Maneater (Hall & Oates song)
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"Maneater" is a song by the American duo Hall & Oates, featured on their eleventh studio album, H2O (1982). It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on December 18, 1982. It remained in the top spot for four weeks, more than any of the duo's five other number-one hits, including "Kiss on My List", which remained in the top spot for three weeks.
|Single by Hall & Oates|
|from the album H2O|
|Released||October 31, 1982|
|Length||4:31 (album version)
6:00 (extended club mix)
|Hall & Oates singles chronology|
Background and writingEdit
John had written a prototype of "Maneater"; he was banging it around with Edgar Winter. It was like a reggae song. I said, "Well, the chords are interesting, but I think we should change the groove." I changed it to that Motown kind of groove. So we did that, and I played it for Sara Allen and sang it for her…[Sings] "Oh here she comes / Watch out boy she’ll chew you up / Oh here she comes / She's a maneater… and a…" I forget what the last line was. She said, "drop that shit at the end and go, 'She's a maneater,' and stop! And I said, 'No, you’re crazy, that's messed up.'" Then I thought about it, and I realized she was right. And it made all the difference in the song.
Hall also opined, "We try and take chances. Our new single "Maneater" isn't something that sounds like anything else on the radio. The idea is to make things better."
John Oates has explained that while it is natural to assume the lyrics are about a woman, the song actually was originally written "about NYC in the ’80s. It's about greed, avarice, and spoiled riches. But we have it in the setting of a girl because it's more relatable. It's something that people can understand. That's what we do all of the time", after describing how they took a similar approach with the earlier song "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)".
The Hall & Oates music video opens with a woman (Aleksandra Duncan) walking down a red staircase, and the band playing in a dimly lit studio with shafts of light projecting down on them. The band members step in and out of the light for their lip sync. A young woman in a short party dress is shown in fade-in and fade-out shots, along with a black jaguar, hence the song line "The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar." The song's chorus is "oh, oh here she comes; watch out boy, she'll chew you up; oh, oh here she comes, she's a maneater."
In November 2008, Hall & Oates initiated legal action against their music publisher (Warner/Chappell Music). An unidentified singer-songwriter was alleged to have used "Maneater" in a 2006 recording, infringing copyright, and by failing to sue for copyright infringement, Warner Chappell Music was alleged to have breached their contract with Hall and Oates.
- In 1998, Las Vegas band The Kickwurmz released two versions of the song: Maneater, and Man Eata' Digital Media House Remix.
- In 2010, electronica group The Bird and the Bee's album Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates includes a studio recorded a cover of "Maneater", featuring backing vocals from Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson, and was released March 23 of that year.
- In 2011, rock band Harvey Danger recorded a cover of this song for their final album Dead Sea Scrolls, which was available on the band's website.
- In 2011, indie rock band The Wooden Birds covered this song as a B-side on their "Two Matchsticks" single.
- In 2011, psychobilly and rockabilly group The Koffin Kats recorded a cover of this song for the album Rockabilly and Psychobilly Madness, an album dedicated to releasing covers of famous pop music songs in the rockabilly and psychobilly style.
- In 2013, Grace Mitchell performed this song for the Original Soundtrack of the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
- In 2014, Electric Six recorded a cover of the song as part of a pledge package for their Absolute Treasure Kickstarter campaign. The cover was subsequently released online.
Live cover performancesEdit
- The now defunct Chicago band Split Butt-Crack covered the song live, and also included it on their 2004 album Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.
- The Bird and the Bee covered the song live with John Oates on March 5, 2010, at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, California.
- On December 30, 2011, Umphrey's McGee covered the song live in concert during their New Year's Run in St. Louis.
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