I'm one of those people who forgot all about Hall and Oates until some random pair of synapses bumped together in my head...probably set in motion by an ad from Amazon.com that featured their album The Very Best Of Daryl Hall & John Oates for $2.99. And while I was downloading that, the excessively helpful recommendation software tipped me to the fact that the album I really wanted, the one that gives this node its name, was finally available for download. So, since I actually had a couple of spare bucks to rub together, I did.

The album came out in 1978, but radio being what it is, I didn't actually hear any tracks from it until the following year, when I was a Russian student at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. I picked up the cassette and listened to it a lot, especially the A side. Without further ado, the track list:

    A Side:
  • It's a Laugh
  • Melody for a Memory
  • The Last Time
  • I Don't Wanna Lose You
  • Have I Been Away Too Long
    B Side:
  • Alley Katz
  • Don't Blame It on Love
  • Serious Music
  • Pleasure Beach
  • August Day

The album isn't anywhere close to being one of the greatest albums ever; in fact, I admit to only liking half the songs on it. Still, it's a good example of the blue-eyed soul that you don't hear any more because, as pingouin said so well, "...anyone can do soul music now." Unfortunately, 90% of them do it badly and the culture has changed enough that there doesn't seem to be much call for that kind of sweet, romantic rhythm and blues any more.

Along The Red Ledge will always remind me of what seemed like an endless summer in Monterey, when Cyrillic was re-shaping my brain and I was bewildered by the explosion of (mostly postal) relationships I suddenly had with the fairer sex. Half a tape of bittersweet love songs, some confused memories, a handful of letters, and a different alphabet cutting fresh grooves in my brain. That was 1978.

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