Hall and Oates, I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)

Oh the hits keep rolling for Hall and Oates.  “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” was a #1 for Daryl and John in 1981, and another track that set the tone for 80s pop.  Their embarrassing cover art for the single also help set trends of decadent ugliness for the 80s as well.  Pop music from the 1980s had many uniting broad themes from futurism, celebration, dark sexuality, and paranoia.  “I Can’t Go For That” has those trademarks in spades.  It also holds the distinction for being the first song by a non-African American group to top the R&B charts.  Daryl Hall, the songs primary writer, was most pleased with this achievement, stating, “I’m the head soul brother in the U.S.  Where to now?”  Good question.  One direction led to an even bigger hit, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”  Michael admitted to Daryl that he copped the bass line from “I Can’t Go For That” for his own ultra-smash hit, to which Daryl replied, ‘I took that bass line from someone else to begin with, and that it’s “something we all do.”‘  That reminds me of another theme in 80s pop, superstar collaboration.  It’s as if their was one continuous party of mega rich famous rock stars, who all inflated each others egos, and played on each others records.  Heady times, heady coke fueled times indeed…

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