one of the most influential rock duos during the Reagan years, return to Ravinia on Sept. 1.
Better known as Hall & Oates, the two men rocked the pop stage with their rock and R&B fusion throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s, en route to being named Billboard’s best duo of all time.
“Chicago’s always been a great city for us, but has really embraced us these past couple of years. And the shows have gotten better and better,” said Oates. “It’s amazing that after all these years we’re able to go out there and bring excitement, and the fans are still showing up.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Hall & Oates’ first album. The duo got their start in the early ’70s in Philadelphia and found their voice with hits like 1976’s “Sara Smile” and “Rich Girl” in 1977, before taking over the pop charts in the early ’80s with a string of hit songs and top-grossing albums.
The success hinged mainly on their distinctive, hybrid sound that Hall & Oates called “rock ‘n’ soul.”
“Coming from Philadelphia, we were exposed to a lot of different sound, such as rock and R&B, so we tried to open ourselves up to incorporating all of those,” said Oates. “For lack of a better term, we came up with ‘rock ‘n’ soul’ because we rocked and we have soul.”
Oates still pays tribute to what he calls “the tree of rock,” the work of past artists he and Hall built on as their personal sound evolved.
It’s something he’s noted in a new generation of musicians.
“An original sound is something that’s hard to accomplish,” said Oates. “This younger generation, though, is doing exactly what we did. They just have new tools to work with because of the technology and whatnot.”
Currently, Oates is working on a solo album that he expects out sometime in 2013. Hall released a solo CD, “Laughing Down Crying,” in September 2011, and is rumored to be working on an album with electrofunk duo Chromeo.
Though the two have traveled the world with their music for 40 years, and have reached a level of satisfaction with their accomplishments, they have no desire to stop, or even to slow down.
“We’re pretty firmly implanted in the world of rock music and it’s been great,” said Oates. “We’ve been coming to Chicago since the ’70s and we’re excited to keep doing so with this show.”~