With some Bam, and even some Boom, Hall and Oates would record what eventually becomes their highest charting album. On October 12th, 1984, Hall and Oates’ 12th studio album,”Big Bam Boom,” released.
Rising from the successful waters with their “H2O” studio album in ’82, and their compilation album in ’83, “Rock n Soul Part 1,” Hall and Oates continued the success with “Big Bam Boom.” This album peaked at no. 5 on the Billboard 200, and has four singles that made the Billboard Hot 100. “Out Of Touch” was the ‘big boom’ that became a no. 1 hit. “Method Of Modern Love” peaked at no. 5, “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid” at no. 18, and “Possession Obsession” at no. 30.
This album’s artwork is one of my personal favorites out of all of the Hall and Oates albums. The artwork pops out at you with its multiple colors theme. You see Daryl Hall and John Oates on the front, as Hall is holding a guitar, and Oates is behind him looking excited and jumping in the air. There is a lot to look at with the cover art, which makes this an album that is more than just the music.
The back of the album continues the multi-colored theme as it says “Big Bam Boom” in multi-colors and a large font. Another part that is eye-catching is the font style of where it says ‘Hall Oates’ in the corner.
The inside sleeve contines with the same colors used on the album art, and the sleeve’s artwork is dominated by photos of Hall, Oates, and others. One man who is outlined in the color green, can be seen holding a broom. Then a man outlined in blue, is playing the saxophone. You can also see a man outlined in purple that is sleeping, and then you’ll see Oates holding a spoon, and Hall siting down while leaning on his hand.
Mick Haggerty was behind the art direction of the cover and liner, with Jean Pagliuso doing the photography. For the inner sleeve, Pagliuso and Larry Williams did the photography.
(Photos of the inner sleeve, click on the images for a closer look)
The record had some flash of its own. (click on the images for a closer look)
There are nine songs on this album, and five of them were co-wrote by an Allen sister. The Allen sisters who are Sara and Janna, contributed to writing many Hall & Oates songs through the years. Up until 2001, Daryl Hall was dating Sara Allen. In 1993, Janna passed away from leukemia.
Of the 9 songs, the album starts with a short 1 minute and 27 second song called “Dance On Your Knees.” This is primarily an instrumental until the last few songs. The only lyrics from this song are, “Hey ya’ll, whoo! I don’t care if you got no legs! Dance on your knees!”
After “Dance On Your Knees,” it goes into that ‘Big Boom‘ “Out Of Touch.” There’s nothing like starting off an album with the most popular song from the album. “Out Of Touch” is out of reach in terms of being the best song on this album. The first 44 seconds are just instrumental, and during these first 44 seconds your dance moves will be coming out! Or should I just say, during this whole song you will be showing off all of your dance moves? The music video for this song also includes the “Dance On Your Knees” opening.
“Out Of Touch” Music Video
The third song on the album is “Method Of Modern Love.” The part of this song that will be stuck in your head for weeks on end, is when they spell out M-e-t-h-o-d-o-f-l-o-v-e, which spells ‘method of love.’
I believe love will always be the same
Ways and means are the parts subject to change
Its a method of modern love – Chorus in “Method Of Modern Love”
After singing about ‘the method of modern love‘ it’s time to ‘bank on your love.’ The following song is titled “Bank On Your Love.” The percussion for this song is my personal highlight of the song. The best part of this song that will raise your excitement is when the song for a short period of time slightly speeds up the tempo, as this line approaches, “The con is out when the eagle flies. If you know the hand is quicker than the eye.” Janna Allen contributed to the writing of “Method Of Modern Love,” and Sara Allen contributed to “Bank On Your Love.”
The next song has Hall and Oates reminding us that sometimes things should not be said, with their song “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid.” This song takes a turn with it’s slightly softer tempo compared to the previous songs. With Hall’s voice telling us what should be left unsaid, and Oates providing the soothing background vocals, this song deserved to reach no. 18 on the billboard hot 100.
Some things are better left unsaid
Some strings are better left undone
Some hearts are better left unbroken
Some lives are better left untouched
Some lies are better off believed
Some words are better left unspoken – Lyrics from “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid”
With four songs left, next we have “Going Thru The Motions.” As you go through the motions listening to this song, you might find the instrumental highlight to be when the saxophone and guitar play off each other from 2 minutes 45 seconds in, until 3 minutes 30 seconds in. Both Sara and Janna Allen contributed to the song writing for “Going Thru The Motions.”
It just so happens to be getting slightly cold and windy out, so the next song on the album is “Cold Dark And Yesterday,” the B-side to the “Out Of Touch” single. Through the title of the song, you can almost predict what you’re about to hear in terms of the tempo, to the rhythm, and even the lyrics. With that said, even if it’s predictable, it’s still a solid song that I would associate with the greater than sign (>).
The last two songs on the album are “All American Girl,” and “Possession Obsession.” “All American Girl” pulls out all the stops with the instrumentals, and if you happen to find an instrumental piece of the song without the lyrics, lucky you because I have yet to do so! Ironically though, the lyrics are very catchy and enjoyable to sing along to.
“Possession Obsession” will slow down the fast-paced mood that the 3 previous songs put you in, and the music video for the song is entertaining. In the music video, you will find Oates wearing a jacket that bomber pilots used to wear in WW2. As he is wearing this jacket, he is driving a taxi, and even comes close to running people over at one point. Throughout the video he picks up several different types of people. As this is going on, Hall is showing off his moves in a stylish suit, and Oates eventually drives the taxi to where he is, and gets out while all of a sudden wearing an identical suit. Towards the end, Hall and Oates are seen exiting a bar and interacting with a few people.
Sara Allen helped write “All American Girl,” and both Sara and Janna Allen helped write “Possession Obsession.”
“Possession Obsession” Music Video
If you’ve never heard a song off of “Big Bam Boom,” now’s the time to ‘bank on your opportunity!’