Maneater

Album: H2O (1982)
Charted: 6 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about a very seductive woman with expensive tastes that she uses men to satisfy. Much like the line "Her mind is Tiffany twisted" in the Eagles song "Hotel California," the lyrics to this song use a luxury brand to develop the character as she is described as "a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar," referring to the high-end automobile.
  • This was a showcase song for Hall & Oates sax player Charles "Mr. Casual" DeChant, who appears in the video during his solo.

    The song spent four weeks at #1 in America, making it the biggest US hit of the '80s to feature a sax solo.
  • In 2006, Nelly Furtado released a song called "Maneater" that was influenced by this. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR, for above 2
  • This is one of several Hall & Oates songs that Daryl Hall's longtime girlfriend Sara Allen had a hand in writing - she's credited on the track along with the duo. According to Hall, his original lyric had some additional words in the chorus after "she's a maneater." Allen convinced him to end the line there, which Hall says made the song come together.

    When we spoke with Hall in 2015, he explained that despite their romantic interest, writing songs with Allen was never a problem. "She was really good at jumping into my thoughts and helping me to sort of coalesce them," he said.
  • The video for this song was a disjointed affair, which was typical of 1982 in the early days of MTV. Hall & Oates took little interest in their videos, so directors hired by their record company could get away with just about anything. "Maneater" is mostly tight shots of the band performing in what looks like an after-hours champagne room, with occasional shots of a girl juxtaposed with a panther. Daryl Hall said in the book I Want My MTV: "Somebody decided the 'Maneater' video wouldn't be complete unless we had an actual panther, a man-eating animal, in the video. It appeared for a second and a half in the video and probably cost $10,000."

    Hall adds that for most of the shoot, the panther was leashed to the floor, but at one point it got loose and started roaming the rafters. This is when he left.
  • "Maneater" was used on the soundtrack to the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere movie Runaway Bride, a story about a woman with a reputation of jilting her fiancés at the altar. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DC - Kansas City, MO
  • This endured as one of the most popular songs by the duo, and it's very often the first song they play in concert. What's it like playing a song from 1982 decades later? When we spoke with John Oates in 2011, he told us: "We were very fortunate that a lot of those became big hits. And these songs have stood the test of time. So we're proud of pretty much everything we've done, and when we play live, we play those songs and we're happy to play them."
  • To promote the book The Manny by Holly Peterson, a video was created that spoofed this song, with the lyrics changed to be about a male nanny. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Grace Mitchell covered this song for the soundtrack to the 2013 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, starring Ben Stiller and Kristen Wiig.
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Comments: 18

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaEdward can I ask who Kelly was?
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaHey if a panther got loose I would leave too.
  • Elizabeth from NyDani is correct. It was stated by John that the song turned out to be about NYC.
  • Dani from Usa The song isn't about a girl at all. John has previously said it's about NYC in the 80s and how things like greed and avarice could eat a person alive.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesSurprised that no one from here ever said that the line "Here she comes she'll chew you up, she's a maneater" has been used by some black rap singer in his song "Dangerous" which was a big dance hit in 2004-2005. I don't know who that person was, and if he asked permission from Hall and Oates to use that line. Regardless,I understand why that rapper stole that line... that is indeed a classic one, isn't it? Something from 1980's can't be rivalled by any idea created today! A-ha! There you are!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 16th 1982, Hall & Oats performed "Maneater" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Six days earlier on October 10th, 1982 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #65; and nine weeks later on December 12th, 1982 it peaked at #1 {for 4 weeks} and spent 23 weeks on the Top 100 {and for 9 of those 23 weeks it was on the Top 10}...
    It reached #1 on the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    And on the same 'Bandstand' show the duo also performed "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)"; it peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} on the Top 100 chart earlier in 1982 on January 24th.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJuly 2014, I remember as a yute we'd joke about lyrics in Hit Songs and on this one: "Watch Out Boy, she'll chew you up."; we'd say, "She'd Better!!!"

  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn a recent interview, John Oates said he wrote the chorus (oooooohh here she comes....watch out boy, she'll chew you up) as a reggae song. He said that Daryl Hall liked the words but didn't like the tune and yelled "Hall and Oates don't do reggae!" Hall changed the tune and filled out the rest of the lyrics with Sara Allen.
  • Emmy from Bellville, Onamazing song
  • Camille from Toronto, OhHey, I like some Hall and Oates music, but this one has to be my least favorite of their radio tunes. Does nothing for me.
  • Edward from Henderson, NvJohn Oates says this song was inspired by Kelly LeBrock.
  • Edward from Henderson, NvDel Shannon's "Little Town Flirt", another song about a dangerous woman, also includes the line, "Here she comes..."
  • Paul from Detroit, MiI love the boys, but this song was just terrible.
  • Eric from Beaverton, OrMicky: The band name is Hall and Oates, not Hauling Oates.
  • Micky from Los Angeles, CaI love Hauling Oates.
  • Thomas from Somerville, AlGood song but not one of the boys best. They kind of sold out which dissapointed me. I was a huge fan at one time. Maneater was very generic and sounded like most of the music at that time.
  • Tom from Chicago, Ilohhhh oh here she comes....
  • John from Manchester, EnglandTop song.I love this for driving at night.
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