Top 10 Daryl Hall Songs As A Solo Artist

Daryl Hall Solo Songs

Feature Photo: Ben Houdijk / Shutterstock.com

Our top 10 song list featuring Daryl Hall as a solo artist covers the discography of the superstar while he was not performing as a member of Daryl Hall and John Oates. Before meeting Oates to form one of the most popular rock music acts of all time in 1970, Hall was already an accomplished recording artist. In 2004, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2014, both men were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as Daryl Hall and John Oates.

Hall & Oates

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Daryl Hall grew up in a musical household where both parents had a singing background. As a high school student, Hall made his first studio recording. After he graduated in 1964, he attended Philadelphia’s Temple University, majoring in music. He also continued as a recording artist and was joined by four other fellow university students to form a group known as the Temptones. During this time, Hall and his bandmates were very popular as a vocal harmony group specializing in soul music. In Philadelphia, the Temptones were at the pinnacle of their success as a band that recorded a handful of singles while they were signed to Arctic Records. They also did well in band competitions that were held at the time.

In 1967, Hall and his bandmates were at the same venue as John Oates and his band when a violent dispute broke out between two rival gangs. When they piled into the same elevator to flee from the scene, the start of a new musical partnership began as the men realized they shared the same taste in music. However, the fellow university students were still on separate paths before they would officially form Hall & Oates as a musical act signed to a recording contract with Atlantic in 1972. Together, Daryl Hall and John Oates recorded and released eighteen studio albums, eleven live albums, and twenty-seven compilation albums. As a duo, they sold more albums than any other music act of its kind in history. From 1972’s debut album, Whole Oates, to 2006’s Home for Christmas, Hall & Oates enjoyed a successful career that saw eleven of their studio albums become at least certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. The most successful album these two men had together was 1980’s H2O. That one became double platinum with the RIAA, as well as triple platinum with Music Canada. It also became certified platinum with the Australian Recording Industry Association and the British Phonographic Industry.

Although best recognized as Hall & Oates, it was an identity neither men were fully comfortable with. They preferred to be referenced as Daryl Hall and John Oates as they wanted to be recognized as two separate individuals instead of a collective unit. However a fan wishes to call them, there’s no denying how successful these men have been as a two-man act that sold millions of albums worldwide.

Daryl Hall

Although Daryl Hall and John Oates were prolific recording artists throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Hall continued performing music as a soloist. In 1980, Hall released his debut solo album, Sacred Songs. It was a critical success, despite the fact RCA was reluctant to release it as the music was very different from what made Hall & Oates famous. This was followed by 1986’s Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine. It would become his best-selling album as a solo artist that also happened to produce his most successful hit singles, “Dreamtime” and “Foolish Pride.” Also in 1986, he released The Classic Ballads as a promo album for the US. In 1993, Soul Alone became Hall’s next studio recording and it produced seven singles where five of them became made appearances on various music charts worldwide. Can’t Stop Dreaming became Hall’s fifth studio album as a solo artist, which was released in 1996. After this was his first live album, Live in Philadelphia, which was released in 2004. Then it was back to the recording studio in 2011 for Laughing Down Crying, then again in 2022 for BeforeAfter. Collectively, these albums showed a side to Daryl Hall that few fans seemed to know about. Although he was successful as a pop star, Hall’s love for a broader range of music demonstrated there was more to the man than met the eye.

Aside from a busy and successful recording career, Daryl Hall also has a fondness for the restoration of historic homes, namely in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2014, he had Daryl’s Restoration Over-Hall, a television series that showed him working with his crew as they restored one of his homes in Connecticut. He also kept himself busy as an online host for Live from Daryl’s House, a webcast program he’s had running since 2007. This was his answer to still performing before a captive audience without having to leave his home to do it.

Top 10 Daryl Hall Songs from His Solo Albums

#10 – Eyes for You

On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, “Eyes for You” became a number twenty-nine hit after it was released as a single in 2011. It came from Daryl Hall’s seventh album, Laughing Down Crying, and it was the last song that would make an appearance on an official music chart. Fans of Daryl Hall and John Oates may find hints of “I Can’t Go for That” in this song, especially in the instrumental opening. However, as soon as its lyrical performance of Hall begins, the romantic direction of this song turns it into a dreamy number, inviting you to simply get caught up in the moment. On his own, Daryl Hall’s depth as a vocalist really began to shine as bright as a diamond. Although it wasn’t necessarily the kind of material mainstream music may have cared for, it was certainly appreciated by a more discerning collection of fans.

#9 – What’s in Your World

“What’s in Your World” was a song Daryl Hall released as a single in 2004. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, it peaked as high as number twenty-seven. This came from his sixth album, Can’t Stop Dreaming. As a balladeer, Hall’s vocals are hard to beat. As popular as he and John Oates were as a duo during the height of their career, it really wasn’t until Hall performed as a solo artist did his true value as a vocalist came out. “What’s in Your World” was, and still is, the perfect song for romantics who can relate to the story Daryl Hall shared so beautifully.

#8 – Cab Driver

In 2003, “Cab Driver” peaked as high as number twenty-one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart. It came from Daryl Hall’s sixth solo album, Can’t Stop Dreaming. This soft, jazzy number starts off as a dreamy instrumental before Daryl Hall’s vocal talent chimes in. Singing as a man eager to return home, Hall realizes true heaven isn’t found on the road. It’s found with the love of his life as she waits for his return.

#7 – Talking to You (Is Like Talking to Myself)

“Talking to You (Is Like Talking to Myself)” was a hit single released by Daryl Hall as a solo artist in 2011. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, it peaked as high as number fourteen. It was the second hit single released from his sixth solo album, Can’t Stop Dreaming​​​​​. “Talking to You” was a song that had an early 1980s vibe to it, similar to the hit single Hall & Oates had with “Private Eyes.” However, the keyboard hooks in the song serve as the highlight that accompanied so well with Hall’s vocal performance.

#6 – I’m in a Philly Mood

First in 1993, then again in 1994, “I’m in a Philly Mood” was released as a single from Daryl Hall’s fourth studio album, Soul Alone. Upon its first release, it became a number thirty-six hit on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number eighty-two. It also peaked as high as number thirty-nine in New Zealand, number fifty-nine in the UK, and number seventy-one in Germany. Singing as a genuine Philadelphian, Daryl Hall’s performance of this song became a source of pride within his home state. When it was released a second time in 1994, it appeared on the UK Singles Chart again, this time at number fifty-two. If you’re expecting a lively anthem, “I’m in a Philly Mood” isn’t it. This song demonstrated Hall’s love for R&B music, the genre he performed before teaming up with John Oates as Daryl Hall and John Oates.

#5 – Someone Like You

On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, “Someone Like You” peaked at number eleven when it was released as a single in 1986. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number fifty-seven. Daryl Hall’s ballad came from the album, Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine. Singing as a heartbroken man who had to contend with a love that’s lost, the soulful performance he poured into this song rightfully earned him a place in the history books as a favorite vocalist by so many fans.

#4 – Gloryland (featuring Sounds of Blackness)

“Gloryland” was one of the songs Daryl Hall produced for the 1994 FIFA World Cup. On the official music charts, his vocalized version became a number ten hit in the Netherlands, a number thirty-six hit in the UK, and a number thirty-seven hit in Switzerland. The Minnesota-based gospel group, Sounds of Blackness, worked with Hall for this song that became part of the Gloryland World Cup USA 94 album as “Soccer Rocks the Globe.” Together, Hall and Sounds of Blackness performed this song at the FIFA World Cup opening ceremonies. It also became the theme song for one of the broadcasting stations that covered this soccer tournament. “Gloryland” was inspired by the American spiritual song, “Glory, Glory (Lay My Burden Down).” There’s also a Spanish version of this song recorded by Daryl Hall, “In Gloria.”

#3 – Wherever Would I Be (featuring Dusty Springfield)

On the UK Singles Chart, “Where Would I Be” was a song Daryl Hall performed with Dusty Springfield that peaked as high as number forty-four in 1995. In Germany, it became a number seventy-three hit. Fans of Cheap Trick are likely to remember this song as one of their hit singles from the 1990 album, Busted. The song itself was written by Diane Warren. This power ballad was covered by Daryl Hall and Dusty Springfield in 1995 as a duet performance. The popularity of “Wherever Would I Be” reached it peak after it was featured in the 1995 Sandra Bullock movie, While You Were Sleeping.

#2 – Foolish Pride

Released in 1986 as a single, “Foolish Pride” came from Daryl Hall’s second solo album, Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine. On the US Billboard Hot 100, it peaked as high as number thirty-three. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, at number twenty-one. It also became a minor hit on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart at number ninety-one. In Canada, “Foolish Pride” became a number sixty-five hit on its Top Singles chart. This was a song that dealt with the sin known as pride and how it all too often gets in the way of our better judgment. In the song, Hall’s pop style mixed with a hint of soul was a catchy number that defined the sound of the music scene during one of rock history’s most colorful eras.

#1 – Dreamtime

On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Dreamtime” peaked as high as number five when it was released as a single in 1986. It became Daryl Hall’s best-selling single as a solo artist. Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine was his second solo album release as a recording project. On the US Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs chart, it was a number twenty-four hit. The US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart peaked at number thirty-six. Outside of the US, “Dreamtime” also became a top thirty hit among the nations of Australia the Netherlands, and the UK. In Germany, it peaked as high as number fifty-three.

“Dreamtime” was a song that featured Daryl Hall tapping into a musical sound that was considerably different than the material he performed as a member of Hall & Oates. The 1980s was an era of new-wave music that often blended with psychedelia that Hall was able to capitalize on as a vocalist. “Dreamtime” was a song about a woman’s attempt to run away from her problems by hooking up with a new love. Upon release, “Dreamtime” was incredibly popular as a song among fans who found Hall’s personal style as an artist a refreshing twist to the pop classics that first made him famous.

Top 10 Daryl Hall Songs As A Solo Artist article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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