On this day in music history: November 3, 1973 - “Abandoned Luncheonette”, the second album by Daryl Hall & John Oates is released. Produced by Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City from Spring - Summer 1973. Paired once again with Atlantic Records staff producer Mardin for their second release, the Philadelphia based duo are supported by prominent studio musicians including Bernard Purdie and Rick Marotta (drums), Gordon Edwards (bass), Ralph MacDonald (percussion), Hugh McCracken (guitar), Joe Farrell (saxophone and oboe), and Richard Tee (piano). The album’s centerpiece is the single “She’s Gone”, written by Hall & Oates while Daryl is getting divorced from his wife and John is having problems with his girlfriend. Their version is only a minor hit initially, peaking at #60 in early 1974. A cover version by Tavares hits #1 on the R&B charts that same year. The original is re-released by Atlantic in 1976 (following the success of their first major hit “Sara Smile” on RCA), and hits #7 on the Hot 100. The second single “Las Vegas Turnaround” is inspired by Hall’s then new girlfriend Sara Allen who he meets when she is working as a flight attendant. The couple also become songwriting partners and remain together for almost thirty years before splitting up. The albums’ cover art features a photo of a dining car (originally the Rosedale Diner in Pottstown, PA) dumped in a wooded area in rural Pennsylvania (Kenilworth, PA). The cover photo makes the structure a point of interest along Route 724 following the release of the album, and over the years has most of its exterior stripped by souvenir hunters. The diner remains there until 1983 when it is burned down to clear the land it stood on. Reissued numerous times over the years, the album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Friday Music in 2010. “Abandoned Luncheonette” peaks at number thirty three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum by the RIAA.
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