Do What You Want, Be What You Are

Do What You Want, Be What You Are

by Daryl Hall & John Oates


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It's telling that Do What You Want Be What You Are, Sony/Legacy's comprehensive, career-spanning Daryl Hall and John Oates box set, takes its title from a moderately successful mid-'70s single from the duo, written and recorded just as the group was hitting their creative stride. The slow Philly groove of "Do What You Want Be Who You Are" may have hearkened back to the duo's soul roots, side-stepping some of the outré pop experiments they had done just two years earlier on War Babies, but Hall & Oates took the title's sentiment to heart, blurring boundaries between rock, pop, and soul in a way that wasn't always easy to appreciate at the peak of their popularity in the '80s. During that decade, Hall & Oates were omnipresent, seemingly dominating every radio format and MTV, racking up so many hits that it was easy to overlook how "Private Eyes" wore bright, angular new wave threads, or how "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" pulsated on electronic rhythms, not to mention the duo's earliest folk-rock records. Do What You Want brings all this into perspective, rounding up all the group's big hits and sharply selected album tracks, enhancing the canon with several rarities ranging from early singles (Hall as a member of the Temptones, Oates as one of the Masters) to a host of live cuts from throughout the years. Many of the live tracks are mildly revelatory -- particularly the lengthy stretch of War Babies material at the end of disc one, which diminishes the Todd Rundgren influence and emphasizes Hall & Oates' muscular melodicism -- as the group's forté was within the studio, where they set the sounds of the time, from the lush early '70s to the synthesized '80s. This, too, is where the box shines, when it traces the duo's remarkable, restless progression from Whole Oates to Big Bam Boom, a narrative that takes up the first three discs of the four-disc set. Like many career-spanning boxes, this does lose a little momentum on the last disc, when the hits start to slow down, but by smartly balancing outtakes and unreleased concert cuts, this final disc makes a convincing argument for Hall & Oates' enduring strengths adding a fitting coda to a box that stands as a testament to the duo's considerable musical legacy.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/13/2009
Label: Rca
UPC: 0886973697429
catalogNumber: 736974
Rank: 47266

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Daryl Hall & John Oates   Primary Artist
Mike Hickey   Guitar

Technical Credits

Mike Oldfield   Composer
Paul Pesco   Composer
Todd Rundgren   Producer
Daryl Hall   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Phil Spector   Composer
Janna Allen   Composer
Christopher Bond   Arranger,Producer
Jimmy Bralower   drum programming
Bob Clearmountain   Producer,Remixing
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Cary Gilbert   Composer
George Green   Composer
Leon Huff   Composer
Neil Kernon   Producer
Arif Mardin   Producer
Bob Mayo   Composer
Peter Moshay   Producer,Engineer,Remixing
John Oates   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Brian Rawling   Producer
Andy Sheppard   Producer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Don York   Arranger
Carl Fisher   Composer
Deanie Parker   Composer
Phillip Mitchell   Composer
Ken Sharp   Liner Notes
Billy Mann   Composer
William Paden Hensley   Engineer
Sean McClintock   Engineer
Tom Nichols   Composer
Anders "Bag" Bagge   Composer
Pat Collins   Composer
Ken Gioia   Producer
Steve Torch   Composer,Producer
Sara Allen   Composer
Estelle Axton   Composer
Barry Glazer   Composer
Warren Pash   Composer
T-Bone Wolk   Arranger,Producer
Paul Barry   Composer
Laila Bagge   Composer
Carl Fisher   Composer
R. White   Composer
R. Rogers   Composer
Jimmy Bishop   Producer

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Do What You Want, Be What You Are 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Daryl Hall and John Oates since the 70's so I wasn't sure I needed the bos set because I have all of the albums. I couldn't have been more wrong. There are so many live recordings and obscure treasures, along with wonderful versions of all of the hits, that it is pure enjoyment to listen to each of the cd's. The sound quality and the arrangement as well as the 60 page booklet show the lengths that they went to to make sure that this is something that die hard fans and casual fans alike will count among their favorites in their cd collections.
DrummerdMD More than 1 year ago
What a great box set. Some amazing tracks here, and great live versions of tracks you have heard for years (Lady Rain). This set has so many great tunes that you forget how prolific these two have been. And it is great to hear cuts from some of the lesser known, or remembered albums they dis (Along the Red Ledge). Get this set - you will not be disappointed. It has been on heavy rotation on my CD player, Ipod and Computer.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Hall & Oates collection is great. But, I returned a CD to you on Dec. 24,2009 and have not received credit. I ordered a Justin Hayward CD, you were out of stock on that and you sent something else instead. I sent that CD back to you. Where is my refund or credit? Ken Schebendach