Daryl Hall and John Oates – Maneater

First Hit #1: December 18, 1982

Hall and Oates have been one of the defining groups of the early ’80s, at least as number one singles go, and their habits have been largely defining as far as a typical sound for the era goes. Maneater is a bit different, as the duo tries to get intimidating and strikes fear into hearts the best way they know how – bass. The bass work in the song keeps it slightly mysterious and gloomy, and coupled with the ’80s spooky sax solo – the saxophone has never been as lonely and spooky as it was in the ’80s – it sets the tone for a woman whose intentions are not good, who stalks the streets looking for men to devour. The Hall and Oates sound could seem fairly narrow – they do many of the same things in each song, and are distinct enough to be instantly recognizable – but they could set a variety of different moods within their trademarks.

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2 Responses to Daryl Hall and John Oates – Maneater

  1. Robert Berman says:

    Great sax solo, an early experiment in echo as not just an effect but a melodic augmenter. The Edge would become the most famous practitioner of this technique, in U2’s work from “The Unforgettable Fire” (1984) onward.

    The theme of “the dangers of the rapacious woman” surfaces periodically in pop songs like “Easy Lover” and “Invisible Touch,” both by Phil Collins. Successful entertainers attract leeches, and the female leeches will use their sexuality to get what they want from the male entertainers. In the book “Easy Riders and Raging Bulls,” Steven Spielberg talked about how he was in jeopardy from ambitious and unscrupulous starlets and models after the success of “Jaws” in the 70s. This song probably isn’t about a hooker or stripper since the tastes of this woman whom “so many have paid to see” run in the direction of Jaguars. It’s probably a starlet or Playmate or such. As the punk-pop band Good Charlotte put it pithily a few years ago: “Girls don’t like boys/ Girls like cars and money.”

  2. Pingback: Stevie Wonder – Part Time Lover | We Are Number Ones

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