Daryll Hall and John Oates were roommates in Philadelphia several years before they started producing music together. Their first album was released on Atlantic Records in 1970 and a single from their second album in 1973 was their only charting single until they moved to RCA Records in 1975.
A pair of top ten singles established the pair as a success in 1976, and 1977 delivered the chart-topping Rich Girl. The follow-up single (Back Together Again) did not fare nearly as well and Hall & Oates went through some hard times.
Perhaps the duo was having trouble doing well on the charts because they weren’t creating disco records; the late seventies were difficult times for rock and soul performers. Their next two singles barely reached the top eighty and the single after that didn’t even get into the top 100.
Their seventh studio album came out in 1978 and the lead single from the album was It’s A Laugh. Live versions of the song often ended with more intricate guitar work, but that didn’t help the record get any higher than #20.
It was 1980 before the release of their ninth studio album, Voices, produced a string of hit singles that really launched their career into the heights that have made them the most successful duo of the rock era.