ANGELES - Though John Oates - one-half of the rock era's most successful duo, Hall &
Oates - has been thinking about making a solo album for years, it was a rather spontaneous
chain of eyents that led to the creation of his project Phunk Shui. due in stores Aug. 20
on Rhythm & Groove Records.
While Oates, a rhythm guitarist/singer/songwriter, was on a
touring break from Hall & Oates in February, he started digging through old demos he
had recorded 10 years ago. "On it were four songs that jumped out," he says.
"The odd thing about the songs was that not only did they seem to sound right
together, but they sounded exactly like what I was writing at the moment. I'm always
songwriting, regardless of what l'm doing with Hall & Oates." (The duo is No. 8
on the Adult Contemporary chart this issue with "Do lt For Love.")
was one of the old songs in particular, Love in a Dangerous Time." that Oates says
was the catalyst for the formation of his album. The track features a slow rhythm and
percussion groove with a jazzy keyboard accompaniment. When I heard that, I thought,
Wow. l wrote it in 91, and what l was thinking about was AIDS," he
explains. Even though that was the original inspiration for the song, it speaks to
the times today just as well."
listening to the demo featuring this tune, Oates took several songs that he had recently
written and put them and the demos on one CD. It sounded like an album, he says.
Not only did the music mesh well together, but
the lyrics all had a great consistency about self-discover, about balance, and about
keeping things in perspective."