The power of two
No other music act captured the effervescence and era-of-good-feeling energy of the early ’80s like Daryl Hall and John Oates. An extended engagement at the Colosseum represents a full circle of sorts, as the duo’s 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette featured a song called “Las Vegas Turnaround (The Stewardess Song).”
That song might have only been a footnote to the future Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ career had it not been inspired by a stewardess who subsequently collaborated on several No. 1 Daryl Hall and John Oates hits: Sara Allen, who would later become Hall’s longtime creative and romantic partner.
Allen also inspired their first Top Five single, “Sara Smile.” She was listed in the composition credits for War’s “Low Rider” before appearing alternately as “Sara” or “Sandy Allen,” from 1976 album Bigger Than Both of Us. Along with her songwriting sister Janna, she would be crucial to the success of Daryl Hall and John Oates in the next decade.
Top 40 success eluded Hall and Oates during the period between their hit single from that album, “Rich Girl,” and Ronald Reagan’s election. The duo had drawn on the sound and rhythms of their hometown of Philadelphia, but for their 1980 album Voices they channeled the vibe of the New York City scene they had embraced. By the end of November, they had scored a hit with a cover of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” and found themselves poised for massive success.
Voices put them on the map with a new sound that infused their trademark blue-eyed soul with new wave and newly introduced technology. Allen co-wrote bouncy hit “You Make My Dreams,” which reached No. 4, but it was Janna who co-wrote “Kiss On My List,” which became an absolutely monster No. 1 single and was among the first songs placed in heavy rotation on nascent cable channel MTV.
Hall and Oates subsequently became superstars of the early music video era, and released a second set of songs that captured their inspirational energy during that period as Private Eyes, which went to No. 5 in February 1982. The title track and “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” both topped the charts. The No. 1 album position remained elusive to the duo, but “Maneater” would hold the top spot in 1982 for four weeks, followed by “Out of Touch” two years later.
They experienced more ’80s chart success, and although hits evaded them in the following decades, appreciation from the public never waned. They’d record separately but never split up, and the duo’s unforgettable ’80s hits continue to make up the majority of their live set. Playing an extended engagement on the Strip gives them the opportunity to revisit deep cuts such as “Las Vegas Turnaround,” which would be more likely to happen should Sara Allen and her smile take in one of the Colosseum shows. We could go for that.
Caesars Palace, 7:30 p.m. March 20 & 22-23, starting at $59.50 plus tax and fee. 866.227.5938