Daryl Hall and John Oates, circa 1970; photo by Michael Ochs | Getty Images

Top 10 Greatest Hall & Oates Songs You’ve Never Heard Of

Last Updated: April 9, 2023By Tags: , , ,

If you’re a Hall & Oates super-fan, just walk away right now – this list is not for you.

This list is for those folks that have only heard of Hall & Oates from their stolen car radio speakers in Grand Theft Auto games or the occasional cinematic feature soundtrack. If you’re someone who falls into that category, I’m so very sorry to be the one to tell you this, but all of the adults in your life have failed you. It happens to the best of us.

Alas, have no fear! I’m going to try my best to rectify the wrongdoing you’ve unknowingly suffered from.

About Hall & Oates

Hall & Oates, comprised of Daryl Hall and John Oates, are a legendary pop, rock, r&b, soul, and jazz duo from Philadelphia. And when I say legendary, I mean you were probably conceived in the back of a shag wagon to the beat of one of their songs. Yes, this is THAT kind of article.

Hall & Oates’ journey into mainstream music started in 1970, and has expanded over the course of nearly five (5) decades. Hall & Oates are well-known for many hit songs, including She’s Gone, Sara Smile, Rich Girl, Kiss On My List, You Make My Dreams, Private Eyes, I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), Maneater, Family Man, Say It Isn’t So, Adult Education, Out of Touch, and many more. With 18 studio albums, 11 live albums, 27 compilation albums, 75 singles, and 39 music videos under their belts, Hall & Oates are easily classified as two of the best songwriters and singers from the United States.

If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to catch them on tour before they wrap it up for a bit.

Top 20 Billboard Hot 100 Singles

Hall & Oates are a legendary duo in their own right, but when it comes to music, they really know their stuff! According to the Billboard Hot 100 charts, this is the best of the best of their hit songs:

  1. Kiss On My List, #1 (1981)
  2. I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), #1 (1981)
  3. Maneater, #1 (1982)
  4. Out of Touch, #1 (1984)
  5. Private Eyes, #1 (1981)
  6. Rich Girl, #1 (1977)
  7. Say It Isn’t So, #2 (1983)
  8. Everything Your Heart Desires, #3 (1988)
  9. Sara Smile, #4 (1976)
  10. Method of Modern Love, #5 (1985)
  11. You Make My Dreams, #5 (1981)
  12. Family Man, #6 (1983)
  13. One on One, #7 (1976)
  14. She’s Gone, #7 (1976)
  15. Adult Education, #8 (1984)
  16. Did It in a Minute, #9 (1982)
  17. So Close, #11 (1990)
  18. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, #12 (1980)
  19. Wait for Me, #18 (1979)
  20. Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid, #18 (1985)

Our favorite hits on this list are Out of Touch, I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), Method of Modern Love, Private Eyes, Adult Education, Family Man, and So Close.

Top 10 Greatest Songs You’ve Never Heard Of

Their catalog is so vast, it was nearly impossible to narrow down this list to a mere ten potential contenders that should have been released as singles, but we did our best.

#10: Is It A Star, 1974

Is It a Star was released on October 19, 1974, as a track off Hall & Oates’ third studio album, War Babies. Is It a Star is arguably about the rise to stardom and the struggle to embrace celebrity status while remaining true to themselves and those around them.

Is it a star or is it me?
You say you believe in
And all of nights, when my stage smile’s not so wild
Ain’t coming easy

Is It A Star was written by Daryl Hall and John Oates, who performed lead vocals on the track. Is It a Star was one of the last songs recorded and released for Atlantic Records.

#9: Go Solo, 1982

Go Solo was released as a track on the 1982 album H2O, the eleventh studio album from Hall & Oates. Go Solo is about breaking up a good relationship because it’s easier to be alone than working through the problems.

You say there’s trouble in Paradise
I’m only joking but you better be right
Oh, whatever happens, there ain’t no turnin’ ’round
I can understand you need to find yourself

Go Solo was written by Daryl Hall, who also provided lead vocals on the track.

#8: Going Thru The Motions, 1984

Going Thru The Motions was released as a non-single track on the 1984 album, Big Bam Boom. Going Thru The Motions can be interpreted as a song about sexual intimacy between two people.

Automatic action, follow my reflection
I see myself in watching you
Lock into a vision, rising through the rhythm
Trance until the dance is through

Going Thru The Motions was written by Janna Allen, Sara Allen, John Oates, and Daryl Hall, who performed lead vocals on the track.

#7: Guessing Games, 1982

Guessing Games was released as a non-single track on the 1982 album, H2O. The song is about trying to figure out what a woman is thinking about, and treading carefully as to not shift her mood.

Strange moods and jealous anger
A kind of passion that I can’t explain
You’re high strung that’s attraction
But your act is driving me away

Guessing Games was written by Janna Allen and Daryl Hall, who performed lead vocals on the track.

#6: Possession Obsession, 1984

Possession Obsession was released on October 12, 1984 as a single off the duo’s twelfth studio album, Big Bam Boom. A 12″ version of the track was released as a bonus on the Remastered edition of the album. A music video for Possession Obsession was released in 1985, and the song reached #30 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The compulsion to count the percentage of time
Spent between two lovers
Can turn an hour into a crime
And all the good times suffer
Though you know it’s only jealousy
You can’t help but be
Haunted by your passion

Possession Obsession was written by Sara Allen, Janna Allen, Daryl Hall, and John Oates, who performed lead vocals on the track. John Oates really gave us his best on this track, and it’s one of the best ever released by the duo.

#5: Crime Pays, 1982

Crime Pays was a non-single track released on the 1982 album, H2O. Crime Pays is about a woman breaking and playing the hearts of her lovers, but never suffering through the same fate.

You know, I know you’re a pro and con artiste
Oh baby, you’re a false alarm
Why do I try to play it by the rules?
I was the victim, but I’m not a fool

Crime Pays was written by Sara Allen, John Oates, Daryl Hall, who performed the leading vocals on the track.

#4: Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect), 1980

Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect) was released on July 29, 1980 as the 6th track on the duo’s ninth studio album, Voices. This song was released as a B-Side track with the single You Make My Dreams, a hit song that reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect) is about calling out a someone who thinks they can do no wrong for their hypocrisy.

Oh, no, stop bitching indiscretion
You’re such an A-1 lover, since when are you perfection
Never true blue to me, so why are you getting nasty
Well, it’s lucky for you that I’m gonna keep dancing

Gotta Lotta Nerve (Perfect Perfect) was written by Sara Allen, Daryl Hall, and John Oates.

#3: Open All Night, 1982

Open All Night debuted on Hall & Oates’ eleventh studio album, H20, on October 4, 1982. It was released as a B-Side track for Hall & Oates’ hit single, Family Man. Open All Night is about an affair one’s lover had while he was out of town, and he heard about it from a friend.

I gotta lotta friends that I don’t need
They say, “You’d rather hear it first from me”
Maybe I don’t wanna hear it at all
It’s too far to fall, so don’t say

Open All Night was written by Sara Allen and Daryl Hall, who performed lead vocals on the track.

#2: Your Imagination, 1981

Your Imagination was released on September 1, 1981 as a single on the duo’s tenth studio album, Private Eyes. Your Imagination was the lowest-charting song from the album, only reaching #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song itself had really great potential as a single release, and Hall & Oates even released a music video for the song, but it failed to reach the Top 20. Your Imagination is about suspicion, and the fear that your lover is sneaking around on you with someone else, so you look for clues in the words they say and what they do.

You’re caring too much about what I say
You’re wondering too much about what I do
And baby, your imagination
Imagination’s got the best of you

Your Imagination was written and performed by Daryl Hall, with John Oates performing in the background.

#1: Cold, Dark and Yesterday, 1984

Cold, Dark and Yesterday debuted as a B-Side for Hall & Oates #1 single Out of Touch, which was released on October 4, 1984. It was released on October 12, 1984, as a track on their twelfth studio album, Big Bam Boom. Cold, Dark and Yesterday discusses the tribulations of survival in the deserted wilderness, and interacting with natives who are familiar with extreme temperatures. We chose this beautiful masterpiece as our ultimate favorite because of the impressive rhythm and the story within the song.

Let’s disembark, disconnect, possibilities unknown
On the edge of a heading for heavy weather
I suspect, I can tell, I can feel it in my bone
You’re not well, but you never, never know

Cold, Dark and Yesterday was written and performed by John Oates, with Daryl Hall singing in the background.

The Playlist

We put together a playlist for Top 10 Greatest Songs You’ve Never Heard Of on Amazon Music. Check it out!

What are your favorite Hall & Oates songs?

About the Author: Ammie-Marie Littke

Minimalist. Adventure seeker. Prefer experiences over things. Scientifically curious. Technological enthusiast. Independent voter. Songwriter. Avid music fan (80's music trivia whiz). Active concert goer. Michigan Wolverines fan. Beach snob. Borderline fashionista, but also in love with flare jeans.

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