Back in the early ’80s, John Oates took a trip to Jamaica and started to think that “Maneater,” his smash hit with Daryl Hall, would work pretty well as a reggae tune. Forty years later, he’s made it happen.
Last year, Oates appeared on a podcast hosted by Questlove, the Grammy-winning drummer for The Roots and Jimmy Fallon‘s Tonight Show band, and talked about how he always thought “Maneater” could work as a reggae song. After numerous listeners responded with messages urging him to do it, Oates contacted a producer pal, who organized a recording session in Kingston, Jamaica, with some of reggae’s top musicians.
“I tried to approach the reggae version of ‘Maneater’ as if I was a new artist, as if I was not associated with Hall & Oates in any way,” Oates explains. “I wanted to see if I could reimagine it in a way that would make it fresh again and really work with the vibe of the players who … were in the studio in Jamaica.”
The song and its video are out now.
“Maneater (Reggae Version)” is the fifth standalone single that Oates has recently released, including his covers of Louis Armstrong‘s “What a Wonderful World” and Timmy Thomas‘ “Why Can’t We Live Together.”
Oates has tour dates booked from now through September; visit JohnOates.com for a list of dates.
As for Oates’ musical partner Daryl Hall, Friday sees the vinyl release of BeforeAfter, a three-LP compilation of his solo work through 2011. Hall is touring with Todd Rundgren this summer and is also performing on the same bill as Billy Joel at the BST Hyde Park festival in London.
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