Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be the 100 Most Dynamic Debut Albums Ever Made, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
Long before they were declared, per Billboard, “the most successful duo of the rock era,” they were just two friends joined by their mutual musical passion. Whole Oats, housed by Atlantic Records, was the first studio album from the then-nascent duo. Production was handled by the late great Arif Mardin, but the duo wrote and arranged the record themselves.
It was an impressive beginning, one that made their love of soul music―anchored in the tradition of their native Philadelphia―apparent on the aptly titled “Fall in Philadelphia.” The LP also found room for folk (“Waterwheel”) and radio friendly rock (“Goodnight and Goodmorning”). Whole Oats was a founding point for Daryl Hall and John Oates who, in the 1970s, recorded albums that worked with a range of sounds, typically rooted in rock and soul. Their inaugural record wouldn't gain them any major commercial attention, as their first taste of that came with their second LP, Abandoned Luncheonette (1973). However, Whole Oats glimpsed their still maturing greatness and has retained a magnetism all its own.