Out of Touch

Album: Big Bam Boom (1984)
Charted: 48 1
  • In a 1985 interview with the New York City Tribune, John Oates, who came up with the original idea for the song and wrote the chorus, explained the importance of the line in the song, "We're soul alone and soul really matters to me.":

    "'Don't lose your soul' is one of our central themes. Soul matters. Roots matter. They're the source of your power, your core, the energy that sets you apart from the molecules in the wallpaper."
  • This was the last of Hall & Oates' six American #1s - it remained at the top for two weeks (#48 in the UK).
  • The rising sound at the beginning of the Big Bam Boom album is a metal gong struck with a hammer then played back in reverse with a keyboard sound layered under it.
  • In 2004, a dance act called Uniting Nations sampled this for their song, also called "Out of Touch." This version had a long UK-chart run, which spanned over several months, peaking at #7. It was also a hit in continental Europe.

    Uniting Nations are Scotsman Paul Keenen and Englishman Daz Sampson, hence the name. In 2006 Daz Sampson represented Great Britain in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Teenage Life." It came 19th out of 24.
  • Rapper Jeezy's 2006 track "Streets On Lock" from his album The Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102 heavily samples this. Jeezy's track was produced by Miami-based producers Cool and Dre.
  • To give the song an urban feel, the duo brought in Arthur Baker, who produced the hip-hop soundtrack for the 1984 drama Beat Street, to help mix and produce the track.
  • The video was directed by Jeff Stein, who also did the surreal videos for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Don't Come Around Here No More" and The Cars' "You Might Think." This was a time when big-name artists were getting huge budgets for their videos, so there was plenty of money to burn in making the promo for "Out of Touch" - at least enough to purchase a Brobdingnagian drum kit with a bass drum that enveloped the duo.

    The video fit went well with the song's meaning, as we see the drum roll over Daryl Hall and John Oates, and later on we see them trapped inside, an apt metaphor for the feeling of isolation expressed in the song.

    For the last shot, Hall and Oates were actually sealed inside the drum. Oates told Golden Age of Music Video: "We were looking at each other between takes saying, 'So this is what it's all come to! We are at the top of the pop music world, and we're sealed inside a bass drum at 3 o'clock in the morning in a warehouse in Queens."
  • This is featured in the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Comments: 2

  • Ashley from Pgh, PaThis song is also featured on the Grand Theft Auto Vice City soundtrack.
  • Martin from Los Angeles, CaThis was one of the songs used in the 80's mix on the video game Saints Row 2
see more comments

Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumSongwriter Interviews

Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.

Gary LewisSongwriter Interviews

Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top 10 hits despite competition from The Beatles. Gary talks about the hits, his famous father, and getting drafted.

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

Peter LordSongwriter Interviews

You may not recognize his name, but you will certainly recognize Peter Lord's songs. He wrote the bevy of hits from Paula Abdul's second album, Spellbound.

Jackie DeShannon - "Put a Little Love in Your Heart"They're Playing My Song

It wasn't her biggest hit as a songwriter (that would be "Bette Davis Eyes"), but "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" had a family connection for Jackie.

Tommy JamesSongwriter Interviews

"Mony Mony." "Crimson and Clover." "Draggin' The Line." The hits kept coming for Tommy James, and in a plot line fit for a movie, his record company was controlled by the mafia.