Sara Smile

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For the album, see Sara Smile (album).
"Sara Smile"
Single by Hall & Oates
from the album Daryl Hall & John Oates
B-side "Soldering"
Released 31 January 1976
Format 7″, 12″
Recorded 12 June 1975
Genre Blue-eyed soul, soft rock
Length 3:07
Label RCA
Writer(s) Daryl Hall
John Oates
Producer(s) Chris Bond
Daryl Hall
John Oates
Certification Gold (U.S.)
Hall & Oates singles chronology
"Alone Too Long"
"Sara Smile"
"She's Gone"

"Sara Smile" is a song written and recorded by the American musical duo Hall & Oates. It was released in January 1976 as the second single from their album Daryl Hall & John Oates. The song was the group's first Top 10 hit in the US, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

Hall & Oates version[edit]

"Sara Smile" was the second single released from Hall & Oates' 1975 self-titled album for RCA Records. Co-written by both halves of the duo, it was Hall & Oates's breakthrough single,[1] with a #4 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1976.[2] It was written about Hall's then-girlfriend, Sara Allen.[3] The couple was together for almost 30 years before breaking up in 2001.[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Nathan Brackett and Christian Hoard, in the Rolling Stone album guide, referred to the song as a "love bead ballad,"[5] and Steve Pond of the Los Angeles Times cited it as an example of the duo's R&B influences.[6] Following the success of "Sara Smile," the Atlantic Records label re-released the duo's previous single, "She's Gone."[7]

Chart performance[edit]

"Sara Smile" was the duo's first Top Ten hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at #23 on Hot Soul Singles (now Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs) and #18 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 11 song of 1976.[8] The song also earned a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[9]

Cover versions[edit]

Boyz II Men version[edit]

"Sara Smile"
Single by Boyz II Men
from the album Throwback, Vol. 1
Released August 24, 2004 (Japan)
Format Music download
Recorded 2004
Genre R&B, soul
Length 3:40
Label MSM / Koch,
Pony Canyon
Producer(s) Boyz II Men and Johnny Wright (executive)

R&B group Boyz II Men released a cover version in 2004, on their album Throwback, Vol. 1.

Jimmy Wayne version[edit]

"Sara Smile"
Single by Jimmy Wayne with Daryl Hall and John Oates
from the album Sara Smile
Released October 3, 2009
Format Music download
Genre Country
Length 3:46
Label Valory Music Group
Producer(s) Dann Huff
Jimmy Wayne chronology
"I'll Be That"
"Sara Smile"
"Just Knowing You Love Me"

Country music singer Jimmy Wayne released a cover version in 2009, with backing vocals from Hall & Oates. This version debuted at #51 on the Hot Country Songs chart dated October 3, 2009 and serves as the title track for Wayne's third album, Sara Smile. It became Hall & Oates' first single to chart on the country charts.

Critical reception[edit]

Sam Gazdziak of Engine 145 gave the song a thumbs-down, saying that it was "almost reverential" to the original and that Wayne's vocals showed R&B influences, but added that it "has no business being played on a country radio station."[14] Bobby Peacock of Roughstock gave a more positive review, also saying that it was well-sung but not country-sounding, but adding that it was a "refreshing change of pace" from the "bombast of Do You Believe Me Now", Wayne's last album.[15] Thom Jurek described the cover favorably in his review of the album, saying that Wayne "basically apes Hall's lead vocal[…]note for note" but "pulls it off in spades."[16]

Chart performance[edit]

Jimmy Wayne's version of "Sara Smile" debuted at #51 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in September 2009. After seven weeks on the country chart, the song peaked at #31 in December 2009.

Chart (2009) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[17] 31

Rumer version[edit]

"Sara Smile"
Single by Rumer
from the album Boys Don't Cry
Released July 8, 2012
Format Digital download
Recorded 2011
Genre Easy listening, jazz
Length 3:33
Label Atlantic Records
Producer(s) Geoff Foster
Rumer singles chronology
"P.F. Sloan"
"Sara Smile"

British female singer-songwriter Rumer released a cover version on July 30, 2012 as the second single from her second studio album Boys Don't Cry (2012). The song has charted in Belgium

Rumer and Daryl Hall perform the song together on Live From Daryl's House.

Music video[edit]

A music video to accompany the release of "Sara Smile" was first released onto YouTube on June 28, 2012 at a total length of three minutes.[18]

Track listings[edit]

Digital download[19]
No. Title Length
1. "Sara Smile"   3:33

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[20] 98

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
United Kingdom July 8, 2012[19] Digital download Atlantic records


  1. ^ Halvonik, Frank (1976-09-10). "Hall & Oates album "bigger" and better". The Collegian. Retrieved 2009-09-29. 
  2. ^ Taylor, Chuck (2003-02-15). "A Little Rock & Soul Goes A Long Way". Billboard: H3. 
  3. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock N Roll Gold Rush: A Singles Un-Cyclopedia. Algora Publishing. p. 545. ISBN 978-0-87586-207-1. 
  4. ^ "Biography for Daryl Hall". IMDb. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  5. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 358–359. ISBN 978-0-7432-0169-8. 
  6. ^ Pond, Steve (1976-10-31). "Pop Album Briefs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; J. Scott McClintock. "Hall & Oates biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  8. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1976
  9. ^ "Search results for Hall & Oates". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 14 & 15, January 08 1977". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Gazdziak, Sam (2009-09-28). "Jimmy Wayne — "Sara Smile"". Engine 145. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  15. ^ Bobby Peacock (2009-09-17). "Jimmy Wayne — "Sara Smile"". Roughstock. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  16. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Sara Smile review". Allmusic. Retrieved 3 December 2009. 
  17. ^ "Jimmy Wayne – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Jimmy Wayne. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  18. ^ Rumer - Sara Smile [Official Video. YouTube
  19. ^ a b "Sara Smile (2012) - Rumer - MP3 Downloads - 7digital - United Kingdom". 7Digital. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  20. ^ " – Rumer – Sara Smile" (in Dutch). Ultratip.

External links[edit]