℗ 1978 BMG Entertainment
Along the Red Ledge Tracklist:
What a beautiful song! Have you ever been in NYC on a hot muggy August day? "The air hangs.....and the sky colored heavy gray.....August day". Actually heard this song the first time in the "old" Palladium when Hall and Oates were promoting this album. Can't remember what season it was, but I still remember August Day and when those days in August come.
Along the Red Ledge stands as the most deliberate and mature Hall and Oates album. In terms of H&O's lightening-quick evolution, Red Ledge is actually a step backwards towards the Philly soul that had been repressed under Daryl's gravitation towards experimentation and the harder-edged rockers that dominated Beauty On a Backstreet and Daryl's first solo LP, Sacred Songs. The smooth groove of Charlie DeChant's sax on "It's a Laugh" coupled with Daryl's pumping piano is remniscent of "Back Together Again," almost as if the boys had disowned 1977 altogether and retreated towards the sounds of Bigger Than Both of Us and the Silver Album. But there are some great rockers here nonetheless, like "Don't Blame it on Love," "Melody for a Memory" and "Serious Music," the latter two representing some of the greatest songwriting of the underrated John Oates. One of the things that makes Red Ledge so great is that H&O perform more like a team than they had since Abandoned Luncheonette. One gets the feeling that it is a real Hall and Oates album, and not merely a collection of Hall songs with Oates as a backup singer. But as strong as Oates' performances are, he is outshined nevertheless by Hall, who delivers some of his greatest vocal performances ever. There is no matching the idiosyncratic and gorgeous falsetto he pulls off on "Have I Been Away Too Long" or "August Day". The Spectoresque "The Last Time" and "I Don't Wanna Lose You" are masterful, muscular soul songs updated for the 70s, and wise production by musical titan, David Foster, along with guitar performances from Rundgren, Fripp, Harrison and Nielson perfectly realize expert songwriting. From "It's a Laugh" all the way through "August Day," Along the Red Ledge is listenable again and again. Pure and classic Hall and Oates.