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Written by John Oates

Daryl Hall & John Oates’ Along The Red Ledge was one of David Foster’s critically acclaimed productions of the late seventies. Released in August of 1978, Along The Red Ledge presented an eclectic mix of original material from blue-eyed soul to experimental rock and sophisticated pop.

The pages here were graced by past reviews of two hit singles from the album; the catchy, mid-tempo ditty, “It’s A Laugh” and the Philly soul gem, “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” plus key album tracks including the enchanting “Have I Been Away Too Long” and the gorgeous “August Day.” This week we picked “Melody For A Memory,” a rock’n’soul gem written by Oates. This poignant and soulful atmospheric ballad features effective lead vocals sung by Oates and the trademark flawless vocal interplay between the two partners. The instrumental arrangement was off the chain with great time changes, nocturne keyboards and fantastic guitar played throughout the song, especially towards the end. Here, Foster supposedly played the Fender Rhodes and his polished, elegant print was all over the smooth backing track. “Melody For A Memory” was a fine indication that Hall & Oates were second to none in those years, shaping terrific pop/soul music with rock overtones. Their collaboration with Foster brought the Hall & Oates sound to a higher level of sophistication. In the new millennium, a couple of popular rap acts including Consequence and Young Jeezy nicely used samples of “Melody For A Memory” to add ear-candy power to their tunes. 


[audio:|titles=Melody For A Memory|artists=John Oates]
  • Lead & Background Vocals, Rhythm Guitar: John Oates
  • Lead & Background Vocals, Keyboards: 
  • Keyboards: David Foster 
  • Guitar: Caleb Quaye
  • Bass: Kenny Passarelli
  • Drums: Roger Pope
  • Arranged by Daryl Hall, John Oates & David Foster
  • Strings Arrangement by Gene Page & David Foster
  • Produced by David Foster


One for the money
One song I’m writing for you
And if you can’t take me with you girl
Take this Melody for a Memory

Love in the morning
Love in the late afternoon
There’ll be no words when I leave you girl
Just a Melody for a Memory

And if you can’t take me with you
Take this Melody for a Memory

She cried when he left her
Her eyes went black with the blue
The infrequent letters
The sooner the better
The cold distant phone calls
Will have to do

And if you can’t take me with you
Take this Melody for a Memory

Take part of me, take part of me
Take this Melody for a Memory