Hello there! This week our blog features a terrific “blue-eyed soul” pop song, Everytime You Go Away. We will first discuss the original version by Hall & Oates. Next, we will review a cover by Paul Young and then one by Clay Aiken.
Hall & Oates and Everytime You Go Away:
Daryl Hall and John Oates make up one of the most successful duos in rock music history. They have sold more than 40 million records in their career, including 6 records rated #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
They met in a most interesting way. In 1967, they were each performing with separate groups at a band competition, when they heard gunshots from an altercation between rival gangs.
Hall and Oates both took refuge in the same service elevator, and began to compare notes. Grew up in Philly? Check. Currently attending Temple University? Check. Interest in R&B-oriented pop music? Check.
The photo below shows Daryl Hall (L) & John Oates performing at Chicago Stadium in Nov. 1981.Embed from Getty Images
The two began hanging out together, and eventually formed a duo. However, success would still be a ways off. At first, they experimented with folk music, rock ‘n roll, and soul, in an attempt to define a unique sound. Eventually they found the winning formula,
a fusion of their doo-wop and soul roots with New Wave energy and hard rock grit.
After a few lean years, things turned around after Hall & Oates moved from their original label Atlantic Records to RCA Records. In 1976, their song Sara Smile, written by Daryl for his girlfriend and songwriting collaborator Sara Allen, reached #4 on the Billboard pop charts. One year later, they had their first #1 hit with Rich Girl.
The song Everytime You Go Away was written by Daryl Hall in 1980. It was included on their album Voices. For this project Hall & Oates wrote all the songs, supervised the arrangements, and produced the album themselves. The result was a commercial blockbuster, spawning several single hits.
In Everytime You Go Away, the singer laments that he and his girl are not on the same page. She keeps leaving him, and this is slowly tearing him apart.
Babe if we can’t solve any problems
Why do we lose so many tears
Whoa, so you go again
When the leading man appears
Always the same things
But can’t you see we’ve got everything
Going on and on and on
[CHORUS] And every time you go away
You take a piece of me with you
And every time you go away
You take a piece of me with you you
Despite the success of other singles from their album Voices, Everytime You Go Away was not released as a single. It appeared on a live concert album the boys released in 1985. Here is Daryl Hall performing this tune in a 1995 concert.
First, this song features some lovely organ riffs; and it contains a dynamite saxophone solo in the middle, plus impressive vocal assistance from John Oates and a bevy of backup singers.
But Daryl Hall’s vocals are simply stunning. His versatility and range are off the charts. This tune should be exhibit A in any definition of the genre “blue-eyed soul.”
This song is basically a Daryl Hall solo; however, Hall & Oates have been a successful duo for a long time. They write their songs in a collaborative fashion, and each of them reportedly has significant input into the production of their music.
After their success with the album Voices, Hall & Oates continued to have sustained success through the 80s. In recent years, they have continued to tour and release albums, and more recently ‘greatest hits’ compilations.
Here’s an interesting bit of trivia. The boys are reported to dislike the term Hall & Oates, which is how virtually everyone refers to the group. Apparently, on every album released since 1988, the name of the group is listed as “Daryl Hall and John Oates.” Well, how about that!
Hall & Oates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
Beginning in 2007, Daryl Hall has filmed episodes of “Live From Daryl’s House,” a monthly internet broadcast. Instead of touring, Daryl welcomes guest artists who travel to his place.
In addition to some fascinating live music, each show ends with a big meal where Hall and the guest artist prepare food from different cuisines. The chefs also discuss how the dishes are produced.
The show initially was filmed at Hall’s home in Millerton, NY. After the first few years the show shifted production to a club (called, confusingly, Daryl’s House) in Pawling, NY.
We congratulate Daryl and John on their accomplishments and we wish them continued success.
Paul Young and Every Time You Go Away:
British pop singer Paul Young was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England in January 1956. As a youth, he divided his time between semi-pro soccer and music. He joined a couple of bands as a bass player and vocalist, and they built up a following in England.
In 1980 Young was the lead singer with a group called the Q Tips. They specialized in covers of R&B songs, performing a “blue-eyed soul” routine similar to that of the great American duo Hall and Oates, featured in the preceding section of this post.
The Q Tips never quite managed to break through commercially, so in 1982 they disbanded and Young signed a solo contract with Columbia Records. Here is a photo of Paul Young.
In 1983 Young’s cover of the Marvin Gaye song Wherever I Lay My Hat reached #1 on the UK pop charts. Young became a superstar in Britain and had considerable success in Europe.
Then in 1985, Young’s cover of the Hall & Oates tune Every Time You Go Away became a smash international hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 playlists. At this point Young’s career really took off.
Here is Paul Young in the music video to Every Time You Go Away.
I really enjoy the arrangement of this song. Although Paul Young has neither the power nor the range of Daryl Hall, his voice is lovely and is used to great advantage in this tune.
This song appeared on Young’s 1985 album The Secret of Association. It features Ian Kewley on piano, and an electric sitar and a Spanish acoustic guitar, both played by Paul Turnbull.
Every Time You Go Away was a monster hit for Paul Young; one yardstick of its impact is that the music video has been viewed more than 60 million times. This is yet another example where a song that was never released as a single by the original group becomes a #1 hit for another artist.
Once he achieved international stardom, Paul Young was in great demand. He appeared at Live Aid in 1985, where he performed this song. He also appeared at Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute in 1988; and in 1992 Young performed Radio Ga Ga with the surviving members of Queen at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.
In 1992, Paul Young formed the Tex-Mex band Los Pacaminos. The group initially began playing in clubs and small venues; but as they established a fan base, they issued a couple of albums and did some touring.
Paul Young continues to tour today. He has a most attractive voice, and we wish him much success.
Clay Aiken and Everytime You Go Away:
Clay Aiken is an American pop singer. He was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1978. There he sang with the Raleigh Boychoir, and he continued performing with musical groups as a youth.
However, he had a serious interest in special education, which began when he served as a substitute teacher for a class of autistic children. While studying for a degree in special education at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte, he tutored an autistic child to help pay his tuition. The child’s mother strongly encouraged him to apply for the TV musical competition American Idol.
Aiken competed on the 2nd season of American Idol in 2003. He was cut from the round of 32; however, he re-surfaced in a “Wild Card” round of that show and steadily gained popularity. Eventually, Aiken came in second to Ruben Studdard, losing by 134,000 votes out of a total of 24 million votes. Below is a photo of Clay Aiken.
Despite not winning the competition, Aiken developed a large and devoted following of fans. His first album in fall 2003 debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album charts, and a single release from that album was cited by Billboard as the top-selling single of 2003.
Aiken has become one of the most successful American Idol contestants ever. In 2006 he was voted “Favorite American Idol” by readers of People magazine. He has parlayed this popularity into a successful career that combines albums with concert tours and TV appearances.
Here is Clay Aiken in a live performance of Everytime You Go Away.
[Note: I’m not sure you can access this link from my blog; if this fails, you can access the clip by going directly to YouTube; at www[dot]youtube[dot]com[slash] followed by the string watch?v=BX3KYucPg7w ].
This begins with a couple of minutes of Aiken chatting with fellow performers and the audience. To me this is a bit cringe-worthy; however, Aiken has legions of loyal fans (known as “Claymates”) and apparently they consider this to be highly amusing.
Anyway, once he begins to sing, Aiken shows off a lovely voice with considerable range. He even manages to carry on a conversation on a fan’s cellphone while singing the tune.
Clay Aiken is also known for his activism and charity work. For several years he dealt with questions about his sexual orientation, until he came out as gay. Aiken continues to practice as a Baptist, the faith he was raised in, despite the fact that this community displays considerable animosity towards homosexuals.
In 2014 Aiken ran for Congress as a Democrat in North Carolina’s 2nd District. He narrowly won the Democratic primary, but was soundly defeated by the Republican incumbent in the general election.
Aiken is the co-founder of a group called the National Inclusion Project, which supports the integration of children with disabilities into the general education community. Aiken has also served as a U.S. Fund for UNICEF national ambassador, where he participates in efforts to ensure that all children around the world are able to complete primary school.
I knew very little about Clay Aiken before writing this blog post. I have to say that I am impressed. Aiken has forged a highly successful career from his participation on American Idol, and he has a large group of enthusiastic fans.
He has shown a serious and continuing interest in special education and devotes much time to charitable activities and advocacy in this area (he also completed his degree in Special Ed even after he began touring).
Aiken is also courageous, although not combative, regarding his personal beliefs. Good for him – we wish him well.