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Maneater (Hall & Oates song)

"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.[1] 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.

Hall & Oates Maneater.jpeg
Single by Hall & Oates
from the album H2O
B-side "Delayed Reaction"
Released October 31, 1982
Format 7", 12"
Recorded December 1981
Genre Soft rock
Length 4:31 (album version)
3:28 (7")
6:00 (extended club mix)
Label RCA Records
  • Daryl Hall
  • John Oates
Hall & Oates singles chronology
"Your Imagination"
"One on One"
"Your Imagination"
"One on One"
Music video
"Maneater" on YouTube


Background and writingEdit

In an interview with American Songwriter in 2009,[2] Daryl Hall recalled,

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,[3] "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)".[4][5]

Music videoEdit

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."[6]


Legal actionEdit

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.[7]

Cover versionsEdit

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.


  • The song "We're Live (Danger)" by rapper Royce Da 5'9" (which was featured in the highly acclaimed game Grand Theft Auto III) contains a sample from the Hall & Oates song "Maneater".[9]
  • The song "Drankin' Partna" by singer T-Pain uses a vocal sample of "Maneater".

References in mediaEdit

In filmEdit

  • The original version of the song is heard in the 1999 film Runaway Bride, and appears on the soundtrack. Early in the movie Richard Gere's character Ike Graham describes several mythological 'Maneaters' in a newspaper column, and then cites one human one, Julia Roberts' Maggie Carpenter, who's left multiple men standing at the altar.
  • The song is also used in the 2016 film Sing Street.
  • In the film Boat Trip, Horatio Sanz and Cuba Gooding Jr. accidentally go to a gay cruise, a man playing the piano with other gay men, singing "Maneater", but with the lyrics "here he comes, watchout for he chew you up", instead of the original lyric "here she comes".

In televisionEdit

  • In the season one Scrubs episode "My Bed Banter and Beyond", Dr. Cox tells a psychologist that his wife is "a man-eater. And I'm not talking about the 'whoa-whoa, here she comes' kind."
  • In the Grey's Anatomy season 6 episode "The Time Warp", the song briefly plays in the background during a flashback scene set in 1982.
  • In 2007 the song was used as the theme song of "He's Not the Messiah, He's a DJ", the premiere episode of Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil. The song has since been removed from subsequent airings and from the version posted on the Adult Swim website.
  • In the Beavis and Butt-head episode "Sign Here", the duo watches the music video.
  • In the "A Brown Thanksgiving" episode of The Cleveland Show, Hall & Oates sing it after appearing as an angel and devil on Cleveland's shoulders.
  • In the season five Bob's Burgers episode "Itty Bitty Ditty Committee", Darryl sings the song in the computer lab.
  • In the season eight Will & Grace episode "The Definition of Marriage", Karen Walker hires Hall and Oats to perform at Grace and James' wedding. They perform Maneater while Grace walks down the aisle.

It was also played in the show Selfie.

In video gamesEdit

In the internetEdit

  • In 2012 the song was used by Google as part of their advertisement campaign for their products, specifically the collaborative feature in Google Docs. The 30 second video purports to show Hall & Oates writing the lyrics for the song, and constantly editing each other's work until they settle on the final version.[10]

Chart performanceEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  2. ^ Sharp, Ken (January 23, 2009). "HALL AND OATES: Soul Survivors". American Songwriter. Retrieved April 22, 2012. 2
  3. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 372. CN 5585. 
  4. ^ Something Else! (24 March 2014). "Hall and Oates’ ‘I Can’t Go For That’ isn’t about what you think it's about; neither is ‘Maneater’". Something Else!. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Kauffman, Leah (18 March 2014). "John Oates on his new album, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and what 'I Can't Go For That' is really about". Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  6. ^ hallandoatesVEVO (2009-10-03), Daryl Hall & John Oates - Maneater, retrieved 2017-06-07 
  7. ^ "Hall and Oates take legal action". BBC News. November 7, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Electric Six - Maneater". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-03-14. 
  9. ^ "Royce Da 5'9'''s We're Live (Danger) sample of Hall & Oates's Maneater". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2016-03-14. 
  10. ^ "Go Google: Hall and Oates". YouTube Video. Google. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Danyel Smith, ed. (1982). "Hits of the World". Billboard - 25 december 1982. Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 79. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  12. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 6182." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 6219." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  15. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  16. ^ "Maneater in Irish Chart". IRMA. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Daryl Hall & John Oates search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  18. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  19. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater". Top 40 Singles.
  20. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater". VG-lista.
  21. ^ John Samson. "Maneater in South African Chart". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  22. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater" Canciones Top 50.
  23. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater". Singles Top 100.
  24. ^ " – Daryl Hall + John Oates – Maneater". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  26. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Daryl Hall & John Oates. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  27. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates – Chart history" Billboard Adult Contemporary for Daryl Hall & John Oates. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  28. ^ "Billboard - January 30, 1982" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. p. 60. Retrieved August 16, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates – Chart history" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Daryl Hall & John Oates. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  30. ^ "Daryl Hall & John Oates Awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  31. ^ "Australian Chart Book". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-11-05. 
  32. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1983/Top 100 Songs of 1983". Retrieved 2016-11-05. 

External linksEdit

Preceded by
"Mickey" by Toni Basil
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
December 18, 1982- January 8, 1983
Succeeded by
"Down Under" by Men at Work