Year 2, Day 12: Private Eyes… are probably watching you.

Year 2, Day 12: Hall & Oates – Private Eyes

Tracklisting

  1. Private Eyes
  2. Looking For A Good Sign
  3. I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)
  4. Mano A Mano
  5. Did It In A Minute
  6. Head Above Water
  7. Tell Me What You Want
  8. Friday Let Me Down
  9. Unguarded Minute
  10. Your Imagination
  11. Some Men

About this Album

Private Eyes is the tenth studio album from Philadelphia’s (and Temple University’s) own, Hall & Oates. The album contains the two number one hits: Private Eyes and I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), as well as top ten hit, Did It In A Minute. The album was released on September 1, 1981. The album is certified platinum.

Thoughts on the album

I don’t care who you are. You could be the toughest dude on the planet, listen to screaming Norwegian death metal, bench press 350, and play hockey for a living. Everyone has a favorite Hall & Oates song and/or album. My favorite Hall & Oates album is Whole Oats with this album being a close second.

You can really never go wrong with any Hall & Oates song. So what’s the big deal with this album? Private Eyes is considered to be one of the best albums. The album builds on their 1980 release, Voices. The album not only did better than their previous release, but added on to their success. If we were to describe their sound in terms of musical genres, it would be: Philadelphia Rock (aka Philly Rock), blue-eyed soul, new wave, pop, dance rock, and R&B

Opening and title track, Private Eyes builds off the punchy sound of their number one hit from their previous album, Kiss On My ListPrivate Eyes nowadays is considered to be an instant classic. It’s the song that majority people, if not everyone remembers and knows. Not to mention the music video for it is pretty much synonymous with the advent and rise of MTV (or music television in general). The handclaps of Private Eyes during the chorus are unforgettable and will instantly have you clapping along and singing. Have to say that Private Eyes is my favorite track on the album.

And it’s not just Private Eyes that is memorableI Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), is the next number one hit from Private Eyes. It eclipsed the success that Private Eyes made. It is one of the few songs made by a white act to top both Pop and R&B, and not only that, it is one of the most heavily sampled songs by hip-hop artists. The fact that both Private Eyes and I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) are still played on the radio today, show not just those songs’ staying power, but Hall & Oates’ staying power as well. 

Probably the weakest songs on the album are Mano A Mano and Some MenMano A Mano is rescued by a catchy melody. Catchy enough to forgive the lyrics. But somehow, Mano A Mano is somewhat appealing… in an incredibly dorky way. Some Men is saved by an effective rocking guitar solo during the break section. But aside from those two, there really are no duds on this album.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, you know you like Hall & Oates. Don’t deny it. You know it. I know it. 

Private Eyes is not only quintessential Hall & Oates, but a quintessential 1980s LP. The fact that you can still hear songs like Private Eyes and I Can’t Go For That, show their staying power in not just music, but American culture. I can almost guarantee that when you pop this album on, you will immediately start singing along to it.

Private Eyes is the next step on the Philadelphia Rock and R&B evolutionary chain. It’s a catchy, hook filled, and simply unforgettable album that everyone will enjoy. 

So… what’s your favorite Hall & Oates tune?

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