Big Bam Boom
|Big Bam Boom|
|Studio album by|
|Released||October 12, 1984|
|Studio||Electric Lady Studios, Summer 1984|
|Genre||Pop rock, dance-rock, new wave|
|Hall & Oates chronology|
|Singles from Big Bam Boom|
Big Bam Boom is the twelfth studio album by Daryl Hall & John Oates, released by RCA Records on October 12, 1984. It marked the end of one of the most successful album runs by a duo of the 1980s. RCA issued a remastered version in July 2004 with four bonus tracks. The song "Out of Touch" (the first single) was a #1 pop hit, and charted in several other areas (#24 Hot Black Singles, #8 on the Adult Contemporary charts and #1 on the dance charts, #48 in the UK). Another song taken from the album, the Daryl Hall and Janna Allen-penned "Method of Modern Love" reached a high point of #5, and "Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid," reached #18.
Musical styles on the album include pop, rock, and dance-rock, with R&B/soul influences. The album had even more of an electronic, urban feel to it compared to their previous albums, combining their song structure & vocalization with the latest technical advances in recording and playing. The album employed some of the most sophisticated equipment ever used in the recording industry at the time.
Big Bam Boom peaked at No. 5 in the United States and sold over three million copies worldwide.
Background and recording
The making of Big Bam Boom represented a fresh new musical universe for Daryl Hall & John Oates. It was an experimental crucible of traditional recordings and state of the art, for the time, technologies.
In 1984 analog, or tape, recording was at its zenith, the 24-track tape recorders enabled artists to record 48 tracks simultaneously on two-inch tape, digital recording was a new technology too. The duo opted to record on analog tape rather than the then-new digital multitrack machines. Due to their commercial success, the duo was able to take advantage of the latest musical devices available then, specially the most advanced polyphonic synthesizers like Synclavier and the Fairlight.
With all these innovations in recording techniques there were almost no limitations to become their recordings in a musical statement, the pop duo started to digitally sample everything they recorded. Bob Clearmountain, one of the producers, and, Mickey Curry, the drummer, recorded various drum sounds, manipulating delays and reverbs to create huge dramatic bottom end that is emblematic of this album and the 1980s in general.
Thanks to the new polyphonic synthesizers, the duo experimented with new sounds, for example, recording Boy Scout canteens, cardboard boxes, vocals, footsteps in gravel, etc., and combined them with the use of newer and more sophisticated drum machines.
|Big Bam Boom – Standard edition|
|1.||"Dance on Your Knees"||Arthur Baker, Daryl Hall||1:25|
|2.||"Out of Touch"||Daryl Hall, John Oates||4:21|
|3.||"Method of Modern Love"||Daryl Hall, Janna Allen||5:32|
|4.||"Bank on Your Love"||Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen||4:17|
|5.||"Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid"||Daryl Hall||5:27|
|6.||"Going Thru The Motions"||Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen||5:39|
|7.||"Cold Dark and Yesterday"||John Oates||4:41|
|8.||"All American Girl"||Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen||4:28|
|9.||"Possession Obsession"||Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sara Allen||4:36|
|Big Bam Boom – 2004 remastered edition (bonus tracks)|
|10.||"Out of Touch" (12" Version)||7:35|
|11.||"Method of Modern Love" (12" Version)||7:48|
|12.||"Possession Obsession" (12" Version)||6:28|
|13.||"Dance on Your Knees" (12" Version)||6:38|
In order to promote the album, the duo embarked the Big Bam Boom Tour - Live Through '85. It was their last major roadtrip together for a Hall & Oates record, they did most of the traveling in a private plane. MTV provided tour date and ticket outlet announcements and the channel's name appeared on all tickets and print advertising, and was tagged on all radio spots. The duo performed a show at The Forum in Inglewood, California, on December 17, 1984, with a satellite-delivered live broadcast of the concert; it was aired the next day. The radio broadcast was remastered and released on CD, via music download and streaming in 2015 under the title: The LA Forum - 17 Dec 1984.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In a review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine called Big Bam Boom "a sprawling and diffuse album" and "a bigger, noisier record than its predecessors, with its rhythms smacking around in an echo chamber and each track built on layers of synthesizers and studio effects". In Erlewine's opinion, it was a disappointment coming after a trio of albums that had very few flaws. Erlewine also criticized the production on the album saying that "it obscures the dark undercurrent to many of the tunes, several of which seem to foreshadow the duo's long hiatus following this record".
- Daryl Hall – lead vocals (1-6, 8), backing vocals, synthesizers, electric guitar, arrangements
- John Oates – lead vocals (7, 9), backing vocals, synthesizers, electric guitar, synth guitar, arrangements
- G.E. Smith – lead electric guitar
- Tom "T-Bone" Wolk – synthesizer, bass guitar, electric guitar, arrangements
- Robbie Kilgore – keyboards, synthesizer programming
- Wells Christy – Synclavier programming
- Clive Smith – Fairlight CMI
- Mickey Curry – drums
- Jay Burnett – additional percussion
- Bashiri Johnson – percussion, timbales
- Jimmy Bralower – LinnDrum programming
- Charles DeChant – saxophone
- Coati Mundi – Spanish vocals
- Producers – Daryl Hall, John Oates and Bob Clearmountain.
- Engineers – Jay Burnett and Bob Clearmountain
- Assistant Engineers – Gary Hellman, Bruce Buchalter and Michael Sauvage
- Mixed by Bob Clearmountain
- "Mix Consultant and Additional Production"; also remixing on Tracks #10-13 – Arthur Baker
- Editing on Tracks #10-13 – The Latin Rascals
- Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Masterdisk (New York, NY).
- Keyboard Technician – Mike Klvana
- Keyboard and Synth Drum Technician – Anthony Aquilato
- Art Direction and Artwork – Mick Haggerty
- Cover Photo – Jean Pagliuso
- Inner Photos – Jean Pagliuso and Larry Williams
- Liner Notes – Yuji Muraoka
- Management and Direction – Tommy Mottola
- Director of Security – Eddie Anderson
Charts and certifications
The album debuted at number 33 on the Billboard 200 the week of October 27, 1984 as the highest debut of the week. After five weeks it peaked at number five on the chart on December 1, 1984. The album remained on the chart for 51 weeks and was ranked as the 17th most successful album of 1985 on the Billboard 200. Additionally, it reached number 25 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart the week of January 12, 1985. By December 1984 the album sold one million copies in the US and it was certified Platinum on December 3, 1984, eventually, it sold another million of copies and it was certified double Platinum by the RIAA on April 1, 1985.
In the United Kingdom the album debuted and peaked at number 28 on October 28, 1984 and was present on the chart for 13 weeks. It was certified Silver by the BPI on February 1, 1985 for shipments of 60,000.
|Australian Albums (Kent Music Report)||20|
|Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)||12|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||43|
|German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)||47|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||12|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||16|
|UK Albums (OCC)||28|
|US Billboard 200||5|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||25|
|US Billboard 200||17|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||200,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||1× Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||2× Platinum||2,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
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- Today, U. S. A.; Jazz.com; UltimateClassicRock.com (October 12, 2015). "Hall and Oates' 'Big Bam Boom' was sparked by moment of experimentation". Something Else!. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
Hall and Oates also shot to No. 1 on the dance charts, No. 8 on the adult contemporary charts, No. 24 on the R&B charts and No. 48 in the UK — helping Big Bam Boom sell more than three million copies.
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