Song Stories: John Oates's "Maneater" and "Revenge"

John Oates has never been afraid of melding genres. In today's nostalgia-fueled echo chamber of internet discourse, his work as half of Hall & Oates is as lampooned as it is cherished, but all the Tweets in the world can't remove the fact that as a band, the pair were always evolving, always experimenting, and never afraid to bring new approaches and equipment to their records.

What started as a smooth Philly soul outfit ripe with Wurlitzers and doo-wop rhythms, would come to embrace Prophets and Roland Compu-Rhythms on some of their biggest '80s hits.

The smash hit "Maneater" is a telling example of this flexibility. We recently had the distinct honor of hosting Mr. Oates here at Reverb HQ as their summer tour moved through Chicago. He greeted us with a fresh, blues-infused version of the radio mainstay.

As he explained, the song originally carried more of a reggae feel, but in collaborating with Mr. Hall, the final more Motown meter took shape. Check out the above video for the complete story and performance.

While in the studio, John also took the time to share one of his newer works, dubbed "Revenge," along with the songwriting process behind it.

See the video below for that performance along with a charming story of how his beloved, custom-built Takamine acoustic first came into his possession.

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