Bad Cover Art of the Day: Daryl Hall and John Oates

Wednesday, July 15, 2009
For a while now I've been wanting to start a new regular feature of this blog, called Bad Cover Art of the Day, because as much as I love retro cover art, there's no shortage of "WTF" examples. Since I've been listening to a lot of Hall and Oates lately, I'm choosing them for my first victims. You're looking at the cover of the 1975 album with the very unoriginal name Daryl Hall and John Oates. And, my, the boys are looking quite pretty, aren't they? Especially Daryl. He's suddenly gone from Daryl Hall to Daryl Hannah!

Easy, breezy, beautiful, cover...boys

How do they explain this? According to a biography about the duo called "Dangerous Dances", Mick Jagger's French makeup designer Pierre LaRoche was responsible for this glamour shot. John Oates explained, "We decided that if we were going to put our faces on an album cover for the first time we wanted to do it in a big way. Pierre said, in that French accent of his, 'I will immortalize you!' And he just did. To this day it's the only album cover that people ask us about."

Or, more likely, it sounded like this: "I veee immortillize vous!"

I must admit, however, and I know I'm bias because I had a crush on the young Daryl, but he's looking pretty hot to me with all of that makeup. I've never seen a prettier man (and no, I'm not a lesbian.) Hall told VH1 years later that he "looked like the girl he always wanted to go out with." He almost could've launched a side album under a glam rocker persona. Oates looks like...well, Oates looks like a guy with a mustache wearing makeup.

I'm guessing this cover didn't help the "we're not gay" argument. Not one of their finer moments, for sure. It did have a hit song, though: "Sara Smile." And I'm sure that's just what she did when she saw this album for the first time!


  1. I remember Poison looked exactly like four slutty girls on the cover of their first ablum... I wonder how many guys said something like "these chicks are hot" only to be completely embarrassed, and privately sexually confused.

  2. I think there's a little Ziggy Stardust thing going on too - funny, 'cause I was playing lots of David Bowie clips on YouTube last night.

    Maybe it's Hall and Oates - maybe it's Maybelline!

  3. Gilligan - wasn't a fan of the big hair bands, but I'll check the cover you mentioned out. I think the heavy metal and glam rockers could get away with this look as it was expected. I was taken aback to see it on H&O.

    Lidian - I almost used your tagline as the title for this post!

  4. this reminds me of that terrible movie with jonathan rhys meyers and that other hot guy dressed like 18th/19th century french courtiers. i cant remember what its ccalled but it had velvet or glitter in the title. what a nightmare.

  5. Not only do these records have bad art,but they have terrible music as well!With the exception of Hall & Oates(a good album),Rhymin'Simon (great music and not necessarily at least in my opinion,a bad cover).Daryl Hall does look rather appealing in an andromynous way.

  6. You want another shock? Look INSIDE this album at the paper slip cover sleeve, and you'll get the biggest shock since the Doobie Brothers posed nude inside the Toulouse Street lp album.


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