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Along the Red Ledge Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 29 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B001AWV2FY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,607 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. It's a Laugh
2. Melody For a Memory
3. The Last Time
4. I Don't Wanna Lose You
5. Have I Been Away Too Long
6. Alley Katz
7. Don't Blame It On Love
8. Serious Music
9. Pleasure Beach
10. August Day

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
With their #1 hit "Rich Girl", Daryl Hall & John Oates moved from blue-eyed soul journeymen to certified pop stars. However, their superstar success was still a few years away, so until then the duo continued to work while coming up with only moderate hit singles in the long run. 1977's BIGGER THAN BOTH OF US was the prototype for Hall & Oates' white soul intentions, but for fear of being typed into that genre, they pursued a harder, rock-based sound for the follow-up BEAUTY ON A BACK STREET (also 1977). That album failed to do much business, indicating the duo would need to really work to regain the success they had tasted with "Rich Girl". 1978's ALONG THE RED LEDGE didn't do that, but it was a nice try nonetheless. This album saw the duo reconcile both their soul and rock aspirations into a well-meshed whole. Case in point: the album's lone top 40 hit "It's A Laugh". Equal parts rock, soul, and power pop, this song also was a good example of the duo's rather jaundiced look at relationships. This cynicism was often mistaken for chauvinism, but this has always been greatly misinterpreted. Other songs that bring the rock influence to the forefront include the fun "Alley Katz", "Don't Blame It On Love", "Melody For A Memory", and John Oates' Beach Boys tribute "Pleasure Beach". Elsewhere, RED LEDGE contains Philly soul of the highest order that Kenny Gamble-Leon Huff and Thom Bell would be proud of. The hopeful, infectious "I Don't Wanna Lose You", the torchy ballad "Have I Been Away Too Long", and the grandiose closer "August Day" are surprisingly soulful, making a considerable case that white guys, when they put their mind to it could indeed have soul. ALONG THE RED LEDGE was a great album from that period in Daryl Hall & John Oates' career where they were able creators of pop hits, but still had a ways to go before entering the front ranks.
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Format: Audio CD
This is easily my favorite H&O cd. I have the 8-track, the vinyl,and CD. It contains some of their best compositions, ever. Even though there is only one "hit" on the disc, "It's a Laugh", this is really a masterpiece.
Some people poke fun at John Oates, but he proves every bit of his worth in the duo with his contributions to "Along the Red Ledge". "Melody for a Memorory", "Alley Katz", "Serious Music" and "Pleasure Beach" are all strong tunes. At this point, I must add one other comment. I have read the various reviews of other Hall & Oates CD's on the site. More than one reviewer has called songs performed by John Oates on those CD's as "token" songs. First, not true! Secondly, on "Along the Red Ledge", Oates' songs are a major part of why the CD is a great one, not just a good one. John Oates is a excellent song writer, and this may prove it to those with open ears.
Some may turn up their nose when you see that David Foster produced this, but your missing out if you push this one aside. Production is an A+. How about musicianship? The line up includes, but not limited to, some of the best ever! Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro, Robert Fripp, George Harrison, and Todd Rundgren!
Let's face it. Most people identify H & O with the radio hits. But there is a lot more substance to them. From "It's a Laugh" to "August Day' and everything between, there is not a clinker on the disc.
I love the radio hits as much as anyone else, but there are other great Hall & Oates tunes out there to be discoverd by the casual fan. Try this one, you might like it.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are an ex-Philadelphian in the diaspora, this is the album to play when you're homesick. Just the sound of H&O brings "home" right back full force. Like all their music, this album contains everything from pure-grade Philly soul to forays into rock and ballads. For me personally, though, it would be hard to improve on tracks 4 and 5. There you've got the whole thing in a nutshell: the rousing, infectious "I Don't Wanna Lose You" (a very underrated Philly soul classic, with a catchy melody and cool lyrics underscored by nifty string and horn riffs and bouncy beat that gets your feet tapping) followed up by the wistful ballad "Have I Been Away Too Long." I only have to hear the first few notes of the intro to track 5 and I'm in Philly in the fall--rich, mellow, and splendid. My only complaint about track 5 is that, as in most of their slow songs, H&O overdo the vocals. It's like they're afraid people will get bored if they're not performing vocal gymnastics every single second. I mean, yodeling is just out of place on a solemn song like this. I really wish H&O would record a new version without the vocal pyrotechnics--but even so, the beautiful moments in the song far outweigh that, and it's still one of my favorites.
In short, if you want the essence of Philly (not just the music--the Philly *experience*), you can't go wrong with Hall & Oates, and you definitely won't go wrong with this album.
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Format: Audio CD
Hall & Oates' 70's releases are like musical schizophrenia...sometimes Pop, sometimes Rock, sometimes Soul or R&B. Even after they scored hits with "Rich Girl" and "Sara Smile," interested music buyers couldn't tell just exactly they were getting when they bought an H&O album. "Along the Red Ledge" continues this trend to (mostly) positive effect.
The original "A" side is a collection of tunes in a Pop/Soul vein, though "Melody for a Memory" has it's share of rock guitar. This is the side where Daryl shines most as a vocalist. At times harsh and sardonic, then wistful and contemplative, his vocal arabesques are as impressive as they are unique to him. Of the two singles, "It's a Laugh" and "I Don't Wanna Lose You," the latter is the real winner, awash in a glorious Philly Soul arrangement. Even the gimmicky stereo separation of "The Last Time" seems to pay homage to R&B recordings of yore.
With "Alley Katz," the album turns to a more guitar driven sound, akin to hard rock but miles from Heavy Metal. Oates' more subdued vocals are featured on a couple of tracks from this set, and he sounds fine. Though H&O and their backing band are more than up to the challenge, at least two of these tracks ("Alley Katz" and "Pleasure Beach") are predictable and dull. "Don't Blame It On Love" and "Serious Music" are standouts, along with the atmospheric closing cut, "August Day." This song is one of the most affecting tracks on the album, conjuring images of "heavy grey" skies and wistful regrets.
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