Adult Education

Album: Rock 'n Soul Part 1 (1984)
Charted: 94 8

Songfacts®:

  • In our 2015 interview with Daryl Hall, he explained: "That song is about something I still believe: That one of the big problems with the world is people never grow up – no matter how old they get. And the song is a reminder that there is life after high school. That there's another way of looking at the world, and that other world is a false world and a meaningless world. So that's really what that's about."

    Daryl Hall's career is one of evolution and reinvention. Hall & Oates were huge stars in 1984, but even then the duo had amassed a huge catalog of material in a range of styles. They adapted to the video age with popular clips on MTV, and when broadband made video streaming practical, Hall launched Live From Daryl's House, a music show that was later picked up by the Palladia network. In addition, Hall has released several solo albums and worked on various side projects, including co-writing the title track for the film Ruthless People. He certainly didn't peak in high school.
  • Along with "Say It Isn't So," this was one of two original songs included on the Hall & Oates compilation album Rock 'n' Soul: Part 1, which was released in 1984 ahead of their very popular Big Bam Boom album.
  • Hall did most of the songwriting on this track, but John Oates and Hall's girlfriend/writing partner Sara Allen are also on the credits. When we spoke with Hall, he said that Oates came up with the "Doesn't rev your heart" line, and he wasn't sure what Allen contributed.
  • The music video was directed by Tim Pope, who was known for his outlandish conceptual work - he had previously done videos for The Cure, Soft Cell and Style Council. Hall & Oates had little interest in videos, but their record company hired Pope to do his thing on this one, and he came up with something that looked like an Indiana Jones movie. In The Golden Age of Music Video, John Oates said, "That was a mistake from the beginning. That was stupid... We literally showed up at the shoot and saw this enormous post-apocalyptic New York set, all these extras with torn clothes and crazy s--t, and we just went along for the ride. But as we were doing it, we were thinking, this is really stupid. That’s one of the dumbest things we’ve ever done."

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