She's Gone

Album: Abandoned Luncheonette (1973)
Charted: 42 7
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  • Hall & Oates wrote this while they were consoling each other over heartbreaks. Daryl had just divorced from his wife Bryna Lublin, and a New Year's Eve date had stood up John.
  • Many Hall & Oates songs were written primarily by one member of the duo, but this song was an equal collaboration. In our interview with Daryl Hall, he explained that Oates came up with the chorus, which he wrote on acoustic guitar. Hall thought it sounded like the Cat Stevens song "Wild World," so he went to his Wurlitzer keyboard and reworked the groove. From there, it was a matter of finding the progression and coming up with the lyrics.

    "We sat down together, and the first line that came out was, 'Everybody's high on consolation,'" said Hall. "It was one of those things where the lines just flowed out, and we were banging it back and forth. To me that is the ultimate Daryl and John song, because that was so collaborative, and so much a part of both of our experiences and lives thrown together."
  • This is one of the duo's favorite Hall & Oates songs. Daryl Hall told Entertainment Weekly (October 16, 2009): "It's very autobiographical. What we wrote about was real, even though it was two different situations. And it's very thematic with us: this soaring melody and uplifting chord progression, but about a very sad thing."
  • John Oates explained to Sounds in 1976 that songwriting is about, "making a very, very personal statement but yet saying it in a way that a lot of people can relate it to themselves. That's the secret of a good lyric. It's that universal intimacy. I think that's what we achieved with 'She's Gone.'"
  • This song first appeared on Hall & Oates' second album, Abandoned Luncheonette. It was released as a single in February 1974, but stalled at #60. Later that year, Tavares recorded the song, and while their version only made #50, it was a #1 R&B hit. After Hall & Oates scored a hit with "Sara Smile," Atlantic Records released an edited version of the song which made #7 in 1976.

    Tavares covered the song at the suggestion of their co-producer, Dennis Lambert, who had heard it on Abandoned Luncheonette. Their version was similar to the original and in line with the ballads they were recording at the time (they would later transition to disco).
  • Listening to much of their '80s output, it's hard to believe this soulful number is the same group, but Hall & Oates have always explored a range of musical styles. In our 2011 interview with John Oates, he explained: "We started out as songwriters. And both Daryl and myself, individually and collectively, have a wide variety of musical tastes. Just because the music we made may have fallen into a certain category doesn't mean we weren't aware of and interested in other kinds of music. When Hall & Oates got together, I brought a traditional American folk-y approach, and it was something Daryl wasn't really even aware of. And Daryl brought a lot more of the urban R&B side. And when we blended those together, we eventually created a sound."
  • Hall and Oates used a different vocal approach on this track. Instead of singing a traditional two-part harmony, they sang it in different octaves, with Hall singing one octave higher than Oates. This is how Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford of Squeeze typically do their vocals.
  • This has been a mainstay of the duo's setlists since they recorded it, bet it never gets old for them. On Hall & Oates 2015 Live In Dublin DVD, Hall introduces the song by saying, "It's honest, it's real, it feels like the first time every time we play it."
  • Tom Cavanagh, who played Dan Dorian on Scrubs, sang this in the 2004 episode "My Common Enemy."
  • Hall & Oates created a music video for this song in 1973 - one of the first ever by an American act. Directed by Oates' sister Diane (who was studying film at Temple University), they shot it at a Philadelphia TV station so it could run on a local dance show. The clip is absurd and inscrutable, complete with Oates in a sleeveless tuxedo and a guy in a devil suit helping them portray a literal interpretation of the lines, "I'd pay the devil to replace her." The clip never aired, but Oates later posted it on YouTube.
  • This was used in the film comedies Better Off Dead... (1985), starring John Cusack; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004), starring Will Ferrell; and Cherish (2002), starring Brad Hunt (who performed the song).
  • The Virginia soul group Ujima was the first to cover this song, releasing it as a single in February 1974.

Comments: 18

  • Armin from Dallas/fort WorthKen from Louisville, have you not heard Las Vegas Turnaround? Not much of a hit, but it primarily features Oates' vocals.
  • Markantney from BiloxeJul 2015

    Guy - Woodinville, Wa; I agree, one of their best songs, regardless of tempo.

    But guessing why it didn't climb higher... The song is more R&B than Pop, so I can see it not getting it's just due back then. It took Sara Smile, LowDown (Scaggs), "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin" (which I don't like), AND YES DISCO:):):)to completely tear that R&B-Pop Wall Down.
  • Markantney from BiloxeFeb 2015,

    Of course growing up in a "Soul" Environment I heard Tavares version first. Didn't even know it was an H&O Original to probably sometime in the late 90s I believe? And it's maybe because their biggest hit (when I was younger) was "Sara Smiles"; which I've never really liked, just an ok song to me.

    I like both versions but H&Os slightly more.

    And BTW, if you like Tavares version, find their hits before they went "Disco"; they have a few songs that are on par or better than "She's Gone": It Only Takes a Minute, Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Never Had A Love Like This Before,.... Though Tavares uptempo/Disco songs aren't bad either.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 3rd 1974, Daryl Hall & John Qates' debut record, "She's Gone", entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 for a eight week stay, peaking at #60...
    Then two years later on July 18th, 1976 it re-entered the Top 100 at position #73; and on October 24th, 1976 it peaked at #7 {for 2 weeks} and this time around spent 20 weeks on the Top 100...
    In late 1974 on September 29th Tavares' covered version of the song entered the Top 100 at #89; eventually it peaked at #50 and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis and their cover of "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" are the only two H&O hits that prominently feature John Oates' vocals.
  • Tom Atkins from Los Angeles, CaNear perfection as it relates to songwriting. This was not a cover and the H&O version on the 1973 Abandoned Luncheonette album is THE ORIGINAL as written and performed on that Atlantic vinyl in '73. As others above have stated, Tavares recorded their version of it in 1974 and had more mass success with it up to that point, but the subsequent re-release ion 1976 by H&O combined with their original release success in '73 made this a huge hit for H&O. If you've never heard the duo perform this live, you need to check out a 70's live recording of it.....they kill it!
  • Oldpink from Farmland, InOates' drumming on this is wonderfully understated.
    Killer singing, too.
  • John from Dallas, TxHall and Oates wrote "She's Gone" and recorded the original version for inclusion on their 1973 album Abandoned Luncheonette, and released it as a single. The song was only marginally successful at that time. Later, after Hall and Oates signed with a different label (RCA) and started having hits, Atlantic re-released the song and it became huge.
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaThis is Hall & Oates' greatest of many great songs! I'm surprised it only made it to #7 back in the day. This is one of the classic songs from the classic rock era--maybe the best blue-eyed sould song ever! I love reading above about how they wrote it during love lost.
  • Djchizz from Bean Town, MaLou Rawls did the original version in 1975, also
    release a album "She's Gone"
  • Nucan from Detroit, MiThis is a great song. In the last few years I've been hearing a longer version with an extended intro and sax solo.Never heard the cover version thogh.
  • Tom from Dozier, AlOkay, I'm not feeling like I've lost my mind. I just found "She's Gone" here on Songfacts in the section "Songs That Became Hits When They Were Re-Released." That still doesn't tell me who did the song originally, but I know I didn't dream hearing "She's Gone" back in 1967. Thanks for letting me vent.
  • Tom from Dozier, AlI'm coming back to "She's Gone" again. The first time I heard it by Hall & Oates, I knew the lyrics, title, etc.. I went to Audiogalaxy in 2002 and found the mp3 version that I had heard in 1967 or 1968. Things like this always grate on me. I wish I could remember the original artists name. THe only thing I can be sure of is that I heard the song before H & O came out with it.
  • Michael from San Diego, CaDerek, these guys are out of Philadelphia and met while they were both attending Temple University. Their musical harmonies really captures the soulful spirit of the "City of Brotherly Love"!
  • Tony from Boston, MaThey just don't write them like this anymore....GREAT SONG !!!
  • Derek from Cambridge, New ZealandThis is without doubt my most favourie song from the duo. It means so much to me, for personal reasons, and also it gives me a feeling of 'being on the West Coast' of the USA! Get lyrics, great harmonies...just all-round SUPERB!!!
  • Robin from Birmingham, AlI agree with Tom: although I cannot remember exactly when I first heard the Hall & Oates version (maybe early '73?), I DEFINITELY remember that it PRECEDED Tavares' cover. And while Edward is correct about the H&O version being released twice (and he may also be correct about its achieving a higher chart position the second time), I still don't think it's quite accurate to say that it wasn't a hit for H&O the first time. It got PLENTY of airplay on Top 40 radio in the Washington, DC area where I was living at the time.
  • Tom from Dozier, AlI remember hearing this song before 1973. Could this have been a cover?
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