Hall & Oates: Do What You Want, Be What You Are

The most popular male duo in music history (easily besting Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers, at least in terms of sales) Daryl Hall and John Oates get the belated yet extremely comprehensive box set tribute they deserve. There have been plenty of other blue-eyed soul men, but none have tapped into the zeitgeist with as much pure pop savvy as H&O. They effortlessly captured the smooth soul of their Philly hometown and even though over the years (this set starts with material recorded back in 1966) the twosome dabbled in folk, harder-edged rock, and schlocky ’80s synth-heavy rock, they kept the R&B current bubbling underneath the other trappings. Four discs, packed with 74 tracks — including 16 previously unreleased rarities, about half of them live — and a glossy 60-page book with track-specific information, details Hall & Oates’ crossover appeal, longevity and somewhat unexpected resurgence in recent years. (RCA/Sony Legacy) 5 stars out of 5