ABANDONED LUNCHEONETTE – Hall and Oates – Atlantic Records – 1973
Hall & Oates’ Abandoned Luncheonette was the second album that the duo released during their formative years at Atlantic Records. Containing “She’s Gone,” one of their biggest and most recognizable hits, the album does not have a genre that is easy to pinpoint. Part folk, part rock, part soul, the meshing of sounds and instrumentation techniques make this album one that is unique to its time period and resonant to modern listeners.
In this episode, we talk about the legacy of this record and why young listeners can find as much to love within its album sleeves as those who have enjoyed it for decades. We also have some side discussions on the merits of dad rock, saxophones, and instruments as characters, and we reveal the name of our favorite local record store.
Episode notes and postscript corrections
- Life comes at you fast
- Debate amongst yourselves: Is Hall and Oates dad rock or mom rock, one, and two, what is the differentiator between the two?
- Shoutout to A-1 Records — if you’re ever in New York, be sure to hit it up.
- If you know what the technical term for “Dad language” is (Fatherese? Dadish?), please let us know.
- Abandoned Luncheonette was their second album, but the first album Hall and Oates made upon moving to New York from Philadelphia. After their first album failed to perform, they felt they had nothing to lose — thus, the melting pot of influences all on one album.
- Other people who recorded at Atlantic Studios at the same time: Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and Led Zeppelin, which blew Hall and Oates’ minds.
- “Had I Known You Better Then” had a great live version on Daryl Hall’s TV show, “Live from Daryl’s House” — see the further viewing below.
- This is who Nick the Lounge Singer is, in case you’re not woke.
- Somehow we made a Father John Misty reference and it works. (Here’s why.)
- About that rando music video for “She’s Gone”…
- MTV wasn’t created until 1981, so if you’re like “wait, they had a video,” you’re not alone.
- Pitchfork included the video for “She’s Gone” in their 25 Best Music Videos of the 1970s, because it is a head scratcher.
- John Oates claims he leaked it to YouTube, which, like, okay. You should watch it below in our further watching section.
- There is a real life abandoned luncheonette. It sat outside Pottstown, PA and, as of 2010, was still standing.
- Given guitarist/not-quite-producer-but-influential-nonetheless Chris Bond’s Beatles-affinity, the use of horns on “Laughing Boy” isn’t surprising. They can be compared to The Beatles’ “For No One” — an instrument used almost as a way to echo the narrator’s mind. (It works better for Paul McCartney.)
- Follow us on Spotify and we’ll hit you with that comparison between “Everytime I Look at You” and Joni Mitchell’s “Trouble Child.”
- Speaking of legacy and influence, The Bird and the Bee recorded an entire album of Hall and Oates covers in 2010.
- The Chocolate Watchband, the band that Carly mentioned she discovered on Spotify and thought was a new band, only to find that they were from the late ’60s, was a San Francisco band that was active in the Bay Area at the same time as Fritz, Stevie Nicks’s and Lindsey Buckingham’s pre- Buckingham Nicks band.
- We would really love to talk to you about how millennials can all carry the torch for old music. Like, would really, really love to talk to you about it.
Favorite track: When The Morning Comes (Carly) | When The Morning Comes (Carrie)
Least favorite track: Laughing Boy (Carly) | Las Vegas Turnaround & I’m Just a Kid (Don’t Make Me Feel Like a Man) (Carrie)
Daryl Hall – lead vocals, mandolin, electric piano, keyboards
John Oates – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, wah-wah guitar
Joe Farrell – oboe, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone
Hugh McCracken – electric guitar
Chris Bond – mellotron, electric guitar, synthesizer
Steve “Fontz” Gelfand – bass
Bernard Purdie – drums
Ralph MacDonald – percussion
Jerry Ricks – acoustic guitar
Rick Marotta – drums, percussion
Gordon Edwards – bass
Richard Tee – piano
Gloria Agostini – harp
John Blair – electric vi-tar
Marvin Stamm – flugelhorn
Larry Packer – fiddle
Mark Horowitz – banjo
Arif Mardin, Christian Bond, Donald Wanner, John Oates, Kathy Mae Hohl, Ronald Wanner, Walter F. Hohl – “humanity chorus”
Produced by Arif Mardin
Production Assistant: Christopher Bond
Recording & Engineering: Alan Ade, Jimmy Douglass, Lewis Hahn, Joel Kerr, Gene Paul
Recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios and Advantage Sound Studios (New York, NY)
Mixing: Christopher Bond, Jimmy Douglass
Mastered By Stephen Innocenzi at Atlantic Recording Studios
Album Design and Photography: B. Wilson
Coordinator: Tommy Mottola
How Hall and Oates Found Themselves on Abandoned Luncheonette | Ultimate Classic Rock (November 2015)
Graded on a Curve: Hall & Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette | The Vinyl District (February 2014)
Hall & Oates: 40 Years of Abandoned Luncheonette | American Songwriter (February 2013)
The Story of the Abandoned Luncheonette, AKA the Rosedale Diner | Diner Hotline Weblog (August 2010)
Hall and Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette | Pop Matters (June 2007)
Hall and Oates: The Self-Righteous Brothers | Rolling Stone (January 1985)